Living in Montreal for a year

Old Jul 16th, 2004, 08:15 PM
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Living in Montreal for a year

My husband and I are considering moving to Montreal for a year. We will not have to work.
We know a bit about the city, as tourists. But we do not know that many neighborhoods.
My question is:
If you could live anywhere in the city that you wished, where would it be and why? ( for now-don't worry about how expensive )
Thank you very much. Kate
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Old Jul 16th, 2004, 08:51 PM
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How important is it to you to be surrounded by English language people and services?

We lived there for two years -- wife and little -3-4yerar old boy full time, me on weekends.

We rented a townhouse on Nun's Island, right at the very end, beside a forest, fifty feet from a bike path, and thought it was, in general, a fine place to live.

Easy to get downtown, nice when we were not downtown, several good kid-friendly restaurants right there, excellent grocery store with very good butchers, and a good place to enjoy a coffee. Cafe Vienna.

For a month or so before the townhouse, we lived in a furnished apartment over the Alexas Nihon plaza, on the border of Westmount. Metro station there, good grocery stores, several other stores we bought things from (not much need to shop) and, once again, just fine.

If budget had permitted, we would have lived in Westmount, again for location, for good restaurants, for a bookstore there, for easy access to downtown, and, in our case, excellent parks for the little boy.

We thought the West Island was too far from downtown to give us a real Montreal experience for the short period we were going to be there.

And I do think there's something to be said for some of the conversions in Old Montreal, especially if you are going to be eating mostly in restaurants.

Nun's Island has many nice high rise apartment buildings, in addition to townhouses.

BAK
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Old Jul 17th, 2004, 07:47 AM
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Thank you BAK!
We would rather be IN the city proper. I like the idea of Westmount or the Plateau area. A bit more quiet yet still close by everything.
I saw loft apts in the Old town but would that not be very noisy during summer tourist months?
We speak tourist French but plan to take classes because we love French.
Do you think Montreal is dog friendly? It seems so when we visit.
Thanks!
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Old Jul 17th, 2004, 07:54 AM
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I think the neighborhood you choose to live in Montreal depends on your personality and taste. I personally enjoy the Plateau Mont Royal for its older rowhomes with cachet, the convenience of stores in walking distance and the proximity to amazing nightlife, from live music options to restaurant to dance shows. But if you're used to detached or semi-detached homes, you might feel antsy in the undetached apartments or find you'd like a little more open space than you find here.

Old Montreal has some gorgeous old stone homes; if I could afford it, I might consider. Mind you, again, there's not much greenery, semi-detached at best and a bit of a walk (15 minutes+) to a bigger grocery store, clothing stores and other conveniences if that's important to you. Quality restaurants abound though and certain local lunch places (Olive & Gourmande) that cater to the dot.coms in the area are fantstic. Westmount is where a lot of wealthier families (more English) live in the city; if you like detached and more green... this area you may want to consider. There's certainly plenty of stores and good restaurants on Sherbrooke Ouest as well, although the streets get quiet at night (about 10-15 minutes by bus,car, metro).

Then, there are the suburbs, if this is where your comfort zone is. Pointe Claire Village area is pretty, as is Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue (with a unique cachet), but you're a good 1/2 hr. plus away from downtown. Then there are plenty of cookie-cutter suburbs in Laval, Pierrefonds/Kirkland and others... personally, I will say that if you live in a suburb of any North American city, you may as well stay where you are, because they're the same here as anywhere...
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Old Jul 17th, 2004, 08:02 AM
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There are places for dogs to run in Parc Lafontaine in the Plateau Mont-Royal (actually a dog park on Rachel); near Mont-Royal Park is an idea too. There are also some fantastic pet food stores in the cities with even organic or holistic gourmet dog food . I've met many animal lovers in my time here (I love kittykats and think this is a great place for them! .

That said, it is a compact city (particularly in the Plateau) with cold winters where on some days, certain dogs ears can get frostbitten. I tend to think it's better to have a smaller dog in Montreal if one were to have one here, because while there are some places to run, a larger dog might feel somewhat constrained.
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