Laval, Quebec

Enlarge Montreal Rivière des Mille Îles

Ville de Laval
Laval Quebec Montage.jpg
Flag of Laval
Coat of arms of Laval
Coat of arms
"Unité, progrès, grandeur"  (French)
"Unity, Progress, Greatness"
Laval is located in Southern Quebec
Location in southern Quebec
Coordinates: 45°35′N 73°45′W / 45.583°N 73.750°W / 45.583; -73.750Coordinates: 45°35′N 73°45′W / 45.583°N 73.750°W / 45.583; -73.750[1]
Constituted6 August 1965
 • TypeLaval City Council
 • MayorMarc Demers
 • Federal ridingAlfred-Pellan / Vimy / Laval—
Les Îles
/ Marc-Aurèle-Fortin
 • Prov. ridingChomedey / Fabre / Laval-des-
/ Mille-Îles / Sainte-Rose / Vimont
 • Land247.23 km2 (95.46 sq mi)
91 m (299 ft)
 • Total422,993
 • Density1,710.9/km2 (4,431/sq mi)
 • Change
Increase 5.3%
Demonym(s)Lavallois, Lavalloise[4]
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Postal code(s)
Area code(s)450 and 579

Laval (English: /ləˈvæl/; French: [laval] (About this soundlisten)) is a Canadian city in southwestern Quebec, north of Montreal. It is the largest suburb of Montreal, the third largest city in Quebec, and the thirteenth largest city in Canada with a population of 422,993 in 2016.[3]

Laval is geographically separated from the mainland to the north by the Rivière des Mille Îles, and from the Island of Montreal to the south by the Rivière des Prairies. Laval occupies all of Île Jésus as well as the Îles Laval.

Laval forms its own administrative region in Quebec which constitutes the 13th region of the 17 administrative regions of Quebec as well as a territory equivalent to a regional county municipality (TE) and census division (CD) with geographical code 65. It also constitutes the judicial district of Laval.[5]


Farm in Laval-des-Rapides in 1941

The first European Settlers in Laval were Jesuits, who were granted a seigneury there in 1636. Agriculture first appeared in Laval in 1670. In 1675, François de Montmorency-Laval gained control of the seigneury. In 1702 a parish municipality was founded, and dedicated to Saint-François de Sales (not to be confused with the modern-day Saint-François-de-Sales in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean).

In 1845, after nearly 200 years of being a rural nature, additional municipalities began to be created. The only built-up area on the island, Sainte-Rose, was incorporated as a village in 1850, and it remained the main community for the remainder of the century. With the dawn of the 20th century came urbanization. Laval-des-Rapides became Laval's first city in 1912, followed by L'Abord-à-Plouffe, which was granted village status three years later. Laval-sur-le-Lac was founded in the same year and had its tourist-based economy based on Montrealers. Laval began to grow throughout the following years because its proximity to Montreal made it an ideal suburb.

To deal with problems caused by urbanization, amalgamations occurred; L'Abord-à-Plouffe amalgamated with Renaud and Saint-Martin, creating the city of Chomedey in 1961. The amalgamation turned out to be so successful for the municipalities involved that the Quebec government decided to amalgamate the whole island into a single city of Laval in 1965, not without controversy.[6] Laval was named after the first owner of Île Jésus, François de Montmorency-Laval, the first Roman Catholic Bishop of Quebec. At the time, Laval had a population of 170,000. Laval became a Regional County Municipality in 1980. Until then, it had been the County of Laval.[7]

The 14 municipalities, which existed prior to the incorporation of the amalgamated City of Laval on 6 August 1965, were:


The island has developed over time, with most of the urban area in the central region and along the south and west river banks.

Laval is bordered on the south by Montreal across the Rivière des Prairies, on the north by Les Moulins Regional County Municipality and by Thérèse-De Blainville Regional County Municipality and on the west by Deux-Montagnes Regional County Municipality across the Rivière des Mille Îles.


