A Concordia student's guide to Montreal neighbourhoods
In 2018, Montreal was named one of the best student cities in the world.
It is celebrated for its arts and culture, as well as its friendliness, diversity and affordability.
Thanks to relatively cheap rents, and a desire to get the most out of their Montreal experience, many Concordia students choose to find an apartment off campus.
Whether you’re looking for the next place to call home or just want to learn more about different areas of the city, this guide will help you discover some of Montreal’s more noteworthy neighbourhoods.
Much of the information below can be found on likehome.info, a website set up by the Concordia Student Union Off-Campus Housing and Job Bank (HOJO) in partnership with L’Unité de travail pour l’implantation de logement étudiant (UTILE).
So without further ado — let's hit the streets of Montreal...
Located at the base of Mount Royal, Montreal’s downtown sits atop the world’s largest underground city. You’ll find many universities, high-rise condo buildings, shops and museums — as well the most frequented stretch of bars and restaurants on the island.
That being said, available housing can sometimes be scarce, so it’s best to look in advance if you’re hoping to set up shop in the core.
Average rent: Studio Downtown $865, Studio in Concordia neighbourhood $702, three-bedroom apartment and larger Downtown $2,067, three-bedroom apartment and larger in Concordia Neighbourhood $1954
Proximity to campus: 10 minutes or less by foot
Metro stations: McGill, Peel, Guy-Concordia, Atwater, Lucien-L’Allier, Bonaventure
Suggested eatery/bar/café: GaNaDaRa, McKibbins Irish Pub, Grumpy’s, Pigeon Espresso Bar and Café Myriade
Check out: Crescent Street, Montreal’s renowned entertainment strip or the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
The Mile End and Plateau are considered among Montreal’s trendiest neighbourhoods. These areas house many of the city’s local artisans and cultural workers. Though there are lots of rental apartments available, demand for them is high. Proximity to great theatres, venues, parks, boutiques, coffee shops, bars and nightclubs makes this a no-brainer for young people looking to get the most out of their Montreal stay.
Average rent: Studio in Mile End $621, Studio in Plateau $577, three-room apartments and larger in Mile End $1,189, three-room apartment and larger in Plateau $1,329
Proximity to campus: 20 minutes by bike or metro
Metro stations: Mont-Royal, Laurier, Sherbrooke
Suggested eatery/bar/café: St-Viateur Bagel, Kem CoBa, Microbrasserie Dieu du ciel ! and Café Olimpico
Check out: La Fontaine Park, a great place to sit back and relax on a sunny day.
Once a beacon of industry, Saint-Henri has transformed itself into somewhat of a hipster haven. Many of its old buildings and factories have been converted into chic apartments, offices and studio spaces. It boasts a bike trail that runs along the Lachine Canal which connects it to downtown and the Old Port, as well as dozens of new restaurants, bar and coffee shops along the main thoroughfare, Notre-Dame Street.
Average rent: Studio $495, three-bedroom or larger $1,045
Proximity to campus: 15 minutes by bike or metro
Metro stations: Place-Saint-Henri, Lionel-Groulx
Suggested eatery/bar/café: Restaurant 3734, Saint-Ambroise Terrace at the McAuslan Brewery, Tacos Victor and Rustique Pie Kitchen
Check out: Atwater Market, famous for its local and artisanal produce.
Montreal’s Gay Village is a meeting point for the city’s LGBTQ community. The small, vibrant and welcoming neighbourhood east of the downtown core boasts a lively entertainment and nightlife scene. This area is especially known for its main strip, Sainte-Catherine Street, which turns into a pedestrian-only zone during the summer, complete with overhead decorations that span its entire length.
Average rent: Studio $575, three-bedroom apartment $1,044
Proximity to campus: 20 minutes by bike or metro
Metro stations: Beaudry, Berri-UQAM
Suggested eatery/bar/café: Agrikol, Cabaret Mado and Zoha Café
Check out: Cabaret Mado, an iconic Montreal bar that offers live entertainment.
Verdun is a peaceful and affordable neighbourhood bordered by two long bike paths which run along the Saint-Lawrence River and the aqueduct. Wellington Street is the area’s main strip and it’s here that you’ll find many cafés and dining spots. A project is currently underway to give Verdun its very own beach by 2019!
Average rent: Studio $494, three-bedroom apartment or larger $726
Proximity to campus: 20 minutes by metro or bike
Metro stations: Verdun, De l’Église, Lasalle
Suggested eatery/bar/café: Benelux, Blackstrap BBQ a nd Le Baobab Café
Check out: OK LÀ on July 14, listen to some music and watch some films on the roof of Parking Éthel.
NDG is a relaxed residential neighbourhood with three main arteries: Sherbrooke Street, Monkland Avenue and Queen Mary. On these, you’ll find a wide range of restaurants, bars and cafés. This is one of the largest boroughs in Montreal, and it boasts a congenial sense of community reflected in intimate festivals such as NDG Arts Week, Imagine Monkland and Porchfest.
Average rent: Studio $542, three-bedroom apartment or larger $1,259
Proximity to campus: approx. 20 minutes by bike or bus
Metro stations: Vendôme, Villa-Maria
Suggested eatery/bar/café: Momesso, Le Cheese (keep an eye out for their food truck), Ye Olde Orchard (the original), Typhoon Lounge and MELK Bar à Café
Check out: NDG Arts Week in August, it’s a great way to get to know some of the local talent living around you.
Sitting on the slope of Mount Royal, this area is one of the city’s most diverse neighbourhoods. Here you can find culture and cuisine that spans the globe. This area tends to be popular with students as it’s also in proximity to the Université de Montreal. It has many affordable duplexes and triplexes available for rent.
Average Rent: Studio $556, three-bedroom apartment $1,255
Proximity to campus: 20 minutes by bike, 30 minutes by public transit
Metro stations: Plamondon, Snowdon, Côte-Sainte-Catherine, Côte-Des-Neiges, Université-de-Montréal
Suggested eatery/bar/café: Tuk Tuk, Saint-Houblon and Caravane Café
Check out: Saint Joseph’s Oratory, an iconic fixture of the Montreal skyline that offers a wicked view of the city.
One of the oldest Chinatowns in North America, this neighbourhood is small, a little hectic, but a must if you’re looking for authentic Asian food and produce.
Metro stations: Place d’Armes
The port’s buildings and roads comprise the oldest portion of Montreal. Wander down the cobblestone streets to the waterfront, where there’s always a ton of exciting activities going on.
Metro stations: Place d’Armes, Champs-de-Mars, Square Victoria
With beautiful parks, one-of-a-kind boutiques and artsy cafés, Outremont might remind you a bit of Paris. It’s also a stone’s throw from the many biking and walking trails on Mount Royal.
Metro station: Outremont
Need help finding a place to live? Visit the Concordia Student Union’s Housing and Jobs Office (HOJO) on the second floor of the Henry F. Hall Building (1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd.) on Sir George Williams Campus.
You can also check out likehome.info for more info on Montreal neighbourhoods, including useful tips on how to deal with landlords, roommates and neighbours, and how to weather apartment-related emergencies.