Creative; progressive; daring. All are adjectives regularly applied to Montrealers and the city itself, but now you can add "incredibly intelligent" to that list, as Montreal has been ranked as one of the seven smartest cities in the entire world.

Awarded the title by the Intelligent Community Forum, an internationally-minded think tank housed in New York, the rankings were part of the ICF's annual Top7 Intelligent Communities report. And for the very first time, Montreal took a top spot.

Basing their findings off of questionnaires and in-house analyses, the ICF's Top7 Intelligent Communities "represent models of economic and social transformation in the 21st Century."

In other words, the report focuses less on the technological advancement or the economy of a city. Instead, the ICF chooses cities based on how they provide tangible skills and information to citizens through modern mediums.

According to the ICF's profile on Montreal, the city received its top-spot rank for its focus on "aerospace, life sciences, health technologies and clean tech" industries, which make up 10% of Montreal's workforce.

Montreal's Smart City plan, which was launched in 2011, was also noted by the ICF, as it continues to bring the city into the modern age. Montreal's open “citizen laboratory” (which trains individuals on modern tech practices) and access to high-speed internet were specifically mentioned in relation to the Smart City plan.

Unsurprisingly, the presence and influence of Montreal's many reputable academic institutions contributed to the city's Top7 place. According to the ICF, Montreal produces more university/higher education graduates than any other city in Canada, a figure bolstered by the city's strong commitment to providing academic opportunities online.

Our thriving startup scene was yet another feature praised by the ICF, specifically citing the various accelerator programs that are set up for small businesses.

To see what other metropolises made the ICF's Top7 Intelligent Communities, listed in alphabetical order,  check out the rundown of cities below:

  • Hsinchu County, Taiwan
  • Montreal, Quebec
  • Muelheim an der Ruhr, Germany
  • New Taipei City, Taiwan
  • Surrey, British Columbia
  • Whanganui, New Zealand
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba
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