Over the years, Mercier—Hochelaga-Maisonneuve has received a bad rap for high crime rates, a high rate of people living on welfare, and general poverty of the area. Indeed, at the turn of the twentieth century up until the 1980s, due to high closure rates of factories, debt, general demolition of residential areas, the borough ended up quite poor. However, the stereotype is slowly breaking due to improvements in housing and slight improvements of income rate. And indeed, Mercier—Hochelaga-Maisonneuve is the borough that includes some of the most interesting things to see and do in Montreal: among others, you can visit the Olympic Stadium, the Biodome, and Montreal’s Botanical Gardens.
Mercier—Hochelaga-Maisonneuve is one of the places in Montreal where unilingual French is at its highest; according to the 2011 census, almost half can speak only French, while the other half can speak French and English. The grand majority, 9 out of 10 of its citizens, are, not surprisingly, Canadian citizens, with one of out five people being an immigrant to the borough. The top three countries that immigrants already established in the borough tend to come from Algeria, France, and Haiti, while the top three countries new immigrants come from is Algeria, Morroco, and France. The borough has a good mixture of visible minorities in the borough, with a large number of African-American (31%), Middle-Eastern (22%), and Latino-American (19%) people living in the area. A typical inhabitant of Mercier—Hochelaga-Maisonneuve identifies with some branch of Christianity (73%), with the grand majority out of those people identifying as Catholic. There is also a growing number of people that identify with Islam (5.7%) and Buddhism (1.6%) as their religion as well.
Mercier—Hochelaga-Maisonneuve is one of the largest boroughs in Montreal, indeed, the fourth largest, so when it comes to election time, it tends to be split up into smaller electoral districts. The borough’s four federal election districts are Hochelaga, Honoré-Mercier, and La Pointe-de-l’Île, while provincially it is again divided into three districts named Anjou–Louis-Riel, Bourget, and, of course, Hochelaga-Maisonneuve.
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