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Montreal is located in the southwest of the province of Quebec, approximately 275 kilometres (168 miles) southwest of Quebec City, the provincial capital, and 167 kilometres (104 mi) east of Ottawa, the federal capital. It also lies 502 kilometres (312 mi) northeast of Toronto, 407 kilometres (253 mi) northwest of Boston and 530 kilometres (329 mi) directly north of New York City.[1] The city is located on the central and eastern portions of the Island of Montreal, the largest island in the Hochelaga Archipelago, at the confluence of the Saint Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers. The port of Montreal lies at one end of the Saint Lawrence Seaway, which is the river gateway that stretches from the Great Lakes into the Atlantic Ocean.[2] Montreal is defined by its location in between the St. Lawrence river on its south, and by the Rivière des Prairies on its north. The city is named after the most prominent geographical feature on the island, a three-head hill called Mount Royal.[3] There are three main geological regions in Quebec: the great igneous plains of the Canadian Shield, the mighty Appalachians in southern Quebec and the St. Lawrence lowlands that lie between them. Covering over 95% of Quebec, the Canadian Shield contains some of the oldest igneous rocks in the world, dating back to the Precambrian period, over 1 billion years ago. The Canadian Shield is generally quite flat and exposed, punctuated by the higher relief of mountain ranges such as the Laurentians in southern Quebec. The Appalachian region of Quebec is a thin strip of weathered mountains along Quebec's southeast border. The Appalachian mountain chain is actually a long range that runs from Alabama north to Newfoundland. The St. Lawrence lowlands are comparatively tiny in size (about 17 280 square kilometres) but disproportionately important in that they contain most of the human population of Quebec. The lowlands actually consist of three parts: the central lowlands, or the St. Lawrence Plain, a wide and flat triangle extending from Cornwall to Quebec City. The St. Lawrence Plain is almost entirely flat because of the clay deposits left behind by the Champlain Sea (which once covered all of Montreal). Montreal is at the centre of the Montreal Metropolitan Community, and is bordered by the city of Laval to the north, Longueuil to the south, Repentigny to the east and the West Island municipalities to the west. The anglophone enclaves of Westmount, Montreal West, Hampstead, Côte Saint-Luc, the Town of Mount Royal and the francophone enclave Montreal East are all entirely surrounded by the city of Montreal.[4] A street in Montreal after a snowstorm. Thick fog. Many people visit the city in the autumn for the foliage. A lion in winter: Mount Royal. The Montreal metropolitan area at night. Street directions One quirk of common Montreal parlance is that directions (north, south, east, and west) along the street grid are sharply skewed relative to the actual compass directions. The St. Lawrence River is taken as flowing west to east (even though it flows north or northeast past the island), so that directions along streets parallel to the river are referred to as "west" and "east," and those along streets perpendicular to the river, "north" and "south." In much of Montreal, "north" is actually northwest, and in some areas such as Verdun and Pointe-aux-Trembles it is actually due west. "Montreal directions" are used in naming street addresses and describing bus routes, among other things. As a result of this discrepancy, Montreal has been called "the only city where the sun sets in the north." Further folk naming customs refer to "up" and "down," "up" being towards Mount