The story of the first exchange in Canada began in 1832 as an informal stock exchange at the Exchange Coffee House in Montreal, Canada. In 1872, Lorn MacDougall, along with his brothers, Hartland St Clair MacDougall and George Campbell MacDougall, James Burnett and Frank Bond were the driving force behind the creation of the Montreal Stock Exchange , and in the trading of smaller companies to the new TSX Venture Exchange. This change, which reflected the economic reality that most equity trading had moved to the TSE, caused consternation among those in favour of political independence for the province of Quebec.
At the end of 2001, the Exchange had completed its migration from an open outcry environment to a fully automated trading system, becoming the first traditional exchange in North America to complete this transformation. In the process, it modified the market model for trading, from a traditional specialist model to a competing market making model for the equity option market.
In February 2004, the Exchange became the sole provider of electronic trading systems and support for the Boston Options Exchange , making it the first foreign exchange to be responsible for the day-to-day technical operations of an American exchange. That contract now provides the Montreal Exchange with a significant part of its revenue. The Montreal Exchange has a 31.4 % stake in the Boston Option Exchange .