Dorval facts for kids

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Train station and Trudeau Airport in Dorval
Train station and Trudeau Airport in Dorval
Location on the Island of Montreal.  (Outlined areas indicate demerged municipalities).
Location on the Island of Montreal.
(Outlined areas indicate demerged municipalities).
Country  Canada
Province  Quebec
Region Montréal
RCM None
Founded 1667
Village 1892
Town 1903
City 1956
Merged into Dorval–L'Île-Dorval January 1, 2002
 • Total 29.10 km2 (11.24 sq mi)
 • Land 20.88 km2 (8.06 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 18,208
 • Density 872.2/km2 (2,259/sq mi)
 • Pop 2006-2011 Increase 0.7%
 • Dwellings 8,433
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
Postal code(s) H4S, H4Y, H9P, H9S
Area code(s) 514 and 438


Dorval /dɔːrˈvæl/ is an on-island suburb on the island of Montreal in southwestern Quebec, Canada. In 2011, the Canadian Census indicated that the population increased by 0.7% to 18,088. Although the city has the largest surface area in the West Island, it is among the least densely populated. Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport constitutes about 60% of the city's land, forcing all of Dorval's population to be concentrated in the southern part of the city.

Dorval is the oldest city in the West Island, having been founded in 1667, and one of the oldest in Canada and North America.


The history of Dorval dates back more than 350 years to 1665 when Sulpician priests established a mission on the outskirts of Ville-Marie, a French settlement which later became known as Montreal. Dorval was originally named Gentilly. It was later renamed La Présentation-de-la-Vierge-Marie and finally Dorval. It was incorporated as a village in 1892, a town in 1903, and a city in 1956. (In French it was termed a cité, an old term used to translate the English legal term "city.")

Dorval (Île de Montréal) 2006-01-22
Residential street in Dorval.

As with many other settlements on the island of Montreal, the Grand Trunk Railway, which came to Dorval in 1855, was highly instrumental in attracting many wealthier families, mostly English-speaking, in search of a summer refuge in proximity to their downtown residence and place of work. Access to Dorval from Montreal was also facilitated by the extension of streetcar service to Dorval's eastern city limits in the interwar period. After the Second World War many middle-class families migrated to Dorval from the city of Montreal and from other parts of Canada. This migration was made possible by the widening of highway 20 and by the large-scale construction of new dwellings. This new housing consisted mostly of single family homes with some townhouses and low-rise apartment buildings, built on lands previously used for agriculture and recreational activities. The post-war period also saw the construction of Dorval Gardens shopping centre in 1954, one of Greater Montreal's first mall-style shopping centres. Today the shopping centre remains the city's principal centre of retail trade.

The island named Île Dorval, settled in 1860 and located less than one kilometre offshore from Dorval, constitutes the separate city of L'Île-Dorval despite being a summer cottage community with only five permanent residents as of the Canada 2011 Census. The island is connected to the city of Dorval by a private ferry service.

On January 1, 2002, as part of the 2002–2006 municipal reorganization of Montreal, Dorval was merged into the city of Montreal, being combined with L'Île-Dorval to form the Dorval–L'Île-Dorval borough of Montreal. After a change of government and a 2004 referendum, Dorval was reconstituted as a city on January 1, 2006. Although Dorval had the legal status of cité prior to the merger, the reconstituted city has the status of ville (see Types of municipalities in Quebec). Nevertheless, the municipal government refers to itself as the "Cité de Dorval".


Historical populations
Year Pop. ±%
1966 20,905 —    
1971 20,465 −2.1%
1976 19,131 −6.5%
1981 17,722 −7.4%
1986 17,354 −2.1%
1991 17,249 −0.6%
1996 17,572 +1.9%
2001 17,706 +0.8%
2006 18,088 +2.2%
2011 18,208 +0.7%

Today, the population of Dorval is over 19,000. According to the 2006 census there were 7,815 households in the city. 77.5% of residents had lived in Dorval for more than 5 years. The population density was 866.5/km².

The 2001 census counted about 1.21% of the population as Aboriginal as well as an additional 13.00% of the population who self-identified as having a visible minority status, which included 2.87% who self-identified as Black, 2.27% as Chinese, 1.98% as Filipino, 1.87% as South Asian, 1.32% as Korean, 1.00% as Arab, 0.69% as Latin American, 0.47% as Southeast Asian, and 0.20% as Japanese.

A large Inuit population has also established itself in Dorval but this does not appear on official census data because most Inuit choose to associate themselves with their village or reside only part-time in Dorval.

English was mother tongue to 47.5% of Dorval residents according to the 2006 census (counting both single and multiple responses), compared to 47.1% in 2001 and 50.2% in 1996; while French was mother tongue to 32.1% of residents in 2006, compared to 36.9% in 2001 and 35.8% in 1996.

Mother tongue language (2006 and 2011)
Mother Tongue Population (2006) Percentage (2006) Population (2011) Percentage (2011)
English 8,085 45.22% 7,615 42.41%
French 5,400 30.20% 5,490 30.57%
Chinese 650 3.64% 470 2.62%
Italian 590 3.30% 510 2.84%
Spanish 315 1.76% 515 2.87%
Romanian 300 1.68% 235 1.31%
Arabic 295 1.65% 350 1.95%
Polish 205 1.15% 145 0.81%
Filipino 170 0.95% 200 1.11%
English and French 250 1.40% 390 2.17%
English and a non-official language 120 0.67% 190 1.06%
French and a non-official language 50 0.28% 145 0.81%
English, French and a non-official language 45 0.25% 75 0.42%

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