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Right place for foodie to live in Montreal


doronin
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I just recently moved to Montreal, and initially opted to live at West Island close to the office. Very quickly I realized the place leaves a lot to be desired.

Now I'm considering moving closer to center. The problem is: I'm not really familiar with Montreal, and with all those little neighborhoods I have difficulties to find what are the best places to consider, so I hope to get some advice.

My rental budget would be about $2K, flexible. It could be anything from a condo to a house. What I really need is nice, quality, unfurnished place with visually appealing surroundings (the latter is highly important, but was especially difficult item in my quest - everywhere I looked was dark and old, I still hope though).

I'm looking forward for your recommendations. Please be more specific then just naming a large neighborhood. I was suggested Côte Saint-Luc, but it actually consists of quite different sub-neighbourhoods... so please get down to details :)

Thanks!!

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If you love to cook and are into finding good ingredients near your foorsteps, I'd suggest Little Italy around Jean-Talon market. Some new condos are being built in that area . You could also explore Plateau Mont-Royal either close to Mont-Royal avenue itself or closer to boulevard St-Laurent. Another location you might want to look at is Mile End on Parc avenue ou Laurier West where there are good restaurants, a great SAQ store and many specialty shops. These are some ideas but Little Italy would be my top choice because you have access to a lot of great food in a 10 minutes radius. Plus, there are some good cookware stores like Quincaillerie Dante on Dante corner of St-Dominique as well as Custom on St-Laurent between Bellechasse and Beaubien which carries to restuarants bu is open to public and has good prices.

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If you love to cook and are into finding good ingredients near your foorsteps, I'd suggest Little Italy around Jean-Talon market. Some new condos are being built in that area . You could also explore Plateau Mont-Royal either close to Mont-Royal avenue itself or closer to boulevard St-Laurent. Another location you might want to look at is Mile End on Parc avenue ou Laurier West where there are good restaurants, a great SAQ store and many specialty shops. These are some ideas but Little Italy would be my top choice because you have access to a lot of great food in a 10 minutes radius. Plus, there are some good cookware stores like Quincaillerie Dante on Dante corner of St-Dominique as well as Custom on St-Laurent between Bellechasse and Beaubien which carries to restuarants bu is open to public and has good prices.

That area around JTM, location is nice indeed, but streets look quite frightening. Don't want to sound picky, but I won't be happy to live in that dark, gloomy surroundings.

When I was living in Ottawa few years back, I could easily name 10 quite cozy neighborhoods where I'd love to live, all on reasonable distance from food destinations (well, that's was naturally easy). Here I can't find one any close to the area described. What am i missing?

Edited by doronin (log)
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I live in a new condo development in Little Italy....at 2000$/month, you should think of buying one....There's an empty one in my building (reposessed), but i don't see it on sale anywhere....

The streets are fine in Little Italy, and it's not really dangereous...

Lower Outremont, Mile End, NDG (monkland) are also cool neighborhoods for what you are looking for...

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what looks dark and gloomy to you right now will look beautiful come summertime. The inner-city never looks great in the winter. Little Italy is very safe, by the way, most of the city is.

Since you seem to be a little picky, maybe the lower Westmount area might suit you better. Food-wise, there's pretty good shopping, and the area itself is definitely upscale. It will also be a shorter drive to the west island than something further east, like Mile End or Little Italy.

There are some great buildings overlooking Westmount Park that may interest you. Take a drive around Sherbrooke St., between Claremont and Greene Avenue.

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I live in Little Italy for the food environment, and LOVE it. I wholeheartedly echo that all burrows look a lot less inviting in the winter, and to keep that in mind. It's lovely around here.

Maybe you would prefer Westmount, but IMO Marche Jean-Talon is far superior to Atwater! The commute is perhaps easier from the west side of the city out to your workplace, however you're up to the 40 in no time from around here.

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Hi,

There's a new building under construction in the Mile-End (on Park Avenue & Fairmount, walking distance to Mont Royal). You might want to check it out www.mile-endlofts.com

The area has some nice places to dine & you're close to downtown & Old Mtl. I think the rent might be in your price range if not less. It's still being build but they've promised to be ready by June or July.

P.S: My boyfriends sister is mooving into one of the apartments in July.

Good Luck in your search.

Victoria

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I too moved here from Ottawa about 5 years ago. I have lived in Monkland, lower Westmount, and now the Plateau and I have to tell you - if I was staying in Montreal my next place would definitely be in Little Italy - the ultimate foodie destination!

