Meet Montréal: City of neuroscience

Americas Expert Opinion News Promoted Content
Meet Montréal: City of neuroscience

Michel Bourdon, vice-president, Sales and Convention services at Tourisme Montréal branches off from biology and unpacks the nuances of neuroscience resonating in the city of Montréal, Canada.


A vibrant and multifaceted metropolis, Montréal beckons visitors with its Old-World architecture, lush outdoor spaces, hipster cafés and shops and a feisty sense of carpe diem.

Aesthetic appeal aside, Montréal is the education and research capital of Canada, where it ranks first for financial investment in university research.

Montréal is also home to the largest number of research centres in the country.

Neuroscience is described as a multidisciplinary branch of biology and is also an area of local expertise in the city, marking Montréal as one of the world’s most active nerve centres in the scientific study of the human nervous system.

The province is home to more than 800 neuroscience professionals – with over 240 active in the Montréal area alone – and 39 companies related to neuroscience, positioning the city as an international leader for development and innovation in the field.

Montréal is building momentum in its focus area; education, with 36 neuroscience-related University research chairs in Québec and is also home to the world-renowned Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital aka the Neuro.

All four of the city’s universities, namely McGill (pictured below), Concordia, UQAM and Université de Montréal, offer programmes in neuroscience studies.

Brain@McGill is one of the world’s largest organisations focused on structural and functional brain imaging, and a multi-institutional initiative at McGill University.

A top neuroscience centre in North America, McGill University  promotes multi–160808-mcgilluniversity-submitteddisciplinary neuroscience research while unifying the research centres, institutes and hospitals in McGill’s Neuroscience network.

McGill’s Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives (HBHL) initiative has been designated as a ‘World Center of Excellence’ focused on accelerating international transfer of information to improve brain health across the globe.


Montréal’s place at the forefront of neuroscience comes with a history of key developments discovered in the city.

Neuro_MontrealMontréal’s noteworthy neurological moments include:

  • The Neuro (pictured right) is the first research centre of its kind in the world dedicated to the principles of Open Science, an initiative to make all data and research available on a global level;
  • Montréal was first in mapping the Primary Somatosensory Cortex;
  • First city to develop a comprehensive repository of brain imaging, cellular, clinical, demographic, genetic and clinical data and samples from patients with neurological disorders;
  • First city to offer a Neuroscience Nursing programme;
  • First to introduce and develop Electroencephalography (EEG);
  • Major neuroimaging technologies including CAT, PET and MRI were first used in Canada at the Neuro.

The city even has a neurological operation named after it: Wilder Penfield’s revolutionary technique for epilepsy neurosurgery became known as the ‘Montréal procedure.’

Further afield, from brain to boardroom, Montréal is go-to host city for meetings and conferences. In a 2016 Survey of Meetings Planners (Watkins Report), clients voted Montréal as the number one destination for ‘ease of doing business’.

When planners select Montréal for a neuroscience event, Tourisme Montréal helps to connect them with the local community of experts and influencers in the field, ensuring that the city works as a team to bring about the success of their event/s.

Read more about Tourisme Montréal here 

Leave a Reply