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Since the 1980s formerly working-class neighbourhoods such as the Plateau Mont-Royal—which is east of Mont Royal and north of the city’s central core—have developed into trendy areas.At the center of “the Plateau,” the 400,000-square-metre (40-hectare) Lafontaine Park offers a bucolic setting with large trees, two ponds, an open-air theatre, and bike paths.Southeast of the Plateau is another of Montreal’s distinctive neighbourhoods, the Latin Quarter, where students have congregated since the 18th century.Adjacent to the Latin Quarter is the Village, or Gay Village, the focus of Montreal’s gay community.The average July temperature is in the low 70s F (about 22 °C); however, it is not unusual to have summer days in which the temperature exceeds the mid-80s F (about 30 °C) and humidity is 100 percent.The prevailing winds and Great Lakes also influence precipitation, which is relatively even year-round amounting to approximately 41 inches (1,050 mm) annually.The 1250 René-Levesque Ouest (originally named the IBM-Marathon building) was also completed in 1992 and ranks second in terms of rooftop height, but its antenna reaches to 756 feet (230 metres).While visitors often note the European flavour of Montreal, downtown Montreal is definitely North American in style.
It began as a missionary settlement but soon became a fur-trading centre, a role that was enhanced after the conquest of New France by the British in 1763. Lawrence proved to be a major advantage in its development as a transportation, manufacturing, and financial centre.While the Place Ville-Marie remained an important landmark, taller buildings were constructed at the end of the 1990s.In 1992 the skyscraper commonly referred to by its address, the 1000 de la Gauchetière, became the tallest building in the city (without antenna) at 617 feet (188 metres).(The Lachine Canal National Historic Site preserves the path of the ship canal at the southern end of Montreal Island that was used to bypass the rapids until the seaway was constructed.) Montreal has a continental climate, but its proximity to the Great Lakes, in combination with prevailing westerly winds, modifies temperatures for both winter and summer.The average temperature for January is in the mid-teens F (about –9 °C), but the windchill factor can decrease that temperature considerably.