After spending years living in downtown Montreal, we have lived in a few of the neighbourhoods surrounding the downtown area. These different neighbourhoods are all quite convenient for pedestrians, with many unique boutiques, bars and restaurants to offer. Rents are affordable all over the downtown core, which is why there are so many students lining the streets. We have found that the following areas are some great, centrally located places to live:
1.) Plateau – Historic Victorian buildings linethe slim streets of the plateau, making you feel as though your walking down a quaint street in Europe. Not the best access to public transit, more of a family friendly type of area. Great for French people, not many English folk around this area.
2.) Old Port – The ritzy part of downtown, and also the most expensive. You have access to waterfront properties and public parks, four star restaurants, hotels and of course some of the best nightlife in town! Great area to walk about on a warm Sunday, lots of sightseeing to be had! 🙂
3.) Concordia Area – Concordia University’s student district, packed full of shopping, cafes, walking distance to all the downtown malls and easy access to the metro. This is where you will find towering apartment buildings mixed in between three-storey historical buildings. Affordable housing is freely available in this area and so are grocery stores, pharmacies and anything else you could need on a day-to-day basis.
4.) McGill Ghetto – McGill Universities student district. This is a very safe area of Montreal, there are plenty of students walking around at all hours of the night and day. You can also benefit from Complexe La Cite’s underground mall, containing everything from a Pharmacy, to a grocery store, to a movie theatre to the SAQ, and much more.
Happy House Hunting! 🙂
Things to Do in Montreal: Wintertime Edition!
Now, contrary to popular belief, we Canadian’s do not live in Igloos. Yes. We actually have houses with heat that tend to give us cabin fever in the most desolate of winter’s months. To satisfy a longing for adventure, Montreal has delivered a true gem.
Igloofest has been growing steadily since it was first introduced on the scene a few years ago. What started out as a simple party in the snowy park, has turned into an international attraction that attracts herds of people by the thousands. Nothing says winter wonderland like hot cocoa with Bailie’s, ice sculptures, electronica and good company.
Hosted in the picturesque Old-Port of Montreal, this event is also affordable, with pre-sale tickets at $15.00 a piece available on their website. This is another event you might want to show up early for, especially if there is a big-time DJ spinning that night. Aim for an 8:00-8:30 pm arrival time and you should be good 😉
Things to Do in Montreal | Nightlife 101: Bal en Blanc
When we first moved to Montreal seven years ago, we went to Bal en Blanc for the first time, and then every year after that for 4 in a row :P. Bal en Blanc, or otherwise known as the white party, was at one point Montreal’s largest tourist attraction. This party used to attract 25,000+ people from all over the world. Nowadays that number is more like 5000-10,000. Hotels would be booked, cabs nowhere to be found and white outfits sold out on the Easter Sunday this party is held on every year.
Even with it being March right now, the shops lining the streets of St. Catherine have all white window displays, advertising the upcomming white party that’s right around the corner. Good luck finding your size if you arrive from out of town last minute and need something white to wear..It’s definitely best to sort out your outfit arrangements in advance.
This year is the 19th edition, featuring the likes of EDM elites such as Ferry Corsten, Armin Van Burren, Calin Harris & David Guetta to name just a few. Tickets can set you back a pretty penny at $175+ each, but well worth the expense. You can order alcoholic drinks until 3:00 am and regular beverages until noon the following day. The line up is out the door, hundreds of people long every single year. If you don’t know somebody at the door, it’s really important to get there at like 7 o’clock, no joke! Oh, and don’t forget your dancing shoes! 😉
Things to Do in Montreal | Nightlife 101: New City Gas
It’s been months since we have written a post! Since there has been a lack of new info being provided here over the past few months, we wanted to provide a few nightlife updates.
First things first, let’s get real; Montreal’s nightlife scene has died down a tad over the past few years. Many cross their fingers in hopes of a magical re-ignition of the fire from the old days, but it’s just not the same. You could blame the slow decline on the fact that too many business owners left for Ontario years ago due to Quebec’s harsh language laws. Many of the clubs left for Ontario where the laws are more lenient.
Now, more than ever, it is important to know which venues the locals frequent, because it’s not going to be the same place the hotel concierge tells you to go. Among the last of the large clubs, is New City Gas, our favourite venue these days. The place is massive, an old warehouse near downtown, that has been converted into a modern maze of rooms. Black chandeliers hang from the cement ceilings, red spot-lights shining on the wallpaper covered walls. On any given night of the week, New City Gas is bumping, attracting a regular crowd of flashy, beautiful people.
House-heads will be in heaven, as there is no hip hop here. You can rest assured that you will be dancing the night away with thousands of other party-going patrons, to the best electronica in town. Most events require tickets, that can be purchased directly off their website -> http://newcitygas.com. It’s important to get their early, even if you are on guest list, because line-ups start around 11PM.