Moving to Montréal - short and long term accommodation advice needed.
August 4, 2017 3:29 PM   Subscribe

I am moving to Montréal at the end of this month. I work in IT and am arriving without employment but I have money in the bank to survive without income for awhile. Of course my intent is find a job immediately, if not before I arrive, but i do have some spending leeway that I don't wish to use foolishly. One last important detail is that I will be arriving with a cat. I would greatly appreciate advice on finding a place to stay at first that will take a cat, and tips on getting more permanant lodging.

I consider myself very much a city person, and I've been to Montréal a couple times. I will be arriving without a car, and so I would prefer a central location with good access to transit. If that is not available then simply somewhere with access to transit so I can get around the city at first. I am obviously anglo and don't speak French, but I am taking lessons and would happily live in a primarily French neighbourhood for the exposure, as long as the locals wouldn't be too mean to me about my poor French.

Regarding temporary lodgings for my arrival: I figured the best approach is get something temporary initially lined up where I can enjoy the city with my cat until I can secure a proper lease for a place. I don't really mean I'll be dragging the cat anywhere, it's just that I need to find a place to stay that will allow me to keep her there so I don't shove her in some kind of pet hotel.

It seems human hotels for up to a month are prohibitively expensive in the many thousands of dollars, and Airbnb and Homeaway less expensive but still wanting around 2 or 3 thousand dollars. I will be arriving too late to take advantage of summer availability of the university dorms that I saw listed here and there. Does anyone have some good recommendations on places to look, or services to use, that would be cheaper? I'm not looking for bottom of the barrel so to speak, I just don't want to waste a lot of money.

If not, then I figure I will have to go weekly by Airbnb or Homeaway and look for a lease as soon as possible for more permanent lodgings. I also would appreciate tips on finding a place that is longer term. I have read that I may want to wander the neighbourhoods I want to live in and look for postings in the windows of realtor offices, and I saw in another Metafilter post I could poke around listings on . Is that a good idea? Instead do people commonly use a realtor to find rentals in the city? I also read suggestions to use padmapper.

Lastly regarding a longer term lease it has been suggested I look into Hochelaga, Saint Henri, Mile End, along Beaubien or in the Plateau (but harder to find something good there now), Little Italy or Little Portugal. I know this is kind of a long list, and mainly why I was hoping for a month in temporary lodgings so I could really explore, look for a good deal and get a lease sorted out without a rush.

One last thing, yes I am in the States but I can legally live and work in Canada. Any advice appreciated! I've visited the city a few times but don't really have any other connection in the area and so I was hoping some local mefites could throw a couple bones my way!
posted by BurnMage to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I stayed at LaCite Montreal when I first arrived, you might consider them or other serviced apartments. I have no idea if they do pets. I think there are other serviced apartments downtown too, not familiar with them though.
posted by TrinsicWS at 4:08 PM on August 4, 2017


To find a room/apartment in Montreal, I would recommend using:
- (make sure to pick Montreal in the upper right menu)

Kijiji has a "French slant" (in that the people you'll talk to will most probably speak French, with doesn't mean they won't be able to help you), while Craigslist has an English one.

Padmapper used to (and seems like it still) scrape its info from Craigslist; I've sometimes seen outdated information there. I would not recommend using them.

Your best bet would be to keep refreshing Kijiji and Craigslist and call as many people as possible about the most recent posts. Inexpensive places (especially under 1k CAD/month) usually go pretty fast. The corollary is that places above 1k/month have less people competing for them.

Don't hesitate if you have questions! Bienvenue à Montréal :-)

... oh, and by the way, there's a Montréal MeFi Meetup August 13th, if you can make it.
posted by vert canard at 4:33 PM on August 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yes, definitely try kijiji or Craig's list. Those are the only sites/services that I've used in the last 10 years in Montreal. Also consider looking for "À louer" signs in neighbourhoods you like. Montreal has this (apparently unique) thing where the majority of movers move on July 1 so you may find that there are fewer options.

Do read up on your rights as a tennant. Landlords may sometimes not honour these rights with students and non-Quebecois. For example, a landlord can not ask for a deposit (unless it goes towards your first month of rent), can not ask for the last month's rent (ahead of time), can not increase your rent each year by more than a certain percentage and can not enter your apartment without 24 hour notice.

Welcome! Montreal is wonderful, I hope you like it!
posted by eisforcool at 9:03 PM on August 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Do you speak French? It's a ~%50 split in Montreal. If you don't, it will be more difficult to find a job. If you go outside of Montreal, a lot of people don't speak English at all.
posted by GiveUpNed at 8:52 AM on August 5, 2017

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