With borders of Sherbrooke West to the south, St-Laurent Boulevard to the east, des Pins Avenue West to the north and University Street to the west, the McGill Ghetto – or Milton-Parc – is a neighbourhood situated between downtown Montreal and the Plateau Mont-Royal. Located right next to McGill University, this is a vibrant community where lots of students and more permanent residents live side-by-side.
The McGill Ghetto is one of Montreal’s oldest neighbourhoods and has been inhabited since the end of the 18th century, when it was home to a number of wealthy families working downtown. As those families left for Westmount and Outremont in the 20th century, the neighbourhood’s population diversified; today it’s one of the city’s most densely populated. Its demographic and social profile is just as varied.
With its picturesque tree-lined streets, 20th-century buildings, Victorian houses and proximity to both Jeanne-Mance and Mont Royal parks, McGill Ghetto is without a doubt, a desirable place to live. Filled with cafes, bars, restaurants, and boutiques of all kinds, it’s a bustling and attractive community that offers something for everyone.
According to the City of Montreal’s 2006 census figures, this neighbourhood has been a centre of immigration, with lots of foreign students setting up here to study at McGill; 41 per cent of residents list a language other than English or French as their mother tongue. Sixty-eight per cent of people living in the neighbourhood have a university degree, and that same proportion of the population is composed of singles.
The McGill Ghetto is located a mere stone’s throw from McGill University, which accounts for its large student population. Just a few minutes by foot to downtown, the city’s health and transit systems are easily accessible here – as are government services, many of which are concentrated in the city's core. The mountain and Parc Jeanne-Mance are just as close, so outdoorsy types have plenty to keep them busy.
McGill Ghetto is an exceptionally walkable neighbourhood. Several metro stations are close by, including McGill and Place des Arts on the green line, as well as Sherbrooke on the orange line. The 80, 129, 55 and 31 buses are also easily accessible. For drivers, things are bit more complicated; access to highways and bridges is not easy.
Quality of life is undeniably high in the McGill Ghetto: the neighbourhood, located right next to all types of services, is home to a variety of little-known restaurants, boutiques, cafés and bars. That said, finding the balance between the lifestyles of students and other residents is sometimes difficult in terms of nighttime noise.
As is inevitably the case with large student populations, the McGill Ghetto is a place where one can live fairly inexpensively. As one of Canada’s top neighbourhoods in terms of social housing, there are a number of affordable supermarkets nearby, including Super Marché Sakaris Segal’s. Cafés, bars and little neighbourhood shops offer up reasonable pricing, but there are also plenty of opportunities to splurge.
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