Exceptional services and affordable housing
Sarah Dubuc and her spouse wanted a place close to the Metro and chose a condo in Parc-Extension. “It was really affordable,” she says happily. “Tens of thousands of dollars less than a similar condo elsewhere in Montreal.”
The couple particularly appreciates the many services available nearby. “The library is a short walk from home, in the same building as my daughter’s daycare,” she explains. “There’s an indoor pool next door and the health centre is also close. It’s reassuring to know that we can see a nurse so easily.”
The family often walks along Ball Avenue and into Jarry Park, a vast green space featuring picnic spots, sports fields and in winter, great tobogganing hills.
The trio shops weekly at Jean-Talon Market, a 15-minute walk away, and picks up organic vegetables and other groceries at small shops even closer to home.
Many ways to get around
Sarah Dubuc loves to walk, although her job often requires her to drive. As a result, she appreciates that Highway 40 forms the northern boundary of Parc-Extension. When she needs to go downtown, she hops on #80 bus, which goes directly there.
The neighbourhood also has two metro stations—Parc and l’Acadie—as well as a train station. Cyclists can take advantage of four nearby Bixi stations and bike lanes on three streets. If your bike needs a little adjustment—or if you need to fuel up for your ride—stop at La Place Commune, a local café (corner of Querbes and Saint-Roch) and take advantage of self-serve bike repair tools.
Vibrant community spirit and a growing cultural scene
“Parc-Extension has a personality all its own, and residents know how to preserve their multicultural identity and community spirit,” boasts Camille Caron-Belzile, cofounder of L’Artère, a local co-op café and performance space. On Thursdays and Fridays, L’Artère features an Indian menu and shows Bollywood movies in honour of the neighbourhood’s many newcomers from Southeast Asia. Camille Caron-Belzile is determined to nurture the neighbourhood’s unique identity and regularly hosts open-mic nights, literary cabarets, theatre and exhibitions of interactive art.
Other cultural offerings in the neighbourhood include the Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension cultural centre, the site of exhibitions and performances. The square in front of the old Jean-Talon station hosts performances for the Montreal POP music and crafts festival.
A wealth of housing options
Along with condos recