If you want to switch things up from downtown Montreal, check out these spots.
- Montreal is nothing if not diverse, and each one of our many boroughs reflects that. We have some of the best areas to live in all of North America. Verdun was even named in its latest 50 coolest neighbourhoods to live in the world by Time Out.
But for every Plateau lover, there will be another that thinks it’s overpriced. For every person who loves Griffintown, there will be others that think it’s overbuilt.
While the most popular areas have been fighting it out for top billing, there are hidden gems that may not jump to mind when looking to move. A lot just needs a new branding specialist.
Some neighbourhoods have been quietly upgrading to more liveable standards be it with restaurants, nightlife, basic amenities, and the promise of a new or extended metro line.
Often, because these aren’t necessarily considered prime areas, the rent can be cheaper. According to PadBlogger’s latest November report, the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Montreal is $1,530 (hurray, that’s down 0.6%), and cheaper rent is always a good thing.
Next time you’re looking to upgrade your apartment or just want new scenery, take a look outside of the more well-known spots available.
With that in mind, here are six neighbourhoods, boroughs, and municipalities on Montreal Island that deserve another look if you’re interested in moving locales.
Walk score: 68/100
Transit Score: 66/100
Example of a typical apartment: 4½ for $1,500
Ahuntsic is that perfect example of an area that has been quietly building itself up. The area is quiet and leans towards younger families, but thanks to all the new bars and restaurants along Fleury, it’s starting to bring in a more lively group.
If you’re in the area and like gin, the bar Le Pourvoyeur with its seven-page menu of gins is a must stop.
The rents are an extremely good value for the money. And if you want to hobnob with the wealthy, you can check out the amazing properties that line the riverbank.
It’s a quick metro ride into downtown and being close to the end of the metro line also means you’ll usually be able to grab a seat.
Metros: Crémazie, Sauvé, and Henri-Bourassa
Walk score: 91/100
Transit Score: 88/100
Example of a typical apartment: 3½ for $1,490
Previously known as overpriced and the area only tourists deigned to visit, the Old Port has become the epicentre of fine dining and Montreal nightlife. But it has also been giving itself a makeover as far as supplying everyday necessities like grocery stores, bakeries, pharmacies, and depanneurs.
The streets in the summer months can get packed but as long as you stay away from rue St-Paul, you should be ok. In the winter months, the crowds thin out dramatically and it’s like a different place to live. Unless you have a parking spot, it’s not advisable to have a car as parking can be tricky.
Rents can be a little higher than some of the other places on the list but with access to the water and bike paths, it’s worth it to keep an eye out for deals.
Metros: Square Victoria, Place d’Armes, Champ-de-Mars
Walk score: 50/100
Transit Score: 46/100
Example of a typical apartment: 3½ for $970
There is one major con to DDO in the West Island: no metros go near here — but the REM light-rail network is on its way!
For now, it’s definitely easiest to get around with a car. And it’s only a 25-minute drive to downtown. So, if you own a car, this could be a perfect locale for you.
But that being said, if you love green spaces, rivers, nature parks, shore fronts, and access to bike paths, DDO can be a great spot.
There are numerous neighbourhoods and municipalities that comprise the West Island like Pointe-Claire, Beaconsfield, Kirkland, Pierrefonds, and Dollard-des-Ormeaux. They all have their perks, are picturesque, and the rent tends to be less expensive than areas closer to downtown.
West Island also has the largest Anglophone (though most residents are bilingual) community in Quebec and DDO itself is mostly English-speaking.
Commuter Train: Sunnybrooke
Walk score: 89/100
Transit Score: 85/100
Example of a typical apartment: 4½ for $1,350
This area is home to some of the best Italian restaurants, patisseries, and cafés in Montreal. Since the gentrification of Little Italy, St-Leo is considered the real home of the Italian community.
Points if you’re a football (soccer) fan, you’ll feel right at home in this borough.
Most everything you need is within walking distance and with the extension of the Blue line underway, you’ll have even more access to the metro system.
The apartments are spacious and there has been a focus on high-rise residential buildings in the last few years. You’ll enjoy access to the area’s 40 parks and the all-around lively feel.
Commuter Train: Montréal-Nord Station
Walk score: 80/100
Transit Score: NA/100
Example of a typical apartment: 4½ for $1,450
The Town of Mount Royal is considered a more wealthy area of the island but there are still relatively well-priced apartments for rent.
Located right in the centre of Montreal Island, it’s easy to get around and its perfectly manicured lawns are every horticulturist’s dream.
The area focuses on green spaces, green living, and its high-quality services for the local residents. Connaught Park, located in the middle of TMR, is a gorgeous place to visit and hosts food trucks, music, and seasonal festivals.
Metros: Acadie, De la Savane
Commuter Trains: Mont-Royal and Canora stations
Walk score: 59/100
Transit Score: 58/100
Example of a typical apartment: 4½ for $1,300
LaSalle has every type of apartment, condo, house, and pricing option one could want. Most of the architecture is white stoned, which adds to the borough’s quaintness.
The south part of LaSalle sits on the Saint Lawrence River, which means you’re never too far away from water.
LaSalle is also near the Lachine canal and Angrignon Park, providing easy access to bike paths, events, and scenic strolls that make you feel like you’re outside of the city.
Plus you’re close to Verdun, which is turning into the place to live with its multitude of bars and restaurants.
By Stefanie Hanrahan on November 15