Laval experiences a four season humid continental climate (Koppen: Dfb) with very warm summers and very cold winters with adequate precipitation year round, though more so during summer and early fall.[8]

Climate data for Sainte-Dorothée
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 13.5
Average high °C (°F) −5.8
Daily mean °C (°F) −10.3
Average low °C (°F) −14.8
Record low °C (°F) −35.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 75.5
Average snowfall cm (inches) 44.6
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2) 14.1 11.1 11.5 12.4 13.1 13.5 12.1 13.4 13.1 13.6 13.3 14.0 155.2
Source: Environment Canada[9]


According to the 2016 Census, the population of Laval was an estimated 422,993, a 5.3 percent increase from the earlier census in 2011. Women constituted 51.4% of the total population. Children under 14 years of age totalled 17.4%, while 17.2% of the population was of retirement age (65 years of age and older). The median age was calculated as 41.9 years.[3]

Laval is linguistically diverse. The 2011 census found that French was the only mother tongue of 60.8% of the population, and was spoken most often at home by 65.2% of residents. The next most common mother tongues were English (7.0%), Arabic (5.6%), Italian (4.2%), Greek (3.5%), Spanish (2.9%), Armenian (1.7%), Creoles (1.6%), Romanian (1.3%) and Portuguese (1.3%).[11]

2016 Census data
Canada 2016 Census Population % of Total Population
Ethnicity group
European 295,330 71.9%
Middle Eastern 38,060 9.3%
Black 32,095 7.8%
Latin American 12,660 3.1%
South Asian 8,800 2.1%
Southeast Asian 8,610 2.1%
Aboriginal 8,265 2%
East Asian 4,205 1%
Other 2,820 0.7%
Total population 410,850 100%
Canada Census Mother Tongue – Laval, Quebec[13]
Census Total
French & English
Year Responses Count Trend Pop % Count Trend Pop % Count Trend Pop % Count Trend Pop %
237,430 Decrease 1.73% 56.80% 30,295 Increase 9.45% 7.25% 4,410 Increase 16.82% 1.05% 131,240 Increase 15.97% 31.39%
241,615 Decrease 0.2% 60.77% 27,680 Increase 9.51% 6.96% 3,775 Increase 58.94% 0.95% 113,160 Increase 19.34% 28.46%
242,155 Decrease 2.72% 66.41% 25,275 Increase 23.08% 6.85% 2,375 Decrease 14.41% 0.64% 94,815 Increase 42% 25.72%
248,925 Increase 1.68% 73.42% 20,535 Increase 0.96% 6.05% 2,775 Increase 4.52% 0.82% 66,775 Increase 22.25% 19.69%
244,800 n/a 74.95% 20,340 n/a 6.22% 2,655 n/a 0.81% 54,620 n/a 16.72%


Municipal politics

Laval City Hall

The city's longtime mayor, Gilles Vaillancourt, resigned on 9 November 2012, following allegations of corruption made against him in hearings of the provincial Charbonneau Commission.[14] City councillor Basile Angelopoulos served as acting mayor[15] until Alexandre Duplessis was selected in a council vote on 23 November.[16] Duplessis, in turn, stepped down after just seven months in office after facing allegations of being implicated in a prostitution investigation;[17] he was succeeded by city councillor Martine Beaugrand until the city's current mayor, Marc Demers, was elected in the 2013 municipal election.

Past mayors have been:

On 3 June 2013, the provincial government of Pauline Marois placed the city under trusteeship due to the ongoing corruption scandal affecting the city.[18] Florent Gagné, a former head of the Sûreté du Québec, will serve as the city's head trustee, with responsibility for reviewing and approving or rejecting all decisions made by city council.[18] Municipal Affairs Minister Sylvain Gaudreault said that Laval's Mayor Alexandre Duplessis and his council will continue to serve, but council decisions must be approved by the trustees.[19] Duplessis, in turn, resigned as mayor on 28 June 2013, after being implicated in a separate prostitution allegation.[17]

Flag, seal and motto

On a white-yellow background, the emblem of Laval illustrates the modernism of a city in full expansion. The sign of the city symbolizes the "L" of Laval.

The colours also have a significant meaning :

The "L" of Laval is made of cubes that represent the development of Laval.

The letters of the Laval signature are related one to the other to point out the merger of the 14 municipalities of Jesus island in 1965.

The logo (that is on the flag) has existed since the 1980s and the flag since the 1990s.[20]

Federal and provincial politics

Politically, Laval has been historically a battleground area between the Quebec separatist parties (the Bloc Québécois federally and the Parti Québécois provincially) and the federalist parties (various parties federally and the Quebec Liberal Party provincially). The only exception is Chomedey in the south, which voted overwhelmingly to not separate in the 1995 Quebec referendum.

The other parts of Laval have drifted to the provincial Liberals in recent years. While the PQ held every Laval riding except Chomedey during their second stint in government between 1994 and 2003, the Liberals won every Laval riding in 2003, 2007, and 2008. During the 2012 election, the PQ saw some gains in Laval when they captured 2 seats, but both returned to the Liberal fold during the 2014 election.


Office buildings in Laval

Laval's diverse economy is centred around the technology, pharmaceutical, industrial and retail sectors. It has many pharmaceutical laboratories but also stone quarries and a persistent agricultural sector. Long seen as a bedroom community, Laval has diversified its economy, especially in the retail sector, developing numerous shopping malls, warehouses and various retail stores. Laval has four different industrial parks.[21]

The first is Industrial Park Centre, in the heart of Laval at the corner of St. Martin West and Industriel Blvd. One of the largest municipal industrial parks in Quebec, the Industrial Park Centre boasts the highest concentration of manufacturing companies in Laval: 1,024 at last count, and 22,378 employees. The park still has 1,300,643 m2 (14,000,005 sq ft) of space available.

The second, the Autoroute 25 Industrial Park is at the crossroads of the metropolitan road network. Inaugurated in 2001, this new industrial municipal space has been a tremendous success, boasting an 80% occupancy rate. Laval is studying the possibility of expanding this park in the next few years.

The third, known as Industrial Park East, is in the neighbourhood of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul. This park has reached full capacity with a 100% occupancy rate. Industrial Park East is currently part of a municipal program to revitalize municipal services and public utilities. Laval is working with a private developer on an expansion project for the park that should be announced in the near future.

The fourth industrial park, the Laval Science and High Technology Park is located along Rivière des Prairies and Autoroute 15. It is an internationally renowned science campus that houses the Biotech City and the Information Technology Development Centre (ITDC). The Laval Science and High Technology Park is a beacon of the metropolitan economy, in an environment befitting the best technopolises in the world. Nearly 500,000 square metres (5,400,000 sq ft) of space are available for development. The Biotech City spans the entire territory of the Laval Science and High Technology Park and is a unique concept in Canada in that its residents comprise both universities and companies.

Created in 1995, Laval Technopole is a nonprofit organization that has the objective to promote the economic growth of Laval by attracting and supporting new business and investments located in its 5 territory poles: Biopole, e-Pol, Agropole, industrial pole and Leisure/tourism.

Alimentation Couche-Tard has its headquarters in Laval.[22]

Poles in figures (excluding Leisure and tourism)[23]
Agropole Industrial Pole Biopole E-Pole
1,750 companies 624 companies More than 80 firms 264 businesses
15,800 jobs 16,000 jobs Over one billion $ invested since 2001 4,370 jobs
Main sectors:
  • Transformation
  • Food production
  • Agriculture
  • Restaurant industry
  • Wholesale and retail
Main sectors:
  • Metal products
  • Printing
  • Machinery
  • furnitures
  • Clothing
  • Rubber
  • Plastic
Main sectors:
  • Biotechnology
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Medical Technology
Main sectors:
  • Software
  • Manufacture
  • Service


Place Bell, home to the Laval Rocket and Les Canadiennes de Montreal

Laval was the host-city of the "Jeux du Québec" held in summer 1991 and of the Canadian Hockey League's 1994 Memorial Cup. Laval became home to the Montreal Canadiens' American Hockey League affiliate the Laval Rocket, starting in the 2017–18 season.[24]

