Montréal neighbourhoods: A world of diversity

Tell me what neighbourhood you live in and I’ll tell you who you are! In Montréal, there’s a neighbourhood for every lifestyle. Which one should you choose as an international student or graduate? Keep reading to learn more about the city’s diverse neighbourhoods and choose the one that best suits you!

Take your pick of places to live in Montréal, made up of 19 boroughs and countless neighbourhoods

Montréal is a big city with a small-town feel where every borough has its own unique identity, from architecture and landscaping styles to culinary scenes and fashion trends.

Here are the city’s 19 boroughs:

  • Ahuntsic-Cartierville
  • Anjou
  • Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce
  • Lachine
  • LaSalle
  • Le Plateau-Mont-Royal
  • Le Sud-Ouest
  • L’Île-Bizard–Sainte-Geneviève
  • Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve
  • Montréal-Nord
  • Outremont
  • Pierrefonds-Roxboro
  • Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles
  • Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie
  • Saint-Laurent
  • Saint-Léonard
  • Verdun
  • Ville-Marie
  • Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension

The metropolis is also home to two small, independent and green municipalities located in the centre of the island: Westmount and Mount Royal.

Greater Montréal’s boroughs and cities are made up of diverse neighbourhoods where there’s always something new to discover. Visit the Ville de Montréal website to take a deeper dive into the neighbourhoods and all they have to offer. With so many different lifestyles to choose from, it’s no wonder so many people move here every year!

An interactive map (because a picture is worth a thousand words)

The Plateau neighbourhood, located to the south of Villeray and northwest of Rosemont, is located in the east end of the city. Having a hard time finding true north based on these uniquely Montréal directions? Let Talent Montréal’s interactive map be your guide.

Neighbourhoods made for students and professionals

Some Montréal neighbourhoods are ideal for nature lovers and families looking for peace and quiet, while others are made for fun-seeking students. Here are eight neighbourhoods conveniently located close to the city’s higher education institutions, famous for their young, fun and dynamic vibes and convenient services. The only hard part? Choosing which one you like best (and that’ll make it easier for you to focus on your studies or work)!.

Côte-des-NeigesNotre-Dame-de-Grâce (NDG), the student sector

In Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, you can travel the world in one day exploring the diverse neighbourhoods! The borough is made up of a multicultural melting pot of residents from around the globe, and there’s something new to discover around every corner. Take a walk up Mont-Royal, wander around Saint-Joseph’s Oratory and get a taste of Montréal’s exotic cuisine, from kebabs and pho to empanadas.

A stone’s throw from NDG, you’ll find Outremont, a calm and family-friendly neighbourhood known for its tree-lined streets, cute boutiques and countless cafés and patios.

Like to get around by foot? It’s no coincidence so many students to students choose to call Côte-des-Neiges-NDG home. This is where you’ll find the Université de Montréal, HEC Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal and Concordia University’s Loyola Campus, among others. Housing is affordable in the neighbourhood and there are plenty of public transit options to take you to the four corners of the city in no time.

Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, an up-and-coming hotspot

Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve has witnessed a revival in recent years. It’s no wonder so many young people now choose to call this hip neighbourhood home (one in four residents are under the age of 25!). The neighbourhood boasts a bunch of iconic spots, including the world-famous Olympic Park, the Biodome and Maisonneuve Market. You can also find 88 local parks, dozens of community gardens, numerous libraries, many ice skating rinks, countless cultural activities and a host of cafés, bars and restaurants.

If you’re a fan of football, this is the place to be, where you can join legions of fans for Montréal Impact games at Saputo Stadium. If art is more your thing, the neighbourhood has art galleries and studios to spare, and you can head over to Théâtre Denise-Pelletier to catch the latest local production.

Old industrial buildings are being transformed into spacious lofts, businesses and co-ops that blend seamlessly with the colourful landscape of Victorian homes, all infused with the neighbourhood’s historical charm. With some of the most affordable rents in the city, Hochelaga is an ideal place to live in Montréal.

Plateau-Mont-Royal, small-town living in the heart of the city

Welcome to “The Plateau,” known for its green laneways, cultural attractions, colourfully crowned duplexes & triplexes and fun, lively vibes. A favourite destination for people from France and other overseas countries, Plateau-Mont-Royal has the highest population density in the city and is home to some of Montréal’s most famous and best-loved streets—from Avenue Laurier and its famous park to Avenue Mont-Royal with its trendy boutiques, bakeries and bars, and rue Saint-Denis with its jam-packed bars, patios and theatres. Neighbourhood living is like a religion in the Plateau, convincing countless foreign visitors to settle permanently in the metropolis.

