1. For the arts and culture
Commonly acknowledged as the unofficial cultural capital of Canada, Montreal is the perfect fusion of past, present and future. From the cobblestone streets, historic architecture, and old world charm of Old Montreal to its vibrant and modern downtown, Montreal is characterized by a distinctly European “joie de vivre" attitude.
Home of the arts: Montreal is home to a rich, diverse arts scene. The city is a hotbed of culture and entertainment where art can be found everywhere in its many varying forms. Visual arts: From prestigious museums of historical artifacts, architecture, and modern and contemporary art, to boutique art galleries and eclectic exhibitions. Performing arts: From dance, to music, theatre, opera, the circus arts, and film, all forms are represented, highlighting the city's signature creativity, energy and passion.
City of festivals: Every year, Montreal is home to over 100 festivals and public events. From music, visual arts, and cinema, to fireworks and comedy, there's a Montreal festival or event for everyone! Some of the most notable of these are the wildly popular Montreal International Jazz Fest, the Francofolies music festival, the Just For Laughs Festival, La Fête des Neiges winter festival, the Osheaga and Heavy Montreal music events, and the Montreal Loto—Québec International Fireworks Competition.
The nightlife: During the Prohibition period in the United States, Montreal became known as one of North America's “sin cities" with an unparalleled nightlife, a reputation it still holds today. Its bustling nightlife is attributed in part to its relatively late “last call" (3 am), the large university population, the legal drinking age of 18, and the excellent public transportation system. The diversity of Montreal night spots, from night clubs, pubs, bars, Latin clubs, African clubs, to jazz clubs, lounges, and after-hours houses, appeal to a wide variety of customers.
Great food: In 2014, Montreal ranked 2nd in North America and 13th worldwide on the Condé Nast Traveler's list of World's Best Food Cities. Montreal also made the list of Food & Wine Magazine's 20 Best Food Cities in 2015. For every taste and budget, from home-style to exotic, from deli counters, greasy spoons, diners, and international cuisine, to family restaurants and renowned fine dining establishments, Montreal has the most restaurants per capita in North America, outside of New York.
Multiculturalism: Throughout its history, Montreal has been in turn a French settlement and a British stronghold. Today, a confluence of cultures from around the globe has further made its mark on the city's character. Montreal is distinguished by a multicultural openness that is unique in North America and its different cultural communities are a major component of the city's identity. Whether it be buildings, monuments, public spaces, works of art, place names, international products and cuisine, or simply the general atmosphere of certain neighbourhoods, the heritage contributed by the city's diverse ethnic make-up is very apparent. Often it delineates the neighbourhoods where various cultures live and coexist.
2. For the cost of living
Montrealers enjoy a relatively high purchasing power. Whether for food, clothing, electricity, medical care or raising a family, the cost of living in Montreal is far lower than in other major world cities.
Furthermore, Montreal is one of the few metropolitan areas in the world where the cost of housing remains affordable. The average price for a home or condo in Montreal is nearly half the price for a home in Toronto, and nearly a third of the price for a home in Vancouver. The average home price in Montreal is also significantly lower than the price for a home in most of the major cities in the United States. Add to that the fact that the Canadian dollar (CAD) is currently hovering around the 75¢ mark compared to the American dollar (USD), and it's obvious that the time is ripe for purchasing a condo in Montreal, especially for foreign investors.
3. Because it's a great city for students
According to the QS Best Student Cities 2016 index, Montreal ranks first in North America and 7th worldwide among the best cities for students. It also ranks first in Canada for the number of university students per capita and is among the country's leading university research cities. Montreal earns its reputation as a great student city thanks in part to its large student population and diverse student mix, the city's dynamic cultural life and vibrant nightlife, and also thanks to its relatively low cost of living.
Furthermore, according to Statistics Canada, tuition fees for Universities in Montreal are among the lowest in Canada. They are also among the lowest in North America, both for residents and for international students.
Montreal boasts four major universities (McGill University, Concordia University, Université de Montréal, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)). The city is also home to many other distinguished higher education specialty institutions, including the HEC Montréal business school, the École Polytechnique de Montréal and École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) engineering schools, the National Theatre School of Canada, and the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal (CMQM).
4. For the career opportunities
Montreal is one of the main economic hubs in North America and is positioned as a leader in the high-tech and information technology industries. As a diverse and dynamic city, there are a wealth of employment opportunities available for people from all walks of life.
• Montreal is home to big names in IT, software development, telecommunication services, and video game development, including Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, and Warner Brothers.
• More than 40% of Canadian pharmaceutical companies, especially in the biotech sector, are concentrated in the Montreal area.
• With big names such as Bombardier and CAE, Montreal is also the North American leader in the aviation and aerospace industries.
• As a cultural centre that promotes the creative arts, Montreal is a great place for those seeking to further their careers in all art forms, from music and the visual arts, to the performing arts, including dance, theatre, and television and movie production.
• Montreal is also a favourite destination city and a metropolis known for its “work to live" philosophy. As a result, the city boasts a thriving tourist industry and is a dynamic entertainment hub, ensuring a multitude of employment opportunities in the service and retail sectors.
5. Because it's a safe city
Compared to many other major world cities, Montreal is a very safe place to live. Residents can go about their business with peace of mind. The rates for violent crime, already low for a major city like Montreal, have been steadily decreasing since 1990 and, according to The Economist's Safe Cities Index in 2016, Montreal is one of the safest cities in the world. The Index looked at safety and security in 50 major cities around the world, focusing on four key factors: digital security, health security, infrastructure and personal safety. When The Economist further rated how each city performed across five other indexes (liveability, cost of living, business environment rankings, democracy index and global food security), Montreal earned 2nd place.
6. Because there's something to do in every season
Winter: Montreal is known for its winters, which can seem harsh to those not used to the snow and the cold. But Montreal's charm doesn't falter with the changing of the seasons. It's a wonderful place to live year-round, offering activities and special events throughout the entire calendar year, even when the thermometer takes a dip. From skiing or snowshoeing on Mount Royal and skating on one of the innumerable outdoor rinks, to the Fête des Neiges winter carnival, Igloofest in the Old Port of Montreal, and the Montréal en Lumière festival, and so much more, there is always something happening in the city to help keep you entertained while you're bundled up in your winter garb. And, of course, you can also let yourself be swept up in hockey fever and cheer on the most famous professional hockey team in the world, the Montreal Canadiens, whose home arena, The Bell Centre, is located directly across from the L'Avenue condominium project.
Summer: Making the most of the summer weather is an important part of Montreal culture. We have to appreciate it while it's here, and Montrealers are very good at doing just that. You already know about the numerous festivals that Montreal hosts, but what else is there to do? Go biking, hiking, swimming, or relax in one of Montreal's many beautiful green parks. Play golf or tennis, or go rock climbing. Join a team and play baseball, soccer, cricket, or even Ultimate Frisbee. Meet up for a yoga session with fellow enthusiasts in various places around town. Go rafting or jet boating in the Montreal Lachine rapids, or take in some rays on the Clock Tower Beach in the Old Port. Spend the day shopping and then wind down with a cocktail on the 'terrasse' of one of Montreal's renowned terrace restaurants or bars.
Montreal is also home to a number of professional sports teams which are active throughout the summer and fall months, including the Montreal Impact soccer team and the Montreal Alouettes football team. The city also hosts several sporting events in the summer, including the Rogers Cup tennis tournament and the Canadian Grand Prix Formula 1 race event.
7. Because it's easy to get around town
Get around by BMW: Residents of Montreal know that the best way to get around town is by way of the BMW, a lighthearted acronym for 'Bus Metro Walk'. In fact, Montreal is a very walkable city, ranking 5th on the list of the most walkable cities in Canada. However, the city also benefits from an extensive and accessible public transportation system. The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) and the Agence métropolitaine de transport cover the entire island with a network of busses, Canada's longest subway system, and a very accessible commuter train system.
Montreal's Underground city: The network of underground tunnels known as the RÉSO or La Ville Souterraine covers more than 12 km² beneath the streets of Montreal. There are more than 190 exterior access points to the RÉSO, including the Lucien L'Allier Metro Station, only steps from the L'Avenue condominium project. The underground city offers a direct connection to downtown commercial spaces and office spaces, to the city's universities and colleges, to cultural, entertainment, and sports venues and, of course, to Montreal's Metro system, commuter train stations, and bus terminals.
Cycling in the city: Montreal was named one of the world's best cycling cities by CNN in 2014 and made the list of Wired's most Bike-friendly Cities on the Planet in 2015. The city is considered one of the top North American spots for cyclists thanks to its more than 350 km of bike paths and its many protected bike lanes. It continues to impress thanks to the recent addition of its bicycle sharing system, BIXI. BIXI users can rent a bike using a subscriber key obtained through online subscription or an access code provided at the pay station. The BIXI network boasts 5,200 bikes and 460 stations spread out across the city.
8. Because it's planning well for the future
With Montreal's 375th birthday coming up next year, the city is investing significantly in improving and upgrading the infrastructure; reconfiguring roadways for improved vehicle, cyclist and pedestrian circulation, optimizing the public transit system, adding more green spaces and revitalizing existing green spaces, and encouraging further private development in order to continue to breathe new life into the city. Many of the benefits resulting from this urban development initiative will be realized within the next couple of years, making now the ideal time to move to the city and invest in a condo in Montreal.