"We are all different, and that is what is beautiful about life on Earth - our different colours, different beliefs, different political systems,'' he said.
"Those are all musical notes... we must create harmony from them, create a common tune,'' an emotional Beliveau told the crowd assembled at city hall in the old part of the city.
Beliveau left Montreal on the day of his 45th birthday - August 18, 2000 - after his small sign business went bankrupt.
Below are some of Jean's statements about his travel:
"I took $4,000 Canadian, which was about $3,000 U.S. at that time. It wasn't enough, I knew that, but for me I had to escape. I had to go. I needed to make a big pilgrimage. To see who I was and where I was in life. I probably spent about $50,000 or so for the whole trip. Some people spend the same amount for a two-week trip."
"I had everything I needed in a three-wheeled stroller – a sleeping bag, tent, a pad, only a couple changes of clothing, a pillow, a First aid kid, some food and water."
"I averaged about 20 miles per day over 11 years, but I didn't walk every day. It took about six months to cross the U.S., about 8 months for Mexico and Central America. Then I had to skip Colombia because back in 2002 it was considered very dangerous. I spent almost two years walking through South America and then I ran out of money. I didn't want to call Luce and ask for her to pay for my flight to Africa. Eventually, a Brazilian guy offered to pay for my ticket to South Africa and the trip continued."
"People invited me into their homes, they fed me, they phoned people 30-40 miles ahead to help me. Some people gave me money, brought me to the supermarket and filled my buggy with food. I stayed with about 1,600 families in 64 countries, but in general I'd say I spent roughly one-third with families, one-third camping and the rest being invited to sleep in churches, temples, mosques, schools and even prisons. I stayed with criminals, killers, extremists – all kinds of people."
"I was woken up by a puma in the night in Chile while I was in a sleeping bag, but thankfully it went away. I was almost robbed in South Africa. But there were so many more occasions where people were good to me. I needed prostate surgery in Oran, Algeria, but had no money. They said, 'Don't worry, we want to support you.' I was in the hospital for six days and they paid for everything. Even in Iran, they were amazing people. There's a difference between the regime there and the people. The people there are beautiful."
"I walked in whatever shoes people gave me along the way, and someone gave me sandals in Iran. Those were terrible to walk in. I went through 54 pairs of shoes."
"I spent three months crossing the desert in North Australia. It was 45 degrees (Celsius). I was drinking 10-12 liters of water per day but it was brutal. It took eleven months to cross the whole country. But then I got lucky. I went to New Zealand next and Air New Zealand offered to fly me back to Vancouver and then I crossed Canada to get home to Montreal."