Hi all, I'm currently a DC area resident and we are moving to Montreal next year. I've been looking for good resources to get a feel for what each of the Montreal neighborhoods are like, but so far all I've found are videos from some Montreal government website, most of which are in French. (I don't speak French yet.) I'm also having a hard time finding a website that compares somewhat to apartments.com where I could get a feel for what apartments in different neighbourhoods feature, floor plans, etc.
Does anyone have advice, recommendations, or resources on what each of the neighborhoods in and near Montreal are like, as far as atmosphere, walkability, public transport commute, type of people who typically live in that neighbourhood, etc?
We are a younger couples without kids, but no so young that we need an active bar scene, or want the noise accompanying it. We currently live in Arlington, (Pentagon City/Crystal City area, just outside DC's downtown if you're familiar).
What we like about where we live now:
- We are only a few blocks from the metro and within Protected content of almost everywhere of interest, be it downtown or further out, and have lots of amenities and entertainment within a walk or short drive.
- it is VERY dog friendly - we have met so many people at dog parks and events, and I work with dogs for a living. Our own apartment has a huge enclosed off-leash dog park (having a good place within walking distance for our dog to run and play is extremely important).
- We have grocery stores, pharmacies, indoor malls, pedestrian retail areas, and other shopping, lots of restaurants and such, all within either walking distance, a short drive, or metro. The more boutique shopping and arts are not walking distance, and while some more of that would be nice, as long as we're close by it's fine.
- While the area is mostly high-rise apartments or mixed-use, we are right next to lots of green spaces for sports, bicycling, etc,
- finding things from great cheap ethnic cuisine to the trendiest restaurants and high-end boutiques to thrift stores is easy and close.
Basically, if we're not right on top of cultural interest, dog parks, shopping, arts, entertainment, downtown, etc. we're within about 20 minutes of it, but our actual place still has a quieter feel about it thanks to the trees and green spaces.
I am also thinking of attending university while there, so proximity to that would be a handy. (but not so handy we're in the "college kids" neighbourhoods) While crime rates are a consideration, we have lived in dodgy areas of Dublin, downtown Lima, and, well, the DC are so we probably don't have the same standard of what "crime ridden" means...
As for housing, I would like to find places that are first off, DOG FRIENDLY - a must! High rises are fine, and historical or unique spaces like lofts would be cool, but I'd rather have amenities like a gym, indoor pool, sauna, terrace or balcony. (I know we'll have to trade off somewhere.) I imagine we can get more for our buck there, though - DC rents are way above Montreal.
Oh, and while I don't speak French yet, my husband speaks some, and we are very used to living in neighbourhoods where the locals don't speak English, so it doesn't matter if it's a French or English speaking neighbourhood.
I know that's a long list, but I'm hoping someone will just sort of know a few neighborhoods that sound about like what we'd enjoy, the way I might know what would work for someone's living preferences in the DC area.
Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks!!!