In general, finding housing in Montreal takes just a few days of serious research. However, to ensure you have enough time for a detailed search, we recommend you arrive approximately two weeks before classes begin if you are starting a fall term, or at the very end of December or very beginning of January if you are starting a winter term.
The monthly budget for rent and related expenses (heating, electricity, phone, Internet, insurance) can vary between $600 and $1,000. The exact sum depends on the type and location of the residence and whether the student chooses to live alone. Small one-person units are quite rare around the university campus. Most often, students share larger apartments with roommates in order to bring down their costs.
Montreal has an abundant supply of rental properties, making it relatively easy to find accommodation compared to many other major cities around the world. Here is some basic information and links to help you find suitable housing and get settled in.
Living in residence can be a good option if it's your first time living outside your family home. Student residences are usually furnished, and residents share common areas such as washrooms, kitchens and lounges. Various activities and services (reception, security, meal plans, etc.) may also be offered, depending on the location.
The Université de Montréal student residences offer single rooms for full-time students of Polytechnique, the Université de Montréal and HEC Montréal. Be aware that spaces are very limited and registration should be completed well ahead of time (starting March 1) in order to have a chance of obtaining a room for the following academic year. For more information, please address your questions directly to: Résidences de l'Université de Montréal.
Montreal also has a number of student residences administered by private companies and individuals. Prices for these accommodations vary. You can find them using this search engine.
Getting a single-person apartment for yourself may be a good idea if you need a quiet environment and you have a substantial monthly budget (at least $700–$800 plus related expenses) to pay for a small unit. Most apartments in Montreal are non-furnished or semi-furnished (meaning they come with a stove and refrigerator). Therefore, you will need some money to invest in furniture. Most landlords require you to sign a one-year lease or a lease expiring on June 30.
This is the option chosen by most students in Quebec! Moving in with roommates is often a good idea because it allows you to share the costs of accommodation and some other expenses, and it can give you more flexibility in terms of lease duration. It's also a way to avoid isolation. Exchange students who attend one semester are usually very interested in this option because it is generally simpler and more flexible. You may be required to add your name to the lease unless you come to another arrangement with your roommates. Whatever the case may be, it's advisable to put your agreement in writing.
What's a 2½ semi-furnished? What obligations are associated with the signing of a lease in Quebec? Do I have to sign a contract if I move in with roommates who already lease an apartment together? What important criteria should I take into account when choosing housing? Do landowners have the right to require a security deposit when I sign a lease?
These a just a few of the questions you should be asking yourself. To get the answers and obtain important information that will help you in your apartment search and as a future tenant, consult the following websites:
Polytechnique Montréal is located in the borough of Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. Many students choose to love in this neighbourhood because it's so close to campus. Montreal is full of interesting and lively districts. We advise that you choose a location that is no further than 30 minutes from campus using public transit. Ideally, you should look for housing near a metro station or a bus line with frequent service. It's also important to choose a neighbourhood where services like supermarkets and pharmacies are easy to access.
To learn more about the neighbourhoods of Montreal:
For directions around the city and distances by public transit:
Some websites allow you to begin searching for housing while you are still in your country of origin. These sites can also prove very useful after you arrive in Montreal.
The first of these is the Polytechnique Montréal housing directory. You can access the directory by entering your student ID and date of birth.
Other websites that may prove useful include:
- Kangalou: apartment search with geolocation
- EasyRoommate: site to find roommates
- Concordia University off-campus housing directory: apartments to rent, share and sublet
- McGill off-campus housing
- Kijjji.ca: buy and sell anything in Montreal; many apartments to rent, share and sublet
- Craigslist: numerous listings
- Les pac: many different categories of classifieds
- Appartalouer.com: apartments for rent in Quebec
- Louer.ca: for the entire province of Quebec
- moreMontreal: apartments and condos for rent