Apartment-hunting season for many students is reaching its peak at this time of the year. Choosing the perfect place to live can be tough, whether one is switching from the convenience of a McGill residence or is simply choosing an alternate location to live for the upcoming school year. To ease the process for students and create comfortable, convenient living scenarios, various housing companies have set up private student residences around Montreal.
Varcity 515—1430 Rue City Councillors
Situated in the heart of downtown Montreal, Varcity515 is a student apartment complex that is within a five minute walk to Eaton Shopping Centre, and a 15 minute walk to McGill. Occupied primarily by CÉGEP and university students from McGill and Concordia, it includes 100 fully furnished apartments that accomodate three to five residents, each of whom are given a bedroom. Some bedrooms have blinds instead of traditional walls, creating a stylish window between the bedroom and the living room. Each apartment includes a spacious living room with a couch, a TV, a dining table, one or two bathrooms, and a large closet for storage space. The kitchen is equipped with a dishwasher, kitchenware, and a coffeemaker. Residents can either move in with friends or have Varcity515 match them up with suitable suitemates through a compatibility questionnaire.
Varcity515 has many facilities that are included in the rent. Shared facilities include a fitness centre, a game room, and a movie screening room adjacent to a cozy lounge area. In addition, Varcity515 has a study area that’s been divided into different sections to accommodate various student needs.These include quiet rooms, conference rooms, and an open reading space.
Lease: 12 months; leases from one month available during summer only (March-August)
Monthly rent per person: Starting from $699 per month for 12-month leases
Well-suited for: Students who would like to live in a regular apartment, but still want the security and utilities of a dormitory-style residence
Fonteneige—5615 Woodbury Avenue
Located about 30 minutes away from McGill by public transit is the quiet and peaceful neighbourhood of Woodbury Avenue, featuring Fonteneige, a residence exclusively for female students. The residence is within a five minute walk from Station Université de Montréal, and includes three living rooms, a dining room, a conference room, and several study rooms. With 15 women living in one large house, Fonteneige is a tight-knit, diverse community that is a great space for women to build supportive and long-lasting friendships.
Fonteneige provides many opportunities for community engagement and interactive learning. The residence frequently holds academic conferences as well as cultural and spiritual activities to help residents broaden their scope of studies. Such activities include guest speaker evenings, concerts, spiritual workshops, and volunteer events. The building is located next to a Catholic chapel, where residents are welcome to attend weekly worship services, but Fonteneige is open to students of all religions.
At Fonteneige, all housekeeping duties are taken care of by staff, so that students can fully focus on their studies and social activities. Homemade meals are prepared by the residence’s chefs three times a day, seven days a week.
Cleaning services are offered three times a week, and laundry and ironing services once a week. Each resident gets her own fully furnished bedroom, aswell as access to high-speed internet. All of these services are included in the rent.
Lease: Starting from one semester and can be extended
Monthly rent per person: Starting from $905 per month
Well-suited for: Busy female students who want to focus on their learning and live in a socially and academically engaging, family-like environment without having to worry about housekeeping.
Evo Centre-ville—420 Sherbrooke Ouest
Only a five minute walk from McGill’s Roddick Gates, evo Centre-ville is a former Holiday Inn that was converted into a luxurious student residence last spring. It includes 480 fully furnished rooms, spread out over 19 floors. Residents are granted access to amenities, including a 24-hour fitness center, a large communal kitchen, high-speed internet connection, multiple lounge areas, a study room, and an indoor heated pool, saunas, and tanning beds. Unlimited use of these facilities is included in the rent.
Residents may choose between a single or a double suite. To accommodate individuals seeking a roommate, evo offers a compatibility questionnaire to provide the best possible match. Evo also provides the option of renting two neighbouring rooms with a connecting door in between for students who want to live with more than one individual.
Sizes and structures of rooms also vary; while some double rooms have two double beds placed across the room from each other with a large open space in between, others have the two beds pushed together with a large board in the center, creating a cubicle-type sleeping area for those who would like to share a room, but still need their privacy at night.
Evo offers many amenities such as on-site restaurant Ace Grill & Bar, a coffee bar in the lobby, weekly yoga and kickboxing classes, flat screen TVs in the lounges, a fitness centre, and a laundry room.
Lease: Generally four, nine, or 12 months, but open to negotiation
Monthly rent per person: Starting from $1650 per month (singles) and $850 per month (doubles) for 12-month leases
Well-suited for: Students who want to live a life of comfort and luxury while staying close to campus
Parc Cité—3440 Avenue du Parc
Stationed just five minutes away from Roddick Gates, Parc Cité is a former Quality Hotel that has been renovated into a student residence, Parc Cité is one of the closest living options to McGill’s campus. The building has 140 fully furnished rooms with a great view of downtown Montreal. There is a study room and a small kitchen on each of the seven floors. Other amenities include a game room, a laundry room, a computer room, multiple lounge areas, and a 24-hour fitness facility. There is even a Tim Horton’s downstairs that delivers straight to residents’ doors.
Parc Cité stands out with its unique design. The entire interior of the building has been decorated by EN MASSE, a collaborative street art project based in Montreal. Talented local artists have adorned almost every wall with swirly black-and-white murals. The concept is consistent throughout the entire building: Most of the communal areas are shiny and white, with monochromatic murals along the walls, and a few bold wall designs of vibrant colour. The residence also plans many events to engage the community, such as weekly wine and cheese gatherings and lounge parties with guest DJs. Parc Cité is a modern and trendy residence with a friendly and unique atmosphere.
Lease: Two-12 months
Monthly rent per person: Starting from $999 per month (singles) and $599 per month (doubles) for 12-month leases
Well-suited for: Students who want to stay close to campus, and are drawn to experiencing another dimension of urban living