Student Life

Location, location, location: How to find your perfect neighbourhood

Looking for an apartment in Montreal is no easy feat for McGill students new to the city. The unrecognizable postal codes and streets mix together to form a jumble of numbers and letters. This challenge is magnified for students when the perceived perfect apartment often hinges solely on its proximity to the university. But, the area surrounding your future apartment is just as significant as its amenities. The atmosphere of the neighbourhood influences your daily life, so finding the perfect location can be different for everyone. 


If your top priority is proximity to campus, then Milton-Parc is the ideal choice. The allure of being within a five-minute walk to most McGill buildings is particularly enticing during the bone-chilling winter months, though this proximity does come at a cost—housing in the area can be relatively expensive compared to other areas in Montreal. 

Milton-Parc is a densely student-populated area, meaning that there are various student-centric cafés and businesses. However, this vibrant energy has a downside, as there may be heightened noise levels during student events such as Frosh Week. Yet, for most, this is outweighed by having all the essentials within a couple of blocks, allowing for time saving during peak exam season. 

Le Plateau-Mont-Royal 

Located roughly a 25-minute walk from campus, the Plateau offers the best of McGill at a slightly greater distance. The distance to and from campus allows you to enjoy a refreshing walk before you’re locked into a day of classes. You can also experience living outside of the McGill bubble. 

Home to some of the city’s oldest known food and drink institutions, the Plateau is home to an array of new coffee shops, boutiques, bakeries, and supermarkets, providing a blend of historical charm and modern conveniences. The lower Plateau’s artsy atmosphere renders it a desirable, albeit still relatively pricey, location to live.


Griffintown is known amongst Montrealers as an up-and-coming district. Developers have recently begun the construction of many new residential buildings. While this creates many a modern living environment, it also contributes to the problem of gentrification. 

Located only a 15-minute metro ride to campus, it’s an easy walk to downtown and Old Port. Despite its prime location, Griffintown may not exude the same vibrant atmosphere as other neighbourhoods due to the impact of high development on the community. Nevertheless, it compensates with a different type of appeal, focusing on contemporary living and accessible pathways, making it a pragmatic choice for those seeking a balance between urban convenience and a quieter escape. 


If you’re looking for a neighbourhood outside of the McGill bubble, then Saint-Henri is definitely one to consider. This area is packed with small parks and beautiful walking and bicycle paths that line the nearby canal, making it the ideal location for those who love taking walks close to home. 

Home to the year-round Atwater market, Saint-Henri offers the best of local and gourmet food and products. This neighbourhood, characterized by its mix of iconic Montreal institutions like the market and contemporary developments, captures the essence of Montreal’s dynamic urban landscape. 

The Village 

The Village, although slightly farther away from campus, is a neighbourhood that truly encapsulates Montreal’s dynamic and lively atmosphere. Via metro, you would have a convenient commute to campus in under 25 minutes. What sets the Village apart is its affordability, with rents more budget-friendly than neighbourhoods such as Milton-Parc. 

The Village harbours a predominantly young demographic, who fill the array of cafés, restaurants, shops, and bars located in the neighbourhood. The Village stands out by offering a lively community for those looking to embrace the city’s spirit beyond the campus boundaries.

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