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With its over four million of population in Montreal's metropolitan area, Montreal, the only French-English bilingual city in North America, is an unique blend of European charm and exicting urban vibe. Many know that Montreal was named a UNESCO city of Design since 2006 and North America's leading host city for international association events since 2011. But few have discovered the value and hidden potential of Montreal, as an investment destination. Indeed, Montreal has many merits and virtue, here below some of its strengths for value investors.

Canada is stable

The 2008 world financial turmoil has proved the Canadian bank system is one of the strongest worldwide among the G20. Canada's commercial, economical and political risks are ranked second less risky on the Global Risk Indicator over 131 countries worldwide. Even Standard & Poor's and Moody's kept Canada's credit rating at AAA during the crisis, unlike the rest of the G7 members.

Housing and living cost are cheap

Torontonians make more money but their cost of living is also significantly higher in the 416. The cost of real estate in Toronto is almost 100% more expensive than in Montreal. Toronto market is even more expensive than New York's. Vancouver is worse: it is actually the world's second most unaffordable housing market

While real estate market of Toronto and Vancouver surf near bubbles and bubbles of Calgary market already burst because its mono-sector economy, Montreal's housing is a turtle-steadily growing market, supported by its well diversified economy and its immigration policy. Montreal housing market is far from bubble and price is still very low and affordable. Indeed, Montreal is the cheapest big city with international reach and features to buy a house. Housing prices are almost 100% lower than in Toronto or Vancouver. Even small cities like Ottawa, Calgary, Sakastoon are more expensive than Montreal to buy a house.

Best city to be student and best city to live in

Montreal has long been considered a hub for local and international students. The 2015-16 QS World University Rankings have proved it again. Montreal is the best city in Canada and second one in North America to be a university student, coming in an overall eighth on an international list. The city hosts many internationally well-known research-aimed and talent-producing English and French universities like McGill, Université de Montréal, HEC and Concordia. It won the title of "university capital of Canada" with over 40,000 graduates every year. Montreal is the leader in Canada.

Montreal has been long recognized in the Top 10 of the finest cities to live in. The city received prizes for its sustainable growth, quality of public transportation, culture and social life, fine cuisine and architectural heritage. And again recently, According to The Economist, Montreal is the second best city in the world to live in, topping Paris, Genève, Londres, Sydney, Stockholm, Amsterdam, and San Francisco. And the infrastructure of Montreal is the safest sixth in the world. In term of quality of life and economic and tax conditions for families of the upper middle class, the Quebec's metropolis ranks 10th worldwilde. The research of The Economist took into account security of people, infrastructure, and computer networks, taxation, business environment and level of democracy.

Prestigious travel magazine Lonely Planet named Montreal in its "10 gladiest places in the earth" list and ranked Montreal third in its lits of best cities of the world in summertime, mainly thanks to transformation of streets and historic core into pedestrian area during summertime. And Montreal is labeled best city in North America and eleventh worldwide to ride bicycle. 

Bilingual, multicultural city and cultural capital

Montreal, with its European profile in North America and the second largest French speaking city after Paris, is well known as a bilingual society where both English and French speakers can do business easily. Montreal is Canada’s most bilingual and trilingual city: 50% of Montrealers speaks English and French, compared to only 8% in Toronto, and over 20% fluently speaks a third language.

Unlike the rest of North American cities, Montreal has the lifestyle, culture and gastronomy of Europe but adopts the working and business making style of North America. The French influence make Montreal stand out among the rest of Canadian cities.

And thanks to its bilingualism, its European character, its quality of life, its multicultural and cosmopolitan characteristics, Montreal has continued to excel as Canada’s cultural center. Its strong cultural tradition and its history of great icons and architecture consistently add inspirational atmosphere of music, arts, innovative technology and literature.

Montreal is also the cultural capital of Canada, with more than 140 festivals annually. To name a few from January to December every year: Igloofest, Salon de l'Auto, Fêtes des Neiges, Festival Montreal en Lumière, Festival Nouvelles Musiques, Art Souterrain, Nuit Blanche, International Children's Film Festival, International Film Festival on Art, Bal en Blanc, Blue Metropolis, Accès Asie, Festival TransAmeriques, Montreal Museums Day, Festival Go Vélo Montreal, Montreal International Musical Competition, Festival des Arts Vivants, Grand Prix, Beer Festival, Les FrancoFolies, Montreal International Jazz Festival, Festinal International Montréal en Arts, Les Weekends du Monde, Nuits d'Afrique, Just for Laugh, Fantasia Film Fest, Montreal Electronic Groove, Dragon Boat Race Challenge, Divers/Cité, Montreal Highland Games, FestiBlues, HeavyMTL, RogersCup, Italian Week, International Tango Festival, Fierté Montréal Pride, Matsuri Japon, Festival Mode & Design, Montreal World Film Festival, Jardins de lumière, Quartiers Danses, Mois de la Photo, Art Tattoo Montreal, Pop Montreal, Festival internationale de la littérature, Journées de la culture, International Black Film Festival, the Off Festival de Jazz, Festival du nouveau cinéma, Festival Phénomena, Montreal à Table, Montreal Improv Festival, Cinemania, Coup de coeur francophone, la Grande Dégustation, M for Montreal, Salon du Livre, Salon des métiers d'art.

The city counts the highest number of artists in Canada and is the only city in North America where people spend most of their time in the streets, even in wintertime! No doubt, the dynamic and attractive cultural life makes Montreal the capital of culture of Canada. And the bilingualism and the muticulturalism make Montreal an economic nexus.

Good transportation system

Montreal is a strategic communication center – one of the finest interconnected cities is North America – thanks to its geographical location in the southwest of the province of Quebec. That turns Montreal into a freight transportation hub, but also making it the best place for venture capitalist. Boston, New York and Toronto are next door either by road, train or air transportation. The port of Montreal, one of the most active ports in North America, is also the main access way in Canada for sea transportation, with connection network linked to more than 100 countries. International cruise ship lines also parade in the Port of Montreal. According to the American Public Transportation Association, Montreal provides one of the best public transportation services in North America. Its subway network is one the most efficient system in Canada.

Pro-startup policy

Montreal has an excellent taxation policy. Indeed, Grand Montreal has the second lower tax charge in North America's largest metropolitan areas. The tax incentive program offers electronic and multimedia companies with refundable tax credits. Government remunerates 30% of workers remunerations and offers additional 7.5% if company provides French translation of its products in its first release. Hence, companies can recover up to 30% or 37.5% of their employee's annual wage, with a limit of 20,000$. And best, companies dedicated to Reseach and Development in Montreal benefit the lowest tax charge in North America.

Montreal is not only an attractive place to build startups, but also welcomes the headquarters of international well-known companies like Ubisoft, EA Games and Activision. Besides, Montreal offers inexpensive qualified workers and flourished innovative ideas in both French and English languages.

Strategic diversified economy

While other Canadian cities mainly rely in one dominant sector, such as automobile, oil or foreign cash inflow for its growth and economy, Montreal has much more dynamic diversifed economical sectors that make Montreal more crisis resistant. Montreal has created seven strategic clusters that take in the main industries at the metropolitan area focusing in common economic initiative and development strategy. The “clusters” include: Aero Montreal, Quebec Aerospace Cluster; Québec Film and Television Council; Ecotech Quebec, CargoM, Finance Montreal, Techno Montreal and Montreal In Vivo.

The largest city in the province of Quebec and the second largest economy in Canada, Montreal effectively holds a strong base in world affairs, industry, commerce, areospace, pharmaceuticals, finance, technology, design, culture, tourism, gaming and film.

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