A Concordia student's guide to Montreal neighbourhoods
In March 2019, Time Out magazine ranked Montreal one of the best cities in the world.
It received top ratings for its diversity, creativity and, perhaps most importantly, 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 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 Resource Centre (HOJO) in partnership with l’Unité de travail pour l’implantation de logement étudiant (UTILE).
Located at the base of Mount Royal, Montreal’s downtown sits atop the world’s largest underground city. The larger downtown area houses university campuses, high-rise condos, 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 $850, three-bedroom apartment $1,502
Proximity to campus: 15 minutes or less by foot
Metro stations: Saint-Laurent, Place-des-Arts, McGill, Peel, Guy-Concordia, Atwater
Suggested eatery/bar/café: GaNaDaRa, McKibbins Irish Pub, Grumpy’s, Brûlerie FARO-Roasting House and Café Myriade
Check out: The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, just up the street from the Henry F. Hall (H) Building. Access is free the first Sunday of every month!
The Mile End and Plateau are considered among Montreal’s trendiest neighbourhoods. These areas house many local artisans and cultural workers’ studios. Though there are a lot of rental apartments, demand for them is high. Proximity to great theatres, concert venues, parks, independent boutiques and coffee shops, as well as bars and nightclubs, makes this a popular part of town for young people looking to get the most out of their Montreal stay.
Average rent: Studio $753, three-bedroom apartment $1,481
Proximity to campus: 20 to 40 minutes by bike or public transit
Metro stations: Rosemont, Laurier, Mont-Royal, Sherbrooke
Suggested eatery/bar/café: St-Viateur Bagel, Kem CoBa, Le Darling, Schwartz’s Deli, Microbrasserie Dieu du Ciel ! and Café Olimpico
Check out: Tam-Tams, a weekly gathering of drummers and dancers at Mount Royal Park near the Sir George-Étienne Cartier Monument.
Once a bustling working-class neighbourhood, 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. There are also dozens of new restaurants, bars and coffee shops along the main thoroughfare, Notre-Dame Street.
Average rent: Studio $495, three-bedroom apartment $1,045
Proximity to campus: 15 minutes by bike or metro
Metro stations: Place-Saint-Henri, Lionel-Groulx
Suggested eatery/bar/café: Satay Brothers, Saint-Ambroise Terrace at the McAuslan Brewery, Tacos Victor, Rustique Pie Kitchen and Crèmerie Dalla Rose
Check out: Atwater Market, famous for its local produce and artisanal goods.
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 between St-Hubert and Papineau, which turns into a pedestrian-only zone during the summer, complete with overhead decorations.
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, Cuisine Bangkok and Zoha Café
Check out: Cabaret Mado, an iconic Montreal bar that offers live entertainment.
Verdun is a peaceful and affordable neighbourhood. It’s bordered by two long bike paths that run along the Saint-Lawrence River and the aqueduct. Wellington Street is the area’s main strip and it’s where you’ll find many cafés and dining spots. Verdun is also officially launching its own beach this year!
Average rent: Studio $563, three-bedroom apartment $899
Proximity to campus: 20 to 25 minutes by metro or bike
Metro stations: De l’Église, LaSalle, Verdun
Suggested eatery/bar/café: Benelux, Blackstrap BBQ and Le Baobab Café
Check out: La Cabane Panache et Bois Rond, a springtime celebration that stars maple syrup.
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 Porchfest and Imagine Monkland.
Average rent: Studio $615, three-bedroom apartment $1,535
Proximity to campus: 15 to 30 minutes or less by bike or public transit
Metro stations: Vendôme, Villa-Maria
Suggested eatery/bar/café: Momesso, Restaurant Coreen Shabu Shabu (Korean BBQ), Cosmos Snack, Croissant Monkland, Typhoon Lounge and Shaika Café
Check out: NDG Arts Week, a great way to get to know some of the local talent living around you.
Sitting on the slope of Mount Royal, this is one of the city’s most diverse neighbourhoods. Here you can find shops and cuisine that span the globe. This area tends to be popular with students as it’s also in proximity to Université de Montreal. Units in apartment buildings as well as duplexes and triplexes here are some of the most affordable in the city centre.
Average Rent: Studio $603, three-bedroom apartment $1,281
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: Pho Lien, 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, Champs-de-Mars
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
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 Off-Campus Housing and Job Resource Centre (HOJO) on the second floor of the Henry F. Hall (H) 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.