Royal and "down" being towards the St. Lawrence, but the system can be confused on the north side of the mountain (whether "up" means uphill, i.e. Montreal "south," or towards Montreal "north" as it does downtown). [5] Streets are named "Ouest" or "Est" when they cross Saint Laurent Boulevard. Street numbers rise eastward and westward from Saint Laurent Boulevard, and northward from the St. Lawrence River and the Lachine Canal. (A few streets in Le Sud-Ouest borough, such as rue Charlevoix, cross the Lachine Canal. In those cases, the addresses south of the Lachine Canal have an "0" prefixed to their street numbers.) Climate Montreal Climate chart (explanation) J F M A M J J A S O N D     78   −6 −15     62   −4 −13     74   2 −7     78   11 1     76   19 8     83   24 13     91   26 16     93   25 14     93   20 9     78   13 3     93   5 −2     81   −2 −10 Average max. and min. temperatures in °C Precipitation totals in mm Source: Environment Canada Imperial conversion J F M A M J J A S O N D     3.1   22 6     2.4   25 9     2.9   36 20     3.1   51 33     3   66 46     3.3   74 55     3.6   79 60     3.7   77 58     3.7   67 49     3.1   55 38     3.7   42 28     3.2   28 13 Average max. and min. temperatures in °F Precipitation totals in inches Montreal lies at the confluence of several climatic regions. Usually, the climate is classified as humid continental or hemiboreal (Köppen climate classification Dfb). Precipitation is abundant with an average snowfall of 2.25 metres (84 in) per year in the winter. Regular rainfall throughout the year averages 900 mm (35.3 in). Summer is the wettest season statistically, but it is also the sunniest.[citation needed] The coldest month of the year is January which has a daily average temperature of −10.4 °C (13 °F) — averaging a daily low of −14.9 °C (5.2 °F), colder than either Moscow (-10 °C) or Saint Petersburg (-6 °C).[citation needed] Due to wind chill, the perceived temperature can be much lower than the actual temperature, and wind chill factor is often included in Montreal weather forecasts. The warmest month is July which has an average daily high of 26.3 °C (79.3 °F); lower nighttime temperatures make an average of 20.9 °C (69.6 °F) thus air exchangers often achieve the same result as air conditioners. The lowest temperature ever recorded was −37.8 °C (−36.0 °F) on 15 January 1957 and the highest temperature ever was 37.6 °C (99.7 °F) on 1 August 1975.[6] High humidity is common in the summer which makes the perceived temperature higher than the actual temperature. In spring and autumn, rainfall averages between 55 and 94 millimetres (2.2 and 3.7 in) a month. Some snow in spring and autumn is normal. Similarly, late heat waves as well as "Indian summers" are a regular feature of the climate.[7] 2006 was noted as the only year in the history of Montreal when there was more rain than there was snow.[citation needed] There were 122.3 cm (48.1 in) of snow, and there were 122.5 cm (48.2 in) of rain. That year, Montreal received more rain than Vancouver, British Columbia.[8][9] Climate data for Montréal (Montréal-Trudeau Airport) Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Record high °C (°F) 13.9 (57) 15.0 (59) 25.6 (78.1) 30.0 (86) 33.9 (93) 35.0 (95) 35.6 (96.1) 37.6 (99.7) 33.5 (92.3) 28.3 (82.9) 21.7 (71.1) 18.0 (64.4) 37.6 (99.7) Average high °C (°F) −5.7 (21.7) −3.9 (25) 2.2 (36) 10.7 (51.3) 19.0 (66.2) 23.6 (74.5) 26.2 (79.2) 24.8 (76.6) 19.7 (67.5) 12.7 (54.9) 5.3 (41.5) −2.2 (28) 11.1 (52) Average low °C (°F) −14.7 (5.5) −12.9 (8.8) −6.7 (19.9) 0.6 (33.1) 7.7 (45.9) 12.7 (54.9) 15.6 (60.1) 14.3 (57.7) 9.4 (48.9) 3.4 (38.1) −2.1 (28.2) −10.4 (13.3) 1.4 (34.5) Record low °C (°F) −37.8 (-36) −33.9 (-29) −29.4 (-20.9) −15.0 (5) −4.4 (24.1) 0.0 (32) 6.1 (43) 3.3 (37.9) −2.2 (28) −7.2 (19) −19.4 (-2.9) −32.4 (-26.3) −37.8 (-36) Precipitation mm (inches) 78.3 (3.083) 61.5 (2.421) 73.6 (2.898) 78.0 (3.071) 76.3 (3.004) 83.1 (3.272) 91.3 (3.594) 92.7 (3.65) 92.6 (3.646) 77.8 (3.063) 92.6 (3.646) 81.3 (3.201) 978.9 (38.539) Rainfall mm (inches) 27.2 (1.071) 19.8 (0.78) 35.8 (1.409) 63.9 (2.516) 76.1 (2.996) 83.1 (3.272) 91.3 (3.594) 92.7 (3.65) 92.6 (3.646) 75.4 (2.969) 71.2 (2.803) 35.1 (1.382) 763.8 (30.071) Snowfall cm (inches) 52.5 (20.67) 43.3 (17.05) 36 (14.2) 13.1 (5.16) 0.2 (0.08) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 2.2 (0.87) 21.9 (8.62) 48.3 (19.02) 217.5 (85.63) Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 16.9 13.2 13.7 12.8 13.0 13.1 12.1 12.3 12.0 13.2 15.0 16.0 163.3 Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 4.3 4.2 7.2 11.3 12.9 13.1 12.1 12.3 12.0 12.7 11.2 6.1 119.4 Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 15.7 11.6 9.3 3.5 0.1 0 0 0 0 1.0 6.0 13.1 60.3 Sunshine hours 101.6 123.9 158.9 173.3 229.7 245.5 274.3 240.5 174.6 140.0 86.1 80.2 2,028.6 Source: Environment Canada [6] References ^ "Cities located close to Montreal". Distance Calculator. Time and Date AS. 1995-2008. http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/distances.html?n=165. Retrieved 2008-05-20.  ^ "The St. Lawrence River". Great Canadian Rivers. 2007. http://www.greatcanadianrivers.com/rivers/stlawer/stlawer-home.html. Retrieved 2008-05-20.  ^ "Island of Montreal". Geographical Names of Canada. Natural Resources Canada. 2007-09-17. http://geonames.nrcan.gc.ca/education/montreal_e.php. Retrieved 2008-05-20.  ^ "Découpage du territoire montréalais en 2006" (in French) (PDF). Montréal en statistiques. Ville de Montréal. 2006. http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/pls/portal/docs/page/MTL_STATISTIQUES_FR/media/documents/Decoupage_territoire_montrealais_2006.pdf. Retrieved 2008-05-20.  ^ Chodos, Alan. Welcome to Montréal, Where Down is Up and the Sun Sets in the North. APS Physics. Accessed July 1, 2011. ^ a b "Canadian Climate Normals 1971-2000". http://www.climate.weatheroffice.ec.gc.ca/climate_normals/results_e.html?Province=ALL&StationName=montreal&SearchType=BeginsWith&LocateBy=Province&Proximity=25&ProximityFrom=City&StationNumber=&IDType=MSC&CityName=&ParkName=&LatitudeDegrees=&LatitudeMinutes=&LongitudeDegrees=&LongitudeMinutes=&NormalsClass=A&SelNormals=&StnId=5415&. Retrieved 2006-12-18.  ^ "Average Weather for Montreal, QC - Temperature and Precipitation". Weather.com. http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel/climatology/monthly/CAXX0301.  ^ Montreal Monthly Data Report for 2006 ^ Vancouver Monthly Data Report for 2006 v · d · eMontreal Features Coat of arms · Demographics · Flag · Name · Notable Montrealers · Sister cities History Expo 67 · Hochelaga · Mayors · Montreal Urban Community · October Crisis · Oldest buildings and structures · Reorganization of Montreal · 1976 Summer Olympics · Timeline · National Historic Sites Geography Downtown · Greater Montreal · Hochelaga Archipelago · Landmarks · Mount Royal · Neighbourhoods · Old Port · Parks · Rivière des Prairies · Saint Lawrence River · West Island Economy Board of Trade · Montreal Exchange · René Lévesque Boulevard · Saint Jacques Street · Skyscrapers Politics Boroughs · City Council · Elections · Mayor · Municipal government · Opposition leaders · Political parties Public Services Corporation d'Urgences-Santé de Montréal-Laval · Fire · Hospitals · Police Education Commission scolaire de Montréal · Commission scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys · Concordia University · English Montreal School Board · Jewish Public Library · Lester B. 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