If you're moving to Montreal or just looking for a new place in the city, I am here today to convince you that Côte-des-Neiges should, without question, be the new borough you call home.
If you don't know anything about Montreal, don't worry. Neither did I when I moved here, and I've been living and loving CDN for two glorious years.
If you currently live in the Plateau you’re probably thinking, “Who the hell would ever want to live over there?!”
Well, I’m about to tell you exactly why I will probably never move from my beautiful little one-bedroom in Côte-des-Neiges… (and it starts with the fact that my rent is only $660 a month.)
Yes, it’s true, the cheap rent is what drew my eye to Côte-des-Neiges when I first moved to Montreal. I knew NDG was a “cool Anglo borough” and that the Plateau was where everything actually cool was.
But I moved to Montreal with no job (and no French) so finding something uber-affordable was high on my list of priorities. I also didn’t want to be in an “Anglo” neighbourhood, because part of why I moved to Montreal was to finally rectify the terrible French language education I got in Ontario and learn our beautiful second national language.
Since moving to Côte-des-Neiges, I’ve only fallen more in love with it as a neighbourhood, for so many reasons.
Here are a couple reasons I managed to pull off the top of my head...
Close to the mountain
Pretty much anyone that comes to visit me in Montreal gets my customary walk-up-the-mountain picnic excursion. From Côte-des-Neiges to Lac aux Castors the walk is (while significantly uphill) a really beautiful walk with some great views. And once you’re on the mountain? It’s hard to ever want to come down.
St. Joseph’s Oratory
One of the awesome views from Côte-des-Neiges is l’Oratoire St Joseph, Canada’s largest church. In fact, from almost anywhere around the city, I can spot the Oratory and I know that’s my hood. It’s a Montreal landmark and it’s right in my backyard.
All the necessities are right there
In terms of the practical benefits of CDN, it really provides all the amenities you need. Highlights include:
Metro grocery store
Several walk-in clinics and other health-care offices
St. Mary’s Hospital
What more could you need?
Awesomely diverse food culture
Along the Côte-des-Neiges stretch, you can find Montreal staples like Piri Piri and Copperbranch, but the seasoned foodie knows you travel to CDN for Pho Lien and Thanaji, some of the best Pho and South Indian (respectively) in the city.
24/7 market in the summer
In addition to the metro and the smaller European market Exo-Fruits, Côte-des-Neiges also boasts a super amazing 24-hour fresh produce market that has an awesome selection of local Quebec fruits and veggies, when in season. So if you’re ever hopping off the metro at midnight and are craving a peach, you know where to you. It also converts into a Christmas-tree stand in December before closing for the winter months.
Not only does CDN have everything you need right there, it’s also a great spot to be if you’re looking to get to anywhere ELSE in Montreal. From my place on Edouard Montpetit I can access the Blue line (Station Côte-des-Neiges) and the Orange line (Station Côte-Sainte-Catherine). Not only is the metro access fantastic, we’ve also got some primo bus lines running right through. Such the...
No matter where you’re trying to go or where you’re coming from, there’s a public transit option. Plus, Edouard Montpetit and Côte-Sainte-Catherine both provide excellent bike lanes for cyclists.
In addition to being super close to THE park of all parks, Parc Mount Royal, Côte-des-Neiges has some super cute little parks nearby as well. Parc Martin Luther King (previously Park Kent) has a public swimming pool that is free, and in truth the area is littered with little parks all over the place.
In addition to the parks, Côte-des-Neiges really is a beautifully tree-filled neighbourhood, making it feel outside the city while stilling being hyper-connected to it. I can also brag of having a stunning and sprawling backyard, complete with a lush green lawn and vegetable garden.
The final reason that I love Côte-des-Neiges so much is the beautiful balance of French and English and immigrant culture. When I finally started learning French, I knew I could go into the Premier Moisson or the Brulerie Urbaine and parse through my order in my broken French and the staff would be more than accommodating - they would be downright encouraging.
If I haven't convinced you... I probably never will. And you know what? That's fine. The fewer people that move it, the less likely the rent will skyrocket and gentrification will kick out those awesome restaurants I mentioned above.
But at the end of the day, I had to share the love, because Côte-des-Neiges really is the best neighbourhood in Montreal.
Don't @ me. (But actually, if you disagree, @ me on Twitter and tell me why @lvbs.)