Scouting for the best neighborhoods in Montreal, the largest city in the Province of Quebec, seems like the right thing to do if you’re planning on moving to Canada. We decided to help you out and introduce you to the top five neighborhoods that have anything you may need for comfortable living in the Great White North.
Things to Know When Searching for the Best Neighborhoods in Montreal
Montreal neighborhoods have something for everyone, whether you are relocating abroad alone, with family, or pets. The city is divided into 19 boroughs and has at least 29 neighborhoods. With 1.75 million residents, MTL is the most populous and largest city in the province of Quebec and the second-largest municipality in the country by population.
Are You Relocating Alone or?
This metropolis has a corner for everyone, but make sure to take a tour around your prospective neighborhood to get a picture of the people who live there because it’s not the same if you are a single student, or if you are raising a family. Regardless of that, it is always smart to look for places that are close to your job, university, or schools if you have children.
The Cost of Living in La Metropole
But before moving to Montreal, make sure you are familiar with the cost of living in Canada and its largest urban centers. Determine a budget and stick to it, because it is fairly easy to spend more money here than you had initially intended. According to Numbeo, one person needs around $780 per month, without rent. So make a list of priorities, because balancing finances when moving abroad can be one hell of a struggle. Especially if you are moving on a low budget.
With the largest number of artists per capita in the entire country, this unique neighborhood is located northeast of downtown. Mont-Royal is often perceived as a distinct district, but since the boundaries are a bit unclear, it is often merged with its neighbor. There you can find colorful houses, lots of boutique shops, restaurants, and bars. Two of the busiest streets, Rue St. Denis and Boulevard St Laurent, are going right through Plateau. The majority of the population is French, so some tips for learning a new language might come in handy. This area is particularly popular among young professionals and those who live alone.
Things to Do in Plateau
You can walk around Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park, which is one of the most beautiful parks in the area. It even has a soccer field, horseshoe pit, a public swimming pool, and a dog park, which is great to know if you are moving with pets. Besides loads of great cocktail bars, you will also be living close to the Ecomuseum, a Synagogue, and a Catholic church.
#2 Old Montreal
This area dates back to the 17th century, and it is the oldest part of the city. Today, this picturesque and tourist-friendly area represents the core and historic neighborhood of the metropolis. Due to all the crowds and the hustle and bustle, it is more preferred among young professionals than families. It’s well connected to other parts of the city by metro: the orange line goes through this quarter and makes it easy to commute.
Guided Tours of Old Montreal
Whether you are relocating to Old Montreal, or somewhere else, do not forget to include this area on the list of things to do in Montreal. The 200-year-old Basilica, architecture, history, museums, and art galleries, are only some of the perks of this quarter.
#3 Mile End
Although many consider it as a part of Plateau-Mont-Royal, it is still regarded as a separate community. It is an excellent location for young families and students. The annual Marché des Possibles festival is something that brings together the entire community, and there are loads of kid-friendly activities. The prices of housing in this area are growing, which is one of the crucial considerations when buying a house abroad.
Top Things to Try in Mile End
Mile End is known in Canada for its excellent food specialties. Therefore it’s only reasonable to find numerous excellent restaurants here, but when it comes to food, bagels are something you have to try. In Mile End, they prefer the so-called, Montreal-style bagel. And some of the oldest bagel shops are open 24/7. So once you are done with boxes and unpacking, treat yourself with a bagel.
#4 Little Italy – the Most Affordable Among Montreal Neighborhoods
This is one of the smallest districts, and it has some of the most affordable rents, which makes it ideal for newbies who are relocating alone. But also for families, because the cost of living, in general, is much lower here than in other parts of MTL. Everything revolves around the Jean-Talon Market, which is a farmer’s market open year-round. Ideal for shopping fresh and local ingredients.
Have a Slice of Napoletana Pizza in Little Italy
We cannot talk about Little Italy without mentioning its many pizza and pasta restaurants. Here you can find the tasty thin-crust Napoletana pizza, but also some more modern twists to it. So if you are trying to handle moving stress, rely on restaurants serving Italian comfort food to help you out. Or take a cup of the finest Italian cappuccino.
#5 Gay Village
As one of the largest gay villages in North America, this place shows how diverse and tolerant the population of MTL is. Some of the best nightclubs, shops, and pubs are located here, so if you are young and into parties, this is the place to be. Nevertheless, a lot of students and young families opt to live here, as well. The university is only 15 minutes away on foot, which makes a student’s life a lot easier.
The Bottom Line
Whether you are moving from New York to Canada, or from some smaller town, you will undoubtedly go through a bit of culture shock once you arrive, regardless of whether you go to Mont-Royal or Mile End. And especially because of the language differences. That is why it is always recommended to take a short trip to the city before you move there, just to get an idea of living there before you hire international movers to provide you with packing services and storage.