Living in Greater Montréal: peace of mind off the island

Thinking of settling off the island? Greater Montréal is home to a host of diverse and bustling communities outside of the city. Whether you’re looking to head north or south, to Laval or Longueuil, explore all that Greater Montréal has to offer.

Four distinct regions made up of 66 municipalities

Thinking nothing could match the energy and charm of Montréal? Think again! There are 66 municipalities surrounding the island of Montréal attracting families, young professionals and students, and all with their own unique vibes that’ll convince you to make the switch to suburban life. Keep reading to learn more about the four sectors and find your favourite one!

Need a little visual aid? Greater Montréal is big! Even if you know that the South Shore is south and the North Shore is north, it’s not enough to get you there. To get a better picture of Greater Montréal, check out this interactive map from Talent Montréal.

The Agglomeration of Longueuil, a bridge away from the city

Located on the other side of the St. Lawrence River just south of Montréal is Longueuil, a charming suburb where life slows down. The fourth largest agglomeration in Québec, the area is made up of five municipalities: Longueuil, Boucherville, Brossard, Saint-Bruno and Saint-Lambert.

Why choose the Agglomeration of Longueuil?

More than 435,000 people choose to call Longueuil home thanks to its wide-open spaces, countless public services, young family energy and close proximity to Montréal.

However you like to spend your time, Longueuil has it all. Take a stroll along the river, stop for a bite in one of the many restaurants in Old Longueuil or shop till you drop at Quartier DIX30. Head to Mont Saint-Bruno to snowboard or ski, or go rowing in Îles-de-Boucherville National Park. And when you’re tired from all the activity, slow down to watch the summer fireworks from the comfort of your balcony.

A lively university campus

Did you know you can go to university without ever having to cross the bridge? The Université de Sherbrooke’s Longueuil campus is located here, with several thousand students pursuing a higher education on this side of the river. And for college students or students working towards a technical diploma, the area has several CEGEPs and vocational training centres to choose from.

Thanks to the yellow Metro line, which crosses the river underwater to Longueuil station, you can get from the South Shore to the city in just a few minutes. There are over 12,000 businesses in the agglomeration, with great job prospects in key sectors including aerospace, agri-environment, and transportation equipment. Something to think about if you’re planning to stay in Greater Montréal after you graduate!

The South Shore, a slower pace of life

Always dreamed of living down south? What you might miss in sunshine, you’ll make up for in space, greenery and peace & quiet! Take your pick of 40 dynamic boroughs in the South Shore, steeped in history and surrounded by cornfields and calm.

Why choose the South Shore?

Have your cake and eat it too! Just a few kilometres south of the island of Montréal, the South Shore is a safe and peaceful suburb surrounded by nature, with charming neighbourhoods to spare and all the services you could need.

The area has convinced many die-hard city dwellers to make the switch to suburb mode. An ideal place for families and young people alike, there’s always something to see and do. Take a stroll on Mont Saint-Hilaire, explore the wine and cider route, stop for a sweet brunch at a maple grove, take a snowmobile or bicycle ride along the Route verte or soak up the sun at the Chambly basin. If you like to watch the return of the great migratory birds, enjoy fresh fruits and veggies from local farms or cultivate your own garden, the South Shore region is second to none.

The area has an efficient public transit system and a well-developed road network that make it quick and easy to get to and from the city. Over the past few years, it’s become a prime location for first-time homebuyers who want to stay close to the city—without forking out city prices.

Laval, a city apart

The grass is always greener next door! Montréal’s smaller sister, the island of Laval has something for everyone: diversity, energy, nature and location. Close to a third of the population is made up of immigrants. And its large, inclusive community makes Laval the third most populated city in Québec. Welcoming and open to all, the city is experiencing a transformation right now, attracting businesses and initiatives of every kind.

Why choose Laval?

Laval is a bustling hub strategically located between Montréal and the Laurentians, where residents can enjoy the perfect balance between green spaces, residential neighbourhoods and commercial sectors. Home to museums, art galleries, theatres, equestrian centres, shopping centres, family farms, orchards and artisanal cheese farms, Laval has something for everyone—in all four seasons.

Looking for a little more action? Go trampoline jumping at iSaute, catch a concert or hockey game at Place Bell, defy gravity in the SkyVenture simulator, visit an exhibition or dance show at Maison des Arts, or sample the best local brews at the Beer Festival.

Education for everyone

From elementary school to post-graduate studies, you can study at every level in Laval. With Montmorency College, Université de Montréal and UQAM campuses, vocational training centres and French schools for newcomers, you don’t have to cross the bridge to go to school. But whenever you do want to hit the city to catch up with friends, the orange Metro line will take you there directly in just 25 minutes.

Montréal’s North Shore, home to wide open spaces

Some people come to visit the birthplace of the legendary Céline Dion (Charlemagne). But many more flock to the North Shore to see the other kind of stars… the ones in the sky! Located just a few dozen kilometres from Montréal and surrounded by vast nature, the North Shore offers the best of both worlds. It’s nestled between the Laurentians and Lanaudière regions, where you can take your pick of 20 peaceful, family-friendly boroughs combining beautiful nature and the best of urban life.

Why choose the North Shore?

All those famous photos of Québec’s Great Outdoors? They were probably taken in the North Shore. With mountains, lakes, boreal forests and winding roads on your doorstep, you’ll feel like you’re living in a postcard.

To complement all that peace and quiet, the region also has activities to spare, like catching an exhibition at the Repentigny Art Centre, horse riding at Blainville Equestrian Park, hiking at Mont Saint-Sauveur, zip-lining at Mont-Tremblant, swimming at Oka beach, catching a movie at the Saint-Eustache drive-in cinema, taking in a show at the Laurentides Classical Music Festival or biking along the majestic linear park, Le P’tit Train du Nord.

The safe, family-friendly suburbs of the North Shore are where you can also enjoy neighbourhood barbecues, igloo contests in the backyard, garage sales and lemonade stands.

To get to Montréal quickly, most North Shore residents prefer to drive. But there are several commuter trains and bus lines for those who prefer to commute to work, school or home by public transit during rush hour.

The region has a high employment rate and great career prospects, with world-class companies like Bombardier, Raufoss-Neuman, Bell Helicopter and AP&C choosing to set up shop here.

No matter which Greater Montréal neighbourhood you choose to call home, you can get away from the bustle of the city without going too far. And if you fall under the spell and decide to stay for good, learn more about temporary or permanent immigration in Québec.