Montréal is the largest city in Québec. Predominantly French-speaking, it’s set on an island in the Saint Lawrence River and named after Mt. Royal, the triple-peaked hill at its heart. Its 19 boroughs, many of which were once independent cities, include neighbourhoods from cobblestoned, French colonial Vieux-Montréal – with imposing Notre-Dame Basilica at its center – to industrial Sud-Ouest and artist-friendly Plateau. In 2011 the city had a population of 1,649,519. The history of Montreal, located in Quebec, Canada, spans some 8,000 years. At the time of European contact, the area was inhabited by the St. Lawrence Iroquoians, a discrete and distinct group of Iroquoian-speaking indigenous people. Montreal was incorporated as a city in 1831. As a North American city, Montreal shares many cultural characteristics with the rest of the continent. It has a tradition of producing both jazz and rock music. The city has also produced much talent in the fields of visual arts, theatre, music, and dance. Another distinctive characteristic of cultural life is the animation of its downtown, particularly during summer, prompted by cultural and social events, particularly festivals.