GO-POLY

Looking for Accommodations and Moving to Montreal

You live outside the Greater Montreal area and are wondering if it's better to search for a place to live on site or remotely? Each option has advantages and disadvantages!

  1. Search for housing on site, in Montreal
    You will be able to visit apartments, talk with landlords and/or roommates, and possibly avoid nasty surprises. However, the search for accommodations will be added to the other things you need to do to get settled in Montreal, and may add to stress to your life, especially if you come from abroad. Also, you will need to book temporary accommodation while you search for permanent housing.
     
  2. Rent your housing remotely
    You will have a place to live as soon as you arrive, but be aware of fraud, and make sure you have all the necessary information before you rent!

Here are some tips to help you find housing:

  • Start your search as soon as possible.
  • Broaden your search - be prepared to live a short distance from campus.
  • Considerer becoming a roomate to a pre-established shared apartment, or rent a turnkey apartment.

It is important to note that Polytechnique Montréal is not responsible for the housing of its students. Here is some essential information and links to help you search effectively, find suitable housing and get settled.

WEBINAR ON HOUSING SEARCH

TYPES OF HOUSING AVAILABLE
Temporary accommodation (during your search for permanent housing)

If you are looking for housing once you arrive in Montreal, we strongly recommend that you make a reservation in a hotel, or a youth hostel, at least for the week following your arrival. This will give you time to find permanent accommodation.

Here are a few suggestions of sites to book temporary accommodation in Montreal:

PLEASE NOTE: The end of August and the beginning of September correspond to a very busy tourist season and also coincide with the arrival of thousands of students in Montreal. Without prior reservation, you will have difficulty finding a hotel room.

Living in a student residence

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 ZUM student residences located on campus offer single rooms for full-time students at 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 1st) in order to have a chance of obtaining a room for the following academic year. For more information, please directly contact: Résidences ZUM de l'Université de Montréal.

The Maria Goretti residence, also located within walking distance of Polytechnique, offers rooms for single women.  

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.

Living alone in an apartment

Living alone in a single-person apartment may be a good idea if you need a quiet environment, and you have a substantial monthly budget (approximately $1280 plus related expenses).The Appartago website offers reliable statistics about average housing prices in Montreal.

Most Montréal apartments are unfurnished or semi-furnished (the latter meaning they come with a stove and refrigerator only). As a result, you will likely need some money to purchase furniture. Most landlords require you to sign a one-year lease or a lease that expires June 30.

Living with roommates

Roommates: the most popular choice of Quebec students! Moving in with roommates is often a good idea because it allows you to share the costs of accommodations and some other expenses, and can give you more flexibility in terms of lease duration. Living with roommates is also a great way to avoid feeling lonely or isolated. 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 an existing lease, unless you make other arrangements with your roommates. Whatever the case may be, it's advisable to put your agreement in writing.

RULES AND THE REALITIES OF THE RENTAL MARKET

What's a 2½ semi-furnished? What obligations are associated with signing a rental 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 where to live? Do landlords 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 learn the answers and get important information that will help you in your apartment search and as a future tenant, consult the following websites:

MONTREAL AND ITS BOROUGHS

Polytechnique Montréal is located in the Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough. Many students choose to live in this neighbourhood because it's close to campus, but Montréal is full of interesting and lively neighbourhoods! We advise 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 Montréal's neighbourhoods:


For information about how to get around the city and distances by public transit:

START SEARCHING

WEBSITES

Many websites allow you to begin searching for housing and roommates.

Take a walk through the neighbourhood

It may be surprising, but many available rentals are only publicized on buildings themselves. It's often worth the effort to walk around the neighbourhood where you'd like to live, take note of any availabilities, and make plans to visit.    

SETTLING IN

You did it! You've made an informed decision about your accommodations and now you're ready to move in. Here are some things to remember as you get settled.

Electricity and Heating

If you're moving into a new apartment, you’ll likely need to open an account with Hydro-Québec, the public electricity utility. In the greater Montreal region, most buildings are heated using electricity. If you're required to pay for heating on top of your electricity bill, we recommend that you sign up for the Equalized Payments Plan (EPP), which allows you to spread  costs equally over a 12 month period.

Internet and Telephone

INTERNET

If you'd like to set up Internet access in your new home, start by reviewing the rates and packages offered by telecommunications companies. You may find it advantageous to set up telephone, Internet, and cable television all at the same time. Be aware of the bandwidth limitations associated with your plan, especially if you share your apartment with roommates. For more information about companies and plans, visit the PlanHub website.

CELL PHONES

If you're coming from abroad, don't be surprised: mobile telephony is expensive in Quebec, especially when compared to European countries. If you're staying for one semester only, it may be better to bring your cell phone from home and sign up for a prepaid plan that gives you access to service for a set period. If you opt for a prepaid plan, ensure your phone is unlocked and tri-band enabled.

If you're a Quebec student or if you're staying in Quebec for a longer period, this website can help you make an informed choice:

LANDLINES

Here's some useful information if you decide to install a landline (fixed telephone line). In Quebec, local calls from landlines are free. You'll be asked to select a basic plan and you’ll be charged for it on a monthly basis regardless of the number of local calls you make. Landline options can include voicemail, call display, call waiting and a second line. You can choose the combination that suits you best.

Calls to numbers outside of the city of Montréal and its surrounding area, including international calls, are billed according to the duration of your call. These rates can be high, so make sure you know the rates in advance.

If you are an international student, know that you can use prepaid calling cards for your calls abroad. These come in various denominations (generally $5, $10 or $20) and are sold in many grocery stores, pharmacies, and convenience stores. You can also purchase them at Coopoly (Polytechnique Montréal's bookstore). The cards let you call overseas at a lower cost, and some of them offer special rates for specific regions of the world.

BUYING NEW

A number of large retail chains offer furniture and other items at a range of prices. Some of them also offer delivery, with or without a fee. For example:

Dollar stores: This is the common name for stores that sell all kinds of goods for $5 or less. Dollar stores can be found all around the city.

BUYING USED

Save money, save the environment - there's lots of great reasons to buy used! Here are some well-known organizations and stores that sell used items:

We also encourage you to use the search engine function on the Grand Montreal 211 website for locations and businesses selling used items, and don't forget to check classifieds websites like Kijiji and Craigslist.

IMPORTANT! We recommend that you do not take furniture and other items left on sidewalks, roads, or by the curb, as these items may be infested with bed bugs.

Home Insurance

A home insurance policy is a must. Home insurance will protect you if you need to replace your belongings after an accident or incident such as fire or theft. If you cause damage to someone else's property or belongings, you may also be covered for civil liability under your home insurance policy.

If you don't have home insurance, you will be liable for any expenses associated with the accidents or incidents mentioned above. Most banks and insurance companies offer this type of coverage for as little as $20 or $30 a month.