Sports teams based in Laval
Team Sport League Venue
Associés de Laval Baseball Ligue de Baseball Élite du Québec Parc Montmorency
Sabercats Rive-Nord Canadian football Quebec Junior Football League Parc Cartier
Laval Comets Women's soccer W-League Centre Sportif Bois-de-Boulogne
Laval Rocket Ice hockey American Hockey League Place Bell
Les Pétroliers du Nord Ice hockey Ligue Nord-Américaine de Hockey Colisée de Laval



The Papineau-Leblanc Bridge links Laval to the Ahuntsic-Cartierville borough of Montreal.
Provincial routes

Public transit

Montreal Metro
A train arriving at Montmorency Station in the Montreal Metro.

In April 2007, the Montreal Metro was extended to Laval with three stations. The long-awaited stations were begun in 2003 and completed in April 2007, two months ahead of the revised schedule, at a cost of C$803 million, funded entirely by the Quebec government. The stations are Cartier, De La Concorde, and Montmorency. The arrival of the Metro in Laval was long-awaited as it was first promised in the 1960s.[citation needed] Former mayor, Gilles Vaillancourt, announced his wish to loop the Orange line from Montmorency to Côte-Vertu stations with the addition of six new stations (three in Laval and another three in Montreal). He proposed that Transports Quebec, the provincial transport department, set aside C$100 million annually to fund the project, which was expected to cost upwards of $1.5 billion.[28]

Commuter rail

The Réseau de transport métropolitain (RTM) operates two commuter train lines on the island. The Deux-Montagnes and Saint-Jérôme lines connect Laval to downtown Montreal in as little as 30 minutes. Including De la Concorde, there are currently five train stations.

On the Deux-Montagnes line, there are two stops in Laval, Île-Bigras and Sainte-Dorothée. On the Saint-Jérôme line there are three stations in Laval, De la Concorde, Vimont and Sainte-Rose.

Montmorency Terminus

The Société de transport de Laval (STL) provides local bus service in Laval. The STL's network consists of 35 regular lines, two rush hour lines, two trainbus lines, three express lines, one community circuit and several taxi lines.

There are reserved lanes for buses and taxis on Chomedey Blvd between Le Carrefour Blvd and the Des Prairies River (Lachapelle Bridge) and beyond as well as along boulevard des Laurentides between rue Proulx and boulevard Cartier (the reserved lane, in this case for buses only, continues onto the Pont Viau bridge into Montreal until the Terminus Laval at the Henri-Bourassa Metro station). Most buses that use the reserved lane end their journey at the Cartier Metro station. The AMT and the City of Laval have developed reserved bus and taxi lanes on Notre-Dame Boulevard between Vincent Massey Street and Place Alton-Goldbloom and another on De la Concorde Blvd between De l'Avenir and Laval Blvds, as well as between Ampere Ave and Roanne St. These reserved lanes (Notre-Dame and De la Concorde are the same boulevard but change name where they meet under Autoroute 15) opened shortly after 31 October 2007.


The Laval campus of the Université de Montréal.

Laval is home to a variety of vocational/technical centres, colleges and universities, including:

The city has two separate school boards serving Laval: the Centre de services scolaire de Laval (formerly the Commission scolaire de Laval) for French-speaking students and the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board for English-speaking students. There is one community English-language high school in the city: Laval Senior Academy, created on July 1, 2015 by the merger of Laval Liberty High School and Laurier Senior High School.[29]

North Star Academy Laval is the only private English high school in Laval. They offer secondary 1 to 5 and the possibility to do a grade 12 diploma from Ontario via their online platform.


The Cosmodome is a major local attraction.

Laval's main attractions are:

Source: Tourisme Laval.[30]


Laval is served by media from Montreal, however it does have some of its own regional media outlets.

Two radio stations are licensed to serve the city: CJLV 1570 AM "Radio Mieux-être" (formerly CFAV) and CFGL 105.7 FM "Rythme FM".

Additionally, there are three major newspapers in Laval: the bi-weekly English-language The Laval News, the bi-weekly French-language Le Courrier Laval and the weekly French-language L'Écho de Laval.

