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Continued from Part 1…
For many years, French-speaking Montreal was the economic engine of Canada, only to be surpassed by English-speaking Toronto in the final decades of the 20th century. Today, Toronto is a major center for commerce and finance. Montreal, on the other hand, is widely touted for its culture, cuisine and architecture. If Toronto is a smaller version of New York, then Montreal would be a mini Paris.
The French versus English rivalry in Canada goes back to the very creation of the country, when troops from France and Britain fought over land in the New World. Unlike most of the battles to come on the ice hockey rink, it was the English side that won the war and that eventually led to a united Canada. Even centuries later, some French Canadians still want Quebec to separate from the rest of Canada, although that movement has grown less popular in recent years.
Nowadays, French and English Canadians mostly get along and Canada is fortunate to have enjoyed many years of peace.
But when the Canadiens and Maple Leafs get together on the ice, the nation’s intense historical divisions return, if only for a few hours at a time. (Joel Tansey)
This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.