Longueuil, Qué, City, pop 371 934 (based on the 2001c), 127 977 (1996c), area 283.73 km2, inc 2002, was created by the amalgamation of 8 distinct municipalities including the former city of Longueuil. The new Longueuil is the third-ranking city in Québec and the most populous of the MONTRÉAL suburban communities. Located on the South Shore of the St Lawrence River across from Montréal in the Montérégie region, its territory is criss-crossed by major expressways linking metropolitan Montréal to QUÉBEC CITY, the EASTERN TOWNSHIPS and northern New York State. Longueuil is connected to Montréal by 4 bridges: Victoria (1859), Jacques-Cartier (1930), Champlain (1962) and the Louis-Hippolyte-Lafontaine tunnel-bridge (1967).
Settlement and Development
In 1657, Charles LE MOYNE de Longueuil et de Châteauguay, a merchant of Ville-Marie (Montréal), was given an area of land situated along the St Lawrence River. He named it Longueuil, in honour of his mother's village in France. In 1845 the municipality of the parish of Saint-Antoine de Longueuil was created. Three years later the village of Longueuil was separated from the rural parish and incorporated as a distinct municipality; it became a town in 1874 and a city in 1920. The 1960s saw a period of growth through the annexation of Montréal Sud (1961) and the merger with the city of Jacques-Cartier (1969). Given its historical significance, the name Longueuil was chosen to designate the new city that in 2002 amalgamated its namesake with BOUCHERVILLE, BROSSARD, SAINT-HUBERT, SAINT-LAMBERT, SAINT-BRUNO-DE-MONTARVILLE, GREENFIELD PARK and LeMoyne.
The new city is predominantly a large suburban residential area where most houses have been built in the second half of the 20th century, although it treasures some older historical districts. For instance, the historical sector of Vieux-Longueuil was designated a heritage site by the municipality in 1993 and contains over 450 buildings built before 1945, including the remarkable St Mark's Anglican church (1842) and the Saint-Antoine Roman Catholic cathedral (1885). The boroughs of Boucherville, Saint-Lambert and Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville also display many historically significant buildings.
Longueuil has a large commercial sector with numerous regional or local shopping centres, and boulevard Taschereau lined with stores and restaurants. It also boasts a diversified industrial base with a significant aerospace industry. Pratt & Whitney and Héroux-Devtek are the leading enterprises in that sector.
Most of Montréal's universities have established teaching facilities near the Longueuil metro station. UNIVERSITÉ DU QUÉBEC à Montréal was the first university (1980) to offer courses and continuing education with its Centre d'études universitaires de la Montérégie. It was followed by the UNIVERSITÉ DE SHERBROOKE (1989), the UNIVERSITÉ DE MONTRÉAL (1999) and MCGILL UNIVERSITY (2003). Established in 1969 by succeeding the Externat classique of Longueuil, the Collège Edouard-Montpetit is one of the first CÉGEPs in Québec. Champlain Regional College has been established in the borough of Saint-Lambert since 1971. Longueuil houses the Théâtre de la Ville, a centre for performing arts that features 2 theatres. A weekly regional newspaper, Le Courrier du Sud, and a community radio station, CHAA-FM, provide the South Shore's inhabitants with information and entertainment.