When you're asked by anyone "what are the coolest areas in Montreal?" a few options rise in your mind, depending on who's asking. If the questioner is new to the city, you may say The Plateau. If they're looking for a gay old time, then maybe The Village.
But if the person is a bonafide hipster, one borough reigns supreme for being the "coolest" to that demographic, the Mile End. And apparently folks from outside the city feel the same way.
In an incredibly hipster-focused breakdown of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world for 2016, uber-trendy website How I Travel placed Montreal's very own Mile End at the top of the list.
Using a not-so-scientific analysis that factored in age demographics (20 to 30-year-olds only, obviously), the art scene, cafe culture, nightlife options, independent stores + restaurants, and the overall community vibe, Mile End beat out neighbourhoods in LA, Stockholm, Portland and Berlin.
Noteworthy locales mentioned in the coolest-hood-analysis were Librairie Drawn & Quarterly, Casa del Popolo, Saint Viateur bagels, and Mi & Stu bakery, all of which are pretty much standards on the Mile End hit-list. How Kem Coba and that lady who owns the store with all of the bird cages outside were left out is beyond me.
But no doubt many of you reading are probably thinking "please, the Mile End? That place hasn't been chill since all the yuppies moved in," which is definitely kind of true (while also being the most hipster sentiment, ever) as the area has changed in recent years due to some serious gentrification.
That's why Mile End wasn't alone in the #1 spot of coolest neighbourhoods, as it shared the ranking with Montreal's rising hipster mecca Mile-Ex.
Described as the Mile End/Plateau of 20 years ago (and accurately so), the Mile-Ex is titled a "new haven of urban cool" by the How I Travel, noting how scores of young creatives have moved to the area due to cheaper rent prices. Restaurant Manitoba and Alexandraplatz Bar were the only spots mentioned in the write-up.
Somewhat surprisingly, and unlike many other websites that rank Montreal on somewhat arbitrary lists, How I Travel actually has a decent grasp on Montreal's hippest 'hoods. Even though the places-to-check-out mentioned in both neighbourhood profiles are pretty standard, at least the author recognizes the distinct difference between the Mile End and Mile-Ex.
Why they didn't just give the Montreal neighbourhoods the #1 and #2 spot is beyond me, but hey, at least they're both number one.
Check out which neighbourhoods Mile End and Mile-Ex beat out to be the coolest in the world in the list below, and read the full write up here.