It’s easy to find a place to live on a peaceful street and still be within easy walking distance of all the different attractions the neighbourhood has to offer. Made up of a large majority of tenants, there’s no shortage of architectural gems to live in, whether you live alone, with roommates or with your family.

A popular spot for students, the Plateau is also home to the Milton-Parc neighbourhood (a.k.a. the “McGill Ghetto”), a hip and dynamic neighbourhood located to the east of McGill University’s downtown campus.

Mile End, the Williamsburg of Montréal

A short walk west from the Plateau, you’ll find Mile End, a melting pot of artists, local artisans and avant-garde free spirits. Forever on the forefront of new trends and looking to push the limits of creativity, there’s something new and surprising to discover around every corner—from public pianos and colourful murals to quirky boutiques, urban art festivals and hidden bars.

Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie, where community comes alive

Ideally located in the heart of the island, RosemontLa Petite Patrie is home to a close-knit and environmentally-minded community. Green initiatives like urban hydroponics, fish farming, green laneways, rooftop gardens and chicken coops are a common sight here, helping cement the neighbourhood’s eco-warrior reputation. Safe and bustling with activity, this is where you’ll also find Montréal hotspots including the Botanical Gardens, Beaubien Cinema, Plaza Saint-Hubert and Jean-Talon Market.

Extensive and diverse, the borough is divided into several urban neighbourhoods, each with its own distinct personality. The Angus district, Cité-Jardin, Promenade Masson and Little Italy are just a few of the quartiers ready to welcome you with open arms.

Verdun, a lively neighbourhood nestled by the river

Water, wind, nature and the city happily coexist in Verdun, a dynamic neighbourhood nestled on the banks of the Saint-Lawrence River. From visiting historical monuments to biking along the Lachine Canal, sunbathing in the park and restaurant-hopping with friends, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in the neighbourhood. Strategically located in the Sud-Ouest borough, Verdun is also a stone’s throw away from Atwater Market (one of the most frequented public markets in the city) and the sprawling Angrignon Park. Affectionately nicknamed “Verdun on the beach” by locals, Verdun offers the best of both worlds: peaceful nature in the heart of the city, loved by old and young people alike.

Verdun has witnessed a major boom in recent years, building up and around lively Wellington Street, where you can find butcher shops, bakeries and eclectic boutiques, all with affordable prices.

Ville-Marie, the heartbeat of the city

Ville-Marie is the heartbeat of Montréal and the city’s oldest neighbourhood. With a rich history dating back to 1642, the area is constantly reinventing itself, with a strong business community and cultural activities to spare. Boasting over 100 parks and dozens of diverse museums, the area is home to the iconic Quartier des Spectacles (Montréal’s bustling entertainment district), the Old Port and the world-famous Underground City, making it an exceptional place to live and visit.

Watch a hockey game at the Bell Centre, catch a live show at the Jazz Festival, go window-shopping along Saint-Catherine Street or take a rollercoaster ride at La Ronde. Whatever activity you’re into, Ville-Marie has more than enough tricks up its sleeves to keep you coming back for more!

The neighbourhood is also home to McGill University, Concordia University, École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS), UQAM and four CEGEPs, bringing together a dynamic and diverse student population. And the area is easy to get around and explore by foot, bicycle or public transit.

Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension, home to green spaces and family fun

Green spaces, diversity and family life define this popular northern borough, where lively commercial streets are complemented by countless spots to soak up the arts, sports and leisure. This is the place to explore Montréal’s multicultural cuisine, with bustling neighbourhood restaurants boasting everything from Indian and Creole to Italian and Mexican fare, or stop for an impromptu barbecue in beautiful Jarry Park. As locals will be more than happy to tell you, once you visit Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc Extension, you’ll never want to leave!

Home to sprawling, peaceful parks and a family-friendly community, the neighbourhood is the perfect place for students to take a step back from the hustle and bustle, while still living close to an efficient public transit network that will take you downtown in no time. With its laidback vibes and affordable rents, it’s one of the city’s most diverse and authentic hidden gems.

We hope this virtual tour has given you a better feel for the city. But no matter which neighbourhood you choose to live in, you’ll never run out of things to see and do in Montréal.  Maybe it’s time to start your temporary or permanent immigration process and come explore all the city has to offer!