So the pair started looking for a place that was big enough to house a whole family. That’s when they found a duplex in Rosemont, with about 1,600 square feet of combined living space on the main floor and basement, with a backyard. Just the same, Claudine had some reservations. “This building was a little too far east for me,” she says. “But when we visited it, we loved it, and the stars lined up after that.”
Lining up those stars were the mothers of Claudine and Alexandre. They helped the couple finance the purchase. In fact, next year, Alexandre’s mother will move into the space on the second floor. “Intergenerational homes are probably going to become more common in Montreal,” Claudine points out. “Without our mothers’ precious help, we certainly couldn’t have bought this house.”
Claudine works in the theatre, while Alexandre is a landscape architect. For this categorically urban family, staying in the city was non-negotiable.“We’re part of Montreal’s cultural effervescence,” Claudine argues. “We weren’t ready to swap that for suburban living.” They moved into the duplex in March 2014, and a little over a year later, Géraldine, their second daughter, joined the tribe. Alexandre and Claudine have since discovered just how family-friendly their neighbourhood is.
“Having a backyard and a back alley is a boon when you have two kids,” Claudine notes. “The neighbours we share the alley with organize parties in the summer,” Alexandre says. “When I get home from work, there are always lots of kids playing in the alley, or people watching the hockey game. It’s a vibrant neighbourhood.”
The duplex also has a great location. Romane’s daycare and Alexandre’s office are nearby. They’re also close to the burgeoning Promenade Masson, a street lined with interesting little shops and restos. Plus, there’s always parking on their street. For Alexandre, becoming a homeowner was the perfect excuse to take on interior design projects.
“There weren’t a lot of renovations to do,” he concedes. “It was more about making the place our own.” In the kitchen, he dismantled the cupboards, built an island, and installed new wood floors. In the basement, he constructed a wooden slat wall in the living room, built-in shelves in the office, and he renovated the bathroom.
Claudine couldn’t be happier with their central, urban, and spacious home. “It’s actually very big for us,” she says. Alexandre weighs in: “It’ll be fun watching the girls grow in here.”
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