What $2,000/Month (or Less) Rents You in a Trendy Neighbourhood Next to a Trendy Cafe

Dear readers, welcome back to Lease Biters, a column that explores what one can rent for a set dollar amount in various Montreal neighbourhoods. This week on Lease Biters, I would like to talk to you about apartments and coffee shops. Why, you ask? July is fast approaching and many of you are in a panic looking not only for the perfect apartment in the perfect location and at the perfect price, but also for the perfect apartment nearby the perfect coffee shop. Increasingly, many of us YPs are self-employed, without a defined workplace to go to every day, and thus looking for a welcoming and cozy coffee shop to call our office…not to mention one that serves a real cappuccino, not some five dollar Venti extra-dry skinny Mochaccino with sugar-free chocolate and fat-free whipped cream.

So let’s now explore four hot rental properties and four hot Cafes in five different Montreal neighbourhoods! This week’s price: $2,000 or less.

1. St-Alexandre, Montreal’s International District – $1,800/month

What was once home to the Gillette Safety Razor Co. is now home to many urban YPs. In 2008, the building was converted into the Gillette Lofts. With 12-foot ceilings, imposing concrete columns and floor to ceiling fenestration, this apartment is the authentic loft. What also makes it so unique is that it is one of the only units in the building to have a private balcony. So what is there to say about Montreal’s International Dictrict? Well, while fostering bustling downtown activity during the weekdays, it offers the most peaceful evenings and weekends. Don’t we all need such balance?

Where’s the notable neighbourhood Cafe?

On the corner of Viger and St-Alexandre is established Cafe Différance, and yes its name is very suitable. If you are a coffee connoisseur, you will taste the difference – guaranteed. Unlike most coffee shops that roast their beans monthly, at Différance, the beans are super fresh and roasted several times a week. I love this place, I love their cappuccino, and love that it’s made with lots of love!

2. De l’Esplanade, Mile End – $1,600/month 

The Mile End is the talk of the town. It is also the place to live if you’re an artist, musician, writer or filmmaker. Its many bakeries, book stores, thrift shops and restaurants make it one of the most endearing and livable districts in Montreal. Everything you need is just one block away – literally. This rental is the ground floor apartment of a 1910 vintage triplex located on the corner of St-Viateur.  It’s about 1,100 square feet, has two bedrooms and one bathroom. PS. The owner is a friend of mine, so the added bonus is that you will have a super cool neighbour and landlord!

Where’s the notable neighbourhood Cafe?

You will feel right at home at Cafe Olimpico, synonymous with Cafe au lait, passionate sports watching and relaxed patio-loving people. Fantastic espresso + open till midnight = win!

3. Notre-Dame, Old Montreal – $1,700/month

Notre-Dame is quickly becoming the next St-Paul. Some of the city’s hottest joints are established near this upcoming street. Magdalen, owned and operated by the same folks at L’Orignal, just opened its door last month; the best DJs now spin at Peopl, the city’s most soulful nightclub; and if you’re looking for the outfit to hit these hot spots, Boutique Rooney is conveniently located to put an upper class spin on your urban wear. Now imagine how fun it would be to live in the middle of all this action! This condo is only one of twelve in a historical building dating from the 1800s. It’s a very large apartment of 1,078 square feet. You’ll love how spacious each room is! Furthermore, you’ll think you’re in Paris when you look out the huge arched windows. They offer an unobstructed view of Ste-Helene, the most charming and visually pleasing street in the OP.  Please note it can be offered fully furnished for $1,900 per month if day trips to IKEA aren’t your thing…

Where’s the notable neighbourhood Cafe?

Titanic Cafe is tucked in a corner, in the basement of a building on St-Pierre, so don’t be surprised if you have never seen it. This place cooks up some of the meanest gourmet sandwiches around town. You might be tempted to try their new pork scalopine Milanese sandwich with house-made tartar sauce or their roasted artichoke bandarillas with parmesan & bacon …and you should! It will be worth your $14, I promise. They have free Wi-Fi, so you can work comfortably while getting your caffeine dose and making your tummy happy.

4. Prince Albert, Westmount – $2,000/month

Located in Victoria Village, a vibrant residential and commercial community just west of the downtown area, this is the upper duplex of a 100-year old row house on a quiet and elegant Westmount hill on Prince Albert Avenue. It has a sunny living room with bay windows and a wood fireplace. Although the layout is typical of the way houses were once built, it remains practical. It has three bedrooms, a large kitchen, a separate dining room and an impressive living room. You will also get what makes Victorian Westmount homes so charming: original hardwood flooring, very high ceilings and a skylight.

Where’s the notable neighbourhood Cafe?

Le Cafe-Crème is just down the hill on Victoria street. In the summer it has great outdoor seating in the heart of the Westmount Villag,e so you will quickly become a regular there. Relax and sip Westmount’s finest cappuccino, and if coffee isn’t your thing, they make one hell of a hot chocolate! Oh and the staff is just as sweet as the chocolate. 

For more information, contact Karine Doche at kdoche@sothebysrealty.ca