The Montreal Gazette was founded in 1778, making it one of the oldest newspapers in North America. The Gazette began as a French-language paper and became bilingual in the late 1700s, eventually switching to English-language exclusively in 1822.
The Gazette was founded by Fleury Mesplet and went through a number of transformations before settling on La Gazette de Montréal, from which the current paper evolved. For many years, the Gazette was in competition with other English-language newspapers, including the Montreal Herald (shut down in 1957) and Montreal Star (ceased publication in 1979) and the Montreal Daily News (closed 1989). Today, the Gazette is the number one media source in Montréal's English market, with 69 per cent reading the paper throughout the week. It is also the only English-language metropolitan daily newspaper in the province of Québec.
Today, the Gazette is one of several major Canadian dailies in the POSTMEDIA NETWORK chain. In 1968, the Gazette joined the SOUTHAM chain, which was sold to Hollinger Inc in 1996. Hollinger sold the Southam newspapers in 2000 to CANWEST GLOBAL, which was subsequently bought by Postmedia Network in 2010.