One television community channel operates on Laval's territory, Télévision régionale de Laval, as part of Videotron cable's VOX network.

Twin towns – sister cities

Laval is twinned with:[31]

Friendship and cooperation

Laval also cooperates with:[31]

See also


  1. ^ Reference number 34753 of the Commission de toponymie du Québec (in French)
  2. ^ Geographic code 65005 in the official Répertoire des municipalités (in French)
  3. ^ a b c d e "Census Profile, 2016 Census: Laval [Economic region], Quebec". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  4. ^ Lavallois – Wiktionary. En.wiktionary.org. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  5. ^ Territorial Division Act. Revised Statutes of Quebec D-11.
  6. ^ Seale, Lewis (7 August 1965). "Upper house gives in, accepts bill changes". The Montreal Gazette. Postmedia Network. p. 1. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  7. ^ "History and Heritage". Laval portal website. Archived from the original on 7 February 2007. Retrieved 8 November 2006.
  8. ^ Canada, Environment and Climate Change (19 January 2011). "Canadian Climate Normals 1971-2000 Station Data - Climate - Environment and Climate Change Canada". climate.weather.gc.ca. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  9. ^ Environment CanadaCanadian Climate Normals 1971–2000. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  10. ^ "Évolution démographique des 10 principales villes du Québec (sur la base de 2006) selon leur limites territoriales actuelles1, Recensements du Canada de 1871 à 2006". Stat.gouv.qc.ca. Archived from the original on 6 October 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
  11. ^ "(Code 2465005) Census Profile". 2011 census. Statistics Canada. 2012.
  12. ^ "Census Profile, 2016 Census Laval, Ville [Census subdivision], Quebec and Laval, Territoire équivalent [Census division], Quebec". Statistics Canada.
  13. ^ Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016 census
  14. ^ "Laval mayor resigns amid Montreal corruption scandal". Toronto Star, 9 November 2012.
  15. ^ "Laval searches for interim mayor". CBC News, 13 November 2012.
  16. ^ "Alexandre Duplessis elected new interim mayor of Laval". The Gazette, 23 November 2012.
  17. ^ a b "Laval mayor Alexandre Duplessis resigns". The Gazette, 28 June 2013.
  18. ^ a b "Quebec premier calls Laval trusteeship 'terrible, disheartening, sad'". The Globe and Mail, 3 June 2013.
  19. ^ Quebec orders Laval under trusteeship. CBC News, 3 June 2013.
  20. ^ "Flags of the World". Flags of the World website. Retrieved 16 July 2005.
  21. ^ "Laval Technopole website". Laval Technopole website. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 2 March 2007.
  22. ^ "Executive Office Archived 8 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine." Alimentation Couche-Tard. Retrieved on 18 January 2011. "Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. 4204 Industriel Blvd. Laval (Quebec) H7L 0E3." Address in French Archived 8 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine: "Alimentation Couche-Tard inc. 4204 Boul. Industriel Laval (Québec) H7L 0E3 " Map Archived 8 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ La Presse Affaires, Montreal, Tuesday 21 October 2008, p.12
  24. ^ "A new neighbor". NHL.com.
  25. ^ "Overpass dismantled, highway re-opened". CBC News website. 24 June 2000. Retrieved 8 March 2007.
  26. ^ "Overpass collapse shuts down Quebec highway". CBC News website. Archived from the original on 21 August 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2007.
  27. ^ "Overpass Collapses Near Montreal; People Trapped Feared Dead". Fox News Website. 30 September 2006. Retrieved 8 November 2006.
  28. ^ CA (22 July 2007). "Montréal a bien d'autres priorités – Transport en commun". Courrier Laval. Archived from the original on 27 May 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
  29. ^ "About Us." Laval Senior Academy. Retrieved on September 4, 2017.
  30. ^ "Tourisme Laval". Tourisme Laval website. Archived from the original on 15 May 2008. Retrieved 26 July 2008.
  31. ^ a b "Ententes économiques et villes jumelées". laval.ca (in French). Ville de Laval. Retrieved 19 July 2020.