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4. McGill Ghetto, Montreal

 

Montreal's traditional Jewish neighborhoods, Côte Saint-Luc and Hampstead, usually attract the most attention, and for good reasons. But for us, the Ghetto is where it's at. Cited by Details magazine as one of the hottest neighborhoods in North America for its mainstream appeal, the area adjacent to McGill University, within the Plateau-Mont Royal borough (and also known as the Milton-Parc Extension), is a vibrant Jewish destination.

 

With an old-school, immigrant feel, it's like New York's Lower East Side but with tree-lined streets. The area is very walkable, with reliable public transportation and relatively low rents. It has special appeal for students and young professionals and lacks the expense of New York or the schlep of L.A. Within minutes of downtown Montreal, there are kosher restaurants as well as one Reform, one Conservative, and three Orthodox shuls.

 

A 15-minute subway ride zips residents to Snowden's YM/WHA, the Jewish Federation, and the Segal Centre for Performing Arts. Not to be missed is the Friday night davening at the local Hillel's Ghetto Shul. Held in a former restaurant, it features a Carlebach vibe and a kosher dinner for as many as 200 people.

 

(Courtesy of Jewish Living Magazine)

 

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By huge I meant as a proportion of students living in the ghetto, not in numbers. However, the number I believe is far greater than a couple hundred. I don't think the list was intended to have anything to do with size of population as much as the 'hipppest' or best area for a Jew to move where there is some Jewish presence. Regardless, the list is quite a bit strange. I can see how the word huge might have been a bit of an overstatement.

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