Montreal is a city of wonder: Nowhere else in the world have I ever experienced such a symbiosis between two languages: The way people transition, merge, or mix-match French and English (and often times one or two more languages), is something unique to this province and entertaining to encounter in this city.
Being more specific about this city though, it is a city of many neighbourhoods. There is the ghetto downtown with its many student houses, the plateau with its French hip community and party goers, NDG with its immigrant community, and Hochelaga with its… prostitutes. Having lived in three different neighbourhoods and partied in pretty much every single one of them, I am happy that my partner and I made the decision of leaving the complexity and entertaining factor of Hochelaga for the simplicity and commodity of Verdun.
Verdun is located in the southern edge of the island, and is a few footsteps away from the old port, downtown, and a few exits that take one as close as the south shore and as far as the United States. When we chose this location we were merely thinking of moving closer to work, but ended up moving to an area that has every single service and store that we could need, and that also happens to be pleasant to see.
Everything you need? That is basically most of the island!
This rings true to most neighbourhoods in the island. Take Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, for example, where we had a public market a few blocks away, a pool across the street, and Montreal’s single vegan market. We also had prostitutes in every corner, a small transfer station for garbage trucks, three or four parking bays for trailer trucks, and a space where trains maneuvered every day and every night. Being 5 kilometers from the downtown area with all of these items in the middle felt like an eternity, and it certainly was with a 45 minute commute to any place where anything happened. On second thought though, other than for the lengthy distance from downtown, this was the perfect place to live. We lived on a small budget and had a lot of time to our own thoughts as we commuted back and forth to work.
That era, however, has come to an end. We moved to the other side of the city and could not be happier with our choice. The neighbourhood we now live in is extremely calm, has its own good balance of anglophones, francophones, and immigrants, and is also cute in its own way.
Perhaps in a year or two I will think differently, but for the time being I am content to enjoy everything this area of town has to offer.
Thank you, Verdun.