Fleury Mesplet founded the Montreal Gazette in 1778 as the first French-only newspaper for the Montreal, Quebec, region. The Montreal Gazette was briefly a bilingual newspaper between the late 1700s and 1822, after which it became exclusively an English-language publication. The first version of the Montreal Gazette featured articles on philosophy and literature and is filled with pro-American Revolution propaganda.
Columns in the paper focused on philosophy and literature, with articles designed to promote discussion. The newspaper also published letters and poems. The local government shut down first version of the Montreal Gazette in 1779 after the arrest and three-year imprisonment of its editor and founder on charges of sedition. Fleury Mesplet started the second version of the Montreal Gazette in 1785; it followed a bilingual format similar to the Quebec Gazette.
Mesplet continued to oversee the release of the publication until his death in 1794. Publication of the Montreal Gazette continued throughout the 19th century, with minor stoppages during the early 1800s due to changes in ownership.
As of 2015, the Montreal Gazette's main audience base is the English-speaking community living in Quebec. The Montreal Gazette is the only English-speaking publication serving the city of Quebec. The newspaper has a daily circulation audience of approximately 116,000.