There is nothing in Ottawa that compares to it (sorry but the Byward Market doesn't even come close) - the JT Market is amazing and so are the restaurants around the area - you have everything from Vietnamese, Lebanese/Syrian (Alep and Petit Alep), Italian (of course and not just restos like Primo e Secondo but Roma bakery with the best cold pizzas and BYOB Pizza Napoletana), El Salvadorian (Los Planos makes kick butt papusas), Mexican, the list goes on and on! There is a very clean, well stock Asian grocery on St. Denis called Marche Orientale, a great Latin American grocery/restaurant on Belanger and two super fish mongers in the market. You can never go wrong shopping for antipasti at Milanos! The place is amazing in the summer when the market opens up - it is packed and so much fun and the produce is fresh and local.

The area is totally safe - like others have posted, most of the city is - and with the plethora of new condos coming up it is becoming extremely inviting to live there not just shop and dine there.

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...Little Italy - the ultimate foodie destination! 

There is nothing in Ottawa that compares to it (sorry but the Byward Market doesn't even come close) - the JT Market is amazing and so are the restaurants around the area - you have everything...

That sound good, but I can't agree. This is a matter of taste I guess.

Yes, from purely shopping perspective, JTM offers huge variety of nearly everything. But I believe it doesn't come close to Byward market from another view - ambiance. Byward marked area was one of the most pleasant places for simply walking around there, even not buying anything. All kinds of little shops - not solely grocery related... Overall relaxed, not too busy attitude... I don't know, I come to JTM to buy food, I can't make myself enjoying a mere spending time in the area as I did in Ottawa.

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That sound good, but I can't agree. This is a matter of taste I guess.

Yes, from purely shopping perspective, JTM offers huge variety of nearly everything. But I believe it doesn't come close to Byward market from another view - ambiance. Byward marked area was one of the most pleasant places for simply walking around there, even not buying anything. All kinds of little shops - not solely grocery related... Overall relaxed, not too busy attitude... I don't know, I come to JTM to buy food, I can't make myself enjoying a mere spending time in the area as I did in Ottawa.

Have you tried JTM in the summer or even in the spring when the walls come down nd the market starts bustling? If you don't see yourself just strolling around and enjoying the sights and sounds I don't what will make you enjoy Montreal from a foodie standpoint. I've been to Byward and although I think it's really fine and lively I can't help but also see it as a tourist trap though I really miss going to Sugar Mountain.

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it sounds to me as if OP hasn't seen inner-city Montreal during the summer.

I find it so beautifully urban and green, and I can't imagine thinking that that area isn't a good strolling area.

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Have you tried JTM in the summer or even in the spring when the walls come down nd the market starts bustling? If you don't see yourself just strolling around and enjoying the sights and sounds I don't what will make you enjoy Montreal from a foodie standpoint. I've been to Byward and although I think it's really fine and lively I can't help but also see it as a tourist trap though I really miss going to Sugar Mountain.

Of course I did!

I found it way too noisy and kind of... industrial, and ended up visiting Atwater much more often. But I admit - I never tried strolling there.

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Have you tried JTM in the summer or even in the spring when the walls come down nd the market starts bustling? If you don't see yourself just strolling around and enjoying the sights and sounds I don't what will make you enjoy Montreal from a foodie standpoint. I've been to Byward and although I think it's really fine and lively I can't help but also see it as a tourist trap though I really miss going to Sugar Mountain.

Of course I did!

I found it way too noisy and kind of... industrial, and ended up visiting Atwater much more often. But I admit - I never tried strolling there.

I've never heard JTM decribed as industrial :wacko:

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Thanks to you all guys for tons of useful information. I never intended to offend anyone by not liking JTM, but this is a matter of personal preference, and while I admire the selection on JTM, I like Atwater much more, so when I don't need anything special or exotic I'd rather go there.

BTW, this is my first time, ever, someone called me a troll. Thanks a lot!

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We'll there ARE nice trolls too, even if they may have an extra wart or two.... so I am not making any judgments. BUT - don't mess with JTM!!!!

Seriously though, good luck with your apartment hunt.

I'd take a serious look around Parc Jeanne-Mance.... many nice houses up there, and just down the hill on Duluth, Roy or Rachel.... BWOB gulch. A few blocks north you have Laurier - Montreal Gourmet Ground Zero! Up and down Laurier you have foodie stores that can replace the more abundant markets.

And from Park Jeanne Mance you have easy access the the whole Mountain for strolling.

Did you look at those apartments somebody wrote about up-thread...Mileend lofts? Good location for a foodie, with the same access points I referred to above. Might be a bit smaller than you are looking for but fairly nicely laid out for new building I thought.

Edited by sf&m (log)
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If you are commuting to the West Island daily, I'd take proximity to highway (where you'll be spending lots of time) into account. Lots of these neighbourhoods deep in center will require you to shovel little holes in snowbanks for your car (which you will obviously need) on alternate sides of the street during the winter.

If you are more into sunshine and landscaped neighbourhoods, as you seem to be, I'd suggest the Lachine Canal condos around the Atwater market. It's a destination scene, so you'll have lots of cyclists and strollers around, esp. in the summer, and it's gentrifying, so you can buy all the candles you want and so on, as well as being close to market. Jean-Talon may be cheaper but Atwater market is perfectly adequate.

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If you are commuting to the West Island daily, I'd take proximity to highway (where you'll be spending lots of time) into account.  Lots of these neighbourhoods deep in center will require you to shovel little holes in snowbanks for your car (which you will obviously need) on alternate sides of the street during the winter.

If you are more into sunshine and landscaped neighbourhoods, as you seem to be, I'd suggest the Lachine Canal condos around the Atwater market.  It's a destination scene, so you'll have lots of cyclists and strollers around, esp. in the summer, and it's gentrifying, so you can buy all the candles you want and so on, as well as being close to market.  Jean-Talon may be cheaper but Atwater market is perfectly adequate.

Now, that's one sensible advise. Highly appreciated. I don't plan spending my life on a highway. :)

I checked the area close to Atwater market. The condos there are quite attractive. My only concern is abundance of old industrial buildings and structures in terrifying proximity to the condos. It's interesting how people get used to it... will I have to work hard to learn not to see it?

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you will learn to like it.  that area in the summertime is lively and fun. 

welcome to city living.

Ahem... so you believe this is the mandatory part of city living :) Interesting.

I never lived in suburbs so far, it always was city - be it in Canada or abroad, but I never had an opportunity to live in between old abandoned factories... :blink:

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This part of town is in the midst of a major turnover as many old buildings are being turned into condos and lofts. I really don't want this to sound mean, but it seems as though it'll be hard to find something in our fair town that will satisfy you, too much of this, not enough of that et al. Don't take this the wrong way thoug, it's just an impression.

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I never lived in suburbs so far, it always was city - be it in Canada or abroad, but I never had an opportunity to live in between old abandoned factories...  :blink:

Okay, so let me get this straight. You say you want to live in a more "happening" part of Montreal than the West Island, but you don't want to live in or be near (1) older housing stock, (2) emerging areas with mixed development, or (3) suburbs. Hate to break it to you, sweetheart, but if you're looking for foodie hotspots, that's pretty much all our fair city has to offer you.

Yes, we are different than Ontario and the rest of North America. We are poorer as a society, our housing stock is undoubtedly older and shabbier in patches, and our neighbourhoods are not sanitized for your protection. But if you are not able to see through these factors to the true beauty this city has to offer, you are really missing out.

Keep in mind, you initiated this thread asking for us to recommend foodie-friendly neighbourhoods in Montreal, of which there are 2 fantastic ones - the areas surrounding Atwater and JT markets. You seem to be not only blind but totally closed-minded to the unique and special charms of these wonderful, rich neighbourhoods (particularly JTM), so my advice to you, friend, is to either continue living in safe, sanitized suburbia and be satisfied with Marché de l'Ouest, or follow my earlier suggestion and (say it with me, folks) go back to Ontario.

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so my advice to you, friend, is to either continue living in safe, sanitized suburbia and be satisfied with Marché de l'Ouest, or follow my earlier suggestion and (say it with me, folks) go back to Ontario.

Well, I won't say it with you. Most Montrealers are more welcoming folk. And even I, as a Montrealer, enjoy shopping at the JTM but don't particularly want to live around there. Tous les goûts sont dans la nature, you know.

Doronin, Montreal IS shabby, it's a fact, there's way less money flying around here. However, it's very safe, there are only a few areas that are sketchy, and your budget ensures you won't end up there.

I believe that most of the "abandoned" buildings around the Atwater market are anything but, rather they are owned by builders timing their redevelopment into condos etc.

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