Saint-Laurent is a pretty cool place. It has it's own unique vibe mainly because of the fact that it serves as a sort of ghetto for new immigrants. People from all over the world who come to Montreal end up either in V.S.L. or Montreal North. With this interesting mix of cultures and lifestyles, it's no wonder this borough is full of awesome features anyone can appreciate.
1. There Are All Kinds Of Restaurants
There are so many different kinds of restaurants in this area and the best part is that they're always authentic. They say that food brings people together, and if you want to experience a culture, the easiest way is to try their dishes. Right on Décarie (near Côte-Vertu metro) you can have: Vietnamese, Lebanese, Indian, African, Moroccan, Japanese, Italian, Greek and even Russian!!
2. Cheap Shopping
Since this is a bit of a ghetto area you won't find many high end stores or unaffordable merchandise. There are so many outlets to buy from, and even if it isn't an outlet, these stores cater to their clientele. Place Vertu is the the shit!! In fact the photo above is an actual store in the mall that sells everything for either 5 or 10 dollars from Garage/Dynamite.
Photo cred - Midnight Poutine
3. Empty Bars
There are so many families and senior citizens, i.e.: people that don't drink, that the bars are always empty. Mind you, there are only are a handful of them, but they never have more then 20 people (big max) in the place. They make for the perfect neighbourhood spots to have a few drinks without having to dress up or worrying about your behaviour (no fucks given in VSL).
4. It's Half West Island, Half TMR
Ville St-Laurent isn't THAT big, so you can still run into people you know walking down the street. But it's not as small as the West Island, where everyone knows everyone's business... It's also not that far from Mont-Royal and has a metro which makes it a step up from living in the West and you're relatively close to every other borough.
5. Smallish Town Vibes
There's a strong community vibe here... There are so many parks and public pools in the evenings the parks are always filled with large families just hanging out. The kids play between the buildings in the big blocks of complexes which is really cute but when driving it makes it so dangerous (kids running in the streets on Decarie!!). Side Note: I cannot count the amount of times I've seen a kid almost get hit by a car, it's pretty scary.
6. Coffee Shop Culture
Since not too many people hang out in bars, the coffee shops are always full, people hang out for hours playing backgammon and cards, drinking turkish coffee (reading your fortune in the grounds... fake but fun). Tim Horton's is full at any time of day or night.
7. Municipal Activities
The community centre offers classes for all ages from painting, cooking and drawing to powerpoint and writing. The new library is also super cool, they have flat screens to play Xbox and Playstation and they're also building a giant sports complex.