Saint-Laurent has its origins in the late 1600s, with the start of land development after the death of colonist Jean Descaries. He gave the land to his three sons, Paul, Michel, and Louis, and the three and many other colonists started to develop the area in 1700. By 1702, Saint-Laurent had its first chapel (now demolished and oddly the location of Rockland Shopping Centre) and Saint-Laurent officially became a parish in 1720 with François Seré as its parish priest. It is in Saint-Laurent in 1837 that Louis-Joseph Papineau, Patriote, statesman, and lawyer, made his speech in front of supporters just months after the arrival of the 92 Resolutions that fought for political reforms in Canada. It is this borough in which we stop and explore for a while on our Montreal tour.
Over the years, Saint-Laurent has seen a large increase in population, from about 77 400 people in 2006 to almost 94 000 people in 2011, according to the Canadian census. It has some interesting effects on language, diversity, and has effects on the borough such as an increase need of resources and an increased population density. In terms of population, people are only slightly younger than average for the Island, with an average person living in Saint-Laurent being around 38.2 years old (Montreal’s average age is 38.6 years old). 59% of its population is bilingual, while 20% are unilingually Francophone and 16% can speak English only. Most people grew up speaking a language other than English, with Arabic, Chinese (Cantonese), and Spanish being the most common languages. More than half of the population being immigrants, Saint-Laurent has a great diversity of people, with a considerable Middle Eastern, Chinese, and African-American population. Saint-Laurent’s population density is 2194.1 people per kilometre squared (an increase of about 210 people since 2006).
Neighbours include Ahuntsic-Cartierville to the north, Lachine to the south, and Dorval to the southwest. Its federal electoral riding is called Saint-Laurent—Cartierville; for its provincial electoral riding, the borough is divided between Acadie and Saint-Laurent.