Best places to live in Montréal for singles, young professionals, students and families

With so much going on in Canada’s second-largest city, what’s a Montréal renter to do when hunting for the perfect new home in the city?

Rentals.ca has done your homework for you, hitting the streets of MTL to highlight a few of the hottest spots for apartment hunters in Montréal, whatever their needs are. Whether you prefer to work hard, play hard, or just relax, check out our recommendations to find the neighbourhood of your dreams.

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Top family and kid-friendly neighbourhoods in Montréal

  • Outremont

Did you know half the households in Outremont have children?

In this neighbourhood, it should come as no surprise. Smack in the middle of desirable schools, tutors, and activities, this charming neighbourhood has been home to families for generations. If you want to raise your children in a home, not just a house, check out Outremont and all its family-friendly amenities.

  • N.D.G.

N.D.G., or Notre-Dame de Grâce, offers plenty of suburban charm although it is just a hop and a skip from the city. If the best of both worlds is what you’re after, this West End neighbourhood should be at the top of your list.

Parents will love that the neighbourhood is bordered by the Decarie Expressway and Highway 20, making commuting a snap so you can spend more quality time at home.

  • Pointe-Claire

If a slow-paced life is what you’re searching for, head west and check out the postcard-perfect suburb of Pointe-Claire. Located along the shoreline of Lac Saint-Louis, this fully developed suburb was planned for outdoor activities with its many parks and green spaces. In the winter or summer, there is fun for the whole family to be had.

Homes here offer plenty of space and historic charm. What are you waiting for?

  • Lachine

This new neighbourhood, where developments are popping up like flowers in the spring, is a hot ticket for families looking for affordable starter homes close to the city. Prices here can’t be beat, and these brand-new builds come with all the amenities you could ever want for your family.

Pedestrian and bike paths along the waterfront make staying fit and active easy on the schedule and the wallet.

Top neighbourhoods in Montréal for singles and young professionals

  • St-Laurent

Your parents will breathe a sigh of relief: St-Laurent made it on to this list as one of the safest areas of the city. If you thought that made it boring, think again.Besides being a hotspot for jobs in the city, St-Laurent also boasts a booming nightlife district. Work hard and play harder in this centrally located ‘hood filled with young people.

  • Gay Village

The party never stops in this compact neighbourhood on the island. The Gay Village welcomes everyone, although its businesses cater largely to the LGBTQ community.

If you like a rowdy night out and can fall asleep to the sound of revelers, the Gay Village may be your cup of tea as a young single in the city.

  • Rosemont-La Petitie-Patrie

This borough, which contains Montréal’s Little Italy, is bursting with every flavour of nightlife. The centrally located ‘hood is truly at the heart of it all, close to work, transit, great eats, and tons of chill patios to kick back after a long day at the office. Make work-life balance a snap by walking or biking to work.

  • Saint-Henri

One of MTL’s trendiest hotspots, Saint-Henri creates the scene to see and be seen. Young urban professionals at the top of their game flock to this cool ‘hood tucked among some of Montréal’s swankiest postal codes for trendy and tasty  food and drink options, and all in the heart of downtown.

Home foodies will love that Saint-Henri is home to the Atwater Market, one of the finest grocers in town.

Safest neighbourhoods in Montréal

  • Westmount

This picturesque area on the island held the title of the most affluent neighbourhood in Canada during the twentieth century, and today, Westmount still ranks in the top ten. Largely a residential neighbourhood made up of grand historic homes, stepping into Westmount feels like stepping into another era.

The Westmount rental market can be tough, but living here guarantees the peace and mind of a safe and secure neighbourhood to call home in Montréal.

  • Verdun

Verdun, located in the southwestern end of the island, is a borough consisting of three neighbourhoods: Desmarchais-Crawford (West Verdun), Wellington-De L’Église, and Nuns’ Island. Each is known for its exceptionally low crime rates for the city average, and also for its upscale luxury developments.

With gorgeous views, lake access, and arts and culture all just steps away, why not check out Verdun on your hunt for the perfect apartment?

  • St-Laurent

Besides its low crime rate, St-Laurent is an employment hub in the city: Air Canada, Air Transat, and Bombardier Aerospace all operate in the area. It’s also known for its diversity, as 45.4% of St-Laurent residents were born outside Canada. Other than French and English, Arabic, Chinese, Greek and Spanish are the most spoken languages in St-Laurent.

Take a walk on the pretty paths of Promenade Fleuve-Montagne or try some glow-in-the-dark mini-putting for some fun in family-friendly St-Laurent.

  • Ahuntsic

Ahuntsic, a charming former village annexed into the city of Montréal, has plenty of small-town charm while remaining close to the big city. Crime rates here skew lower than the city average. If you enjoy a laid-back lifestyle dining outdoors on a terasse, Ahuntsic is the safe Montreal neighbourhood for you.

Top places for students to live in Montréal

  • Montréal West

With prices at the McGill student ghetto rising, some budget-conscious students are beginning to look elsewhere for a downtown Montréal neighbourhood that’s close to campus without the high sticker prices.

Montréal West offers a shuttle service to the Concordia campus, and rents here won’t break the bank. As a bonus, with so many students in the area, you’ll have no FOMO about missing out on the Rez social scene.

  • Mile End/Plateau

This hip neighbourhood close to McGill has been home to students for generations. Once an enclave for bohemians and artistes, the hot real estate in this area became attractive to developers, and the neighbourhood that once was has changed with trendy (and pricey!) watering holes and boutiques lining St. Laurent Boulevard and St. Denis Street.

If you want to live luxe in the heart of it all, check out this neighbourhood on your search for the perfect student apartment.

  • Côtes-Des-Neiges

This hip ‘hood near the Université de Montreal is one of the most diverse neighbourhoods in Canada. In this area, you can find a knickknack or a bite to eat from every corner of the globe, and all at a steal. Rents in this area tend to be on the lower end for the city, and students are snapping up the available stock.

As a bonus, this neighbourhood on the slope of Mount Royal boasts some incredible views of the city.

  • Old Port

University is supposed to be all about cultural immersion. Why not live in Old Port, the oldest neighbourhood in Montreal? Here, the streets are dotted with cobblestones, and there is always something going on at the lively waterfront.

As a bonus, you are close to downtown, and less than three kilometers from McGill’s campus. Check out Old Port if you are looking for a classic yet happening  neighbourhood for your university experience.

Up-and-coming Montréal neighbourhoods

  • Villeray

This historic working-class neighbourhood is what comes to mind when you picture the clotheslined alleyways and local delis of Old Montreal. These days, it is a neighbourhood on the rise in the centre of the city with quick access to the Metropolitan, taking you all over the city in minutes. Post-WWII, well-built duplexes and triplexes line the area, creating plenty of rental stock.

Close to metro stations, Jean Talon Market, and Little Italy, Villeray has a lot to offer, and savvy city dwellers are moving in to take advantage of the area’s great rents.

  • Pointe-Saint-Charles

Known as simply “The Point” to locals, this neighbourhood southwest of downtown Montreal has seen many transformations over the years. These days, the construction of new condos and housing, and the repurposing of industrial buildings into business and community groups, have kept the neighbourhood fresh and thriving.

It’s served by two metro stops and is sandwiched between two highways, making commuting a breeze. The Point also offers plenty of green space, including the Montreal Technopark.

The park sits on the shores of the Lachine Canal, which is undergoing development for a surge of new condo builds. Get in while you still can!

Lauren McGoldrick

Lauren McGoldrick is a Toronto-based writer who studied English at Ryerson University. She likes to write comedy and about the Canadian housing market, which is not so humorous. In her free time, she enjoys getting into nature to hike, surf and scuba dive.