Originally regarded as Ville Marie (City of Mary) by early French colonizers, the city's name was later changed to Mont Real (Mount Royal), as derived from a diary entry written by french explorer Jacques Cartier in 1535.
However, dating back before any sort of European-contact, archeologists have found substantial evidence supporting the settlement of First Nations peoples, going as far back as 4,000 years ago. By 1,000AD, these same tribes had already begun the cultivation of maze and even started to build their own fortified villages. When french explorer, Jacques Cartier, first touched down on October 2, 1535, he had written various accounts of the area already being populated by "over a thousand people". Thus laying claim to idea of First Nations peoples possesing the land before anyone else.
Contemporarily, Montreal is highly regarded as "Canada's Cultural Capital," according to Monocle magazine. The region holds a tradition of producing both jazz and rock music, alongside producing many talented artists in the fields of: visual arts, theatre, dance and even mixed martial arts. Though being a confluence of both French and English traditions, Montreal has developed its own uniquely distinguished style.
As an aside, the area is also renowned for putting on the largest comedy festival in the world, Just For Laughs, and has hosted many great comedians from Joe Rogan, to Dave Chappelle, to Kevin Hart. Thus, if you are any sort of connoisseur for creativity, this city is definitely for you!