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Montreal - Notre Dame de Grace, what kind of an area?

Montreal - Notre Dame de Grace, what kind of an area?

Old Aug 7th, 2007, 07:01 AM
  #1  
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Montreal - Notre Dame de Grace, what kind of an area?

Hi everyone!

We're planning our first trip to Montreal in the fall, and since we're travelling with my parents (4 adults and a child) we're planning to rent an apt. One that we're considering seriously is in Notre Dame de Grace (NDG) - anyone know the area? is it safe? is it difficult to get from there to downtown or old montreal?

Thanks in advance!
econmom is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2007, 07:55 AM
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NDG is a pretty big territory, so you may wish to let us know what intersection you're talking about.

I think the only way as a visitor I would seriously even consider it is if I were located within a 10-15 minute walk of Vendome, Villa Maria (near Monkland)or Sherbrooke metros. From these, it'll be about a 10-15 minute ride on the Orange Line to downtown, Old Montreal, Plateau... if you don't want to muck about with looking for parking. If you're too much further out in NDG, you'd have to schlep it on a bus to get to a metro (NDGers do it all the time, but these buses can get crowded and taint your experience of Mtl).

NDG itself has some charm on residential streets and some terrific restaurants (I love Hwang Kum for Korean!) and one of my favourite pubs (Honey Martin's). Area is generally very anglo Montreal and the commercial streets have distinct personalities. Monkland Ave in NDG has a significant Jewish element and tends to be more yuppie (cell-phone central!) and showoffy, more upscale shops. Sherbrooke West in NDG is more ecolo/granola crowd with less mainstream clothing styles abounding, more affordable eats here. I would say is NDG is not especially unsafe (I've been on Monkland and Sherbrooke W. late at night many times).

All this said, having lived near NDG (just north in Snowdon), I would choose elsewhere (downtown, Old Montreal, Plateau) if I had a choice though, the big downside being that for most things you'll probably want to do, you really have to schlep it on public transit or deal with sometimes frustrating parking etc... to get to sights you'll likely want to see. (It would take me 30-40 minutes to *bike* to Plateau or Old Montreal for example, so it's truly too far to walk to these.) Then again, while I wouldn't per se recommend it, it wouldn't be the end of the world if you did stay in NDG (again closeish to a metro) AND you would get a perspective most tourists to Montreal do not get (and you'd get to see a neighbourhood that does have charming architecture and stores in its own right).

Have fun deciding! DAN
Daniel_Williams is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2007, 09:48 AM
  #3  
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Thanks, Dan!
Yeah, part of the apt rental thing is to get a feel for the city, rather than stay in the normal touristy place. I was told that the zip code for the apt is h3w 2h8, not sure if that helps you pin down where it is. Also, it's a 10 min walk to the metro (not sure which one, will ask). So maybe the schelp isn't so bad! But is parking in downtown really bad? I've driven in Manhattan a lot, so I'm used to bad city traffic conditions, but not sure how Montreal is in comparison (Boston e.g. is much worse than NYC).

Thanks again!
econmom is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2007, 11:04 AM
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People manage to park downtown, Old Montreal, Plateau, yes. I think parking in Manhattan is probably worse, so while not my idea of fun, you might not mind so much. However...

I did a mapquest search of that postal code and that places you in the general vicinity (just east) of Cote Saint Luc road and Decarie. If you find out you'd be on Cote Saint Luc Road, my answer is definitively "no"; if it's a side street off Cote Saint Luc, a hesitant maybe and I would recommend Old Montreal, the Plateau, Mile End or Downtown a thousand times more (even NDG has more charming parts; NDG I prefer right around Monkland and especially Sherbrooke W).

Why? On the plus side, it's true that this would put you within 10 minutes walking of Villa Maria or Snowdon metro and you're between Queen Mary Road and Monkland Avenue for shops, restaurants & groceries. Unfortunately, Cote Saint-Luc and Decarie Blvd. is a pretty unattractive interchange, and you'd have to cross Decarie (overpass over the autoroute) to get to the stores on Monkland, and walk along ugly Decarie Blvd (adjacent but above the autoroute) to get to Villa Maria metro. Queen Mary has a multiethnic crowd but sadly with the exception of the Oratoire and vicinity is mostly just noisy, charmless and a bit depressing in my opinion (although there are some side streets off of it that have some lovely charming homes and there are some good restaurants and stores on or around Queen Mary.)

One more thing is I'm not sure that staying in NDG is really giving you "a feel for the city" but rather "a feel for NDG"; NDG is very anglo-Montreal after all (English-speakers are a minority in this city) and a far different experience from staying in mostly French-speaking Plateau Est, Hochelaga-Maisonneuve or Rosemont, for example.

I lived about 10 minute walk from the interchange you speak of for almost 5 years. While not the end of the world and relatively safe, I think everyone would enjoy themselves more elsewhere in Montreal. Most friends who visited me, although they liked my actual apartment and tree-lined street with a little yard (just north of Queen Mary), tended to prefer other parts of Montreal.
Daniel_Williams is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2007, 03:09 PM
  #5  
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Thanks, Dan! That was really helpful. I guess we'll keep looking for a better location.
econmom is offline  
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