BMO Financial Group celebrates its 190 years in Quebec City

    BMO's Annual Shareholders' Meeting to be held in Quebec City on
    March 4, 2008

    QUEBEC CITY, Nov. 28 /CNW/ - BMO Financial Group, today, is celebrating
the 190th anniversary of its presence in Quebec City. BMO customers are
invited to join the party at the main BMO Bank of Montreal branch in Quebec
City, located at 500 Grande-Allée. A birthday cake and refreshments will be
served between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. BMO's history and success in Quebec City
will be reinforced when the bank holds its 190th Annual Meeting in Quebec City
on March 4, 2008.
    BMO became Canada's first bank when it opened its doors in Montreal on
November 3, 1817. Twenty-five days later, Bank of Montreal founded its first
branch, in Quebec City at 3 Rue Saint-Pierre, which became the second
cornerstone in the history of Canadian banks and the springboard from which
Bank of Montreal would expand its network to more than 1,000 branches
    Daniel Sutherland, a Scottish immigrant and deputy postmaster general for
Upper and Lower Canada at the time, was appointed manager of the branch. Then,
Quebec City had a population of about 19,000 and was a major fur, lumber and
fish trading centre. Much of the dealing took the form of bartering, as the
existing currency was an odd mix of coinage and notes from half a dozen
foreign countries.
    The arrival of the Bank of Montreal paved the way for the introduction of
Canada's first currency, Bank of Montreal notes, which continued to be issued
until 1935, when the Bank of Canada was founded. The currency helped foster
trade and the development of Quebec City. Bank of Montreal also played a
significant role in projects key to the growth of Quebec and Canada, including
the construction of the first canals, telegraphs and railways, most notably
Canadian Pacific's transcontinental line.
    In 1961, in recognition of Bank of Montreal's importance to and long
association with Quebec City, Gilbert Rhéaume, manager of the Quebec City main
branch, was awarded the Order of Merit by Mayor Wilfrid Hamel at a city hall
ceremony honouring the institutions that had served the city for at least a
    "BMO is proud to have helped individuals and business in the Quebec City
area to achieve their financial goals and dreams for nearly two centuries,"
said Yves Lafrenière, Vice-President, Eastern Quebec, BMO Bank of Montreal.
"We want to thank all our customers for their loyalty," he added, noting that
the Bank's longest-standing business relationship in the Quebec City area is
with the Simons family, which has been a BMO customer since 1848.
    In recent years, BMO Bank of Montreal has invested more than $10 million
in the Quebec City area to better serve its customers, building new branches
in Lévis and Sainte-Foy in 2007, upgrading all of its automated banking
machines and offering Saturday business hours at three full-service branches
in addition to seven days a week banking at its Beauport and Lévis In-Store
    BMO Financial Group now has ten bank branches in the capital region as
well as a BMO Nesbitt Burns branch and a BMO Harris Private Banking branch,
both of which are located at 500 Grande-Allée.
    BMO is a leading corporate citizen that supports many local educational
and health care organizations and Centraide. Together with the Commission de
la capital nationale, BMO Financial Group will sponsor the Fresque des
capitales BMO, a giant mural commemorating Quebec City's 400th anniversary and
depicting prominent figures and great moments in the political life of the
capital city.

For further information:

For further information: Media Relations Contact: Ronald Monet,
Montreal, (514) 877-1873,; Internet:

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