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After having a terrible time trying to find a good apartment Downtown that is not taken by someone in person immediately after I inquire about it, I am considering renting in Verdun, near De L'Eglise metro. Judging by street view, Wellington street is a smaller (and probably cleaner) version of Mont-Royal avenue. I basically have three questions: Are there any 24-hour coffee shops around? Is it as safe as, say, Downtown? How is commuting from there? Feel free to answer any other question that I didn't ask. Thanks a lot!

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This is my personal opinion based on my 5 years of living in Verdun.

 

When it comes to safety, Verdun is generally as safe as most other places around Downtown. The only crimes you mainly hear about are car and home robberies. Probably not as bad as the Plateau. Surprisingly you won’t see beggars, squeegees or street people around here. However since there is a high percentage of the population that is on very low income, you might encounter some drunks or some prostitutes here and there. Lots of people on BS here. All this is in no way dangerous but a bit more of a shock to the newly arrived (and still a shock to me after all this time). Note that there are no bars in Verdun or any kind of night life. Thus after 9PM, the streets can feel very empty, even on Wellington street. This can maybe increase the feeling of insecurity but again nothing to worry about.

 

The eastern part of Verdun (from Verdun metro station to Lasalle) is where the majority of the low income population lives but also where it has been multiculturalizing and gentrifying the most lately. The western part of Verdun is way more residential, has more houses and is generally richer. The water front is very nice and has lots of parks and biking paths.

 

As for the coffee shops, after work hours, you can pretty much forget about it. Besides the Dunkin Donuts on Wellington (old people hangout) and the Tim Hortons near the hospital on De L’eglise, there is nothing else open late (coffee wise). No Second Cup/Starbucks. There is a tea place on Wellington (Cha Noir) that might be open late but I’m not sure. There are some very nice independent coffee and pastry places but they are only open during the day. The only thing that you will find open late in Verdun are deps and the McDo. The deps are everywhere. Some are nice and have plenty of things (like fruits and flowers), most however are half empty and only sell milk, beer, smokes and diapers.

 

On the plus side, there is a decent foodie scene here. Lots of new restaurants on Wellington, some on Verdun street. However most are expensive for similar food elsewhere. For groceries, the Metro on De Leglise is pretty good. It also has a huge selection of beers (local ones). There are some butchers and fruit places not too far as well. On the east side of Verdun, you are also not very far from marché Atwater. There is also a Maxi and a Canadian Tire next to the highway and the Lasalle metro station. For fast food, Verdun can be very cheap. There are lots of hot dog, poutine and pizza places. My favorite is “Chez Mario” on De L’eglise and Bannantyne. The place looks a dump but you can get a frite, 2 hot dogs and a Pepsi for around 3.25$ taxes included.

 

As for Wellington street. It depends what you are looking for. Again no bars, lots of fast food and 80s style restaurants (with a singer or karaoke on the weekend) and a few foodie places. The rest are pawn shops, deps, dollar store, radio shack, asian minimarkets, video stores, pharmacies, churches, cheap jewelry, cheap shoes, cheap clothes and cheap electronics. I guess like Mont Royal street but in the 80s. A bit like Plaza St-Hubert or like Masson street in Rosemont now. Yes it’s clean but then again I don’t find Mont Royal st. that dirty.

 

In terms of commuting, if you are going downtown and are taking public

transport, living on the eastern side can be advantageous. The 3 metro stops (Lasalle, De L’eglise and Verdun) will get you downtown in less than 10 minutes. Buses run along the major streets and the ones that go downtown are the 108 along Bannantyne and then up Atwater, the 107 along Verdun St that will go up Peel, and the 61 that runs on Wellington and will go through old Montreal and end at McGill metro stop. Note that outside of rush hour these buses run every 30 minutes.

 

By car you are perfectly located for downtown (through Atwater or Turcot), south shore (by Champlain), the 20 west and Decarie via Ville Emard or Turcot.

 

They recently installed Bixis at the 3 metro stops. Biking to downtown can take around 20 minutes. However if you need to go north of Rene Levesque you will have to go up the hill somewhere, I usually go up Guy street.

 

Other places I would consider in the same vein but a bit closer to downtown are St-Henry (metro Place St-Henri) and Pointe St-Charles (near Charlevoix metro).

 

Good luck with your research.

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wow. Hard to add anything after such an exhaustive post. All I can say is that I live in Verdun after spending 5 years on the Plateau, and I love it! New cafés and restaurants are opening every month, the area is definitely on the rise.

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Lived in Verdun for my first 26 years of my life and still go quite often to visit my parents (not enough according to my mother) and although I live downtown now, when kids will get involve (not fast enough according to my girlfriend) Verdun will be one of my first choice to raise them. Yoyoma said most of it right.

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Je comparerais plus Wellington a Promenade Ontario qu'a Masson.

 

Le ratio de legging et coupe Longueuil est plus proche..

 

Ça change vite.

 

Le ratio de Bugaboo (poussette haut de gamme à ~ 1000$) augmente rapidement sur Wellington... C'est de bon augure pour l'évolution du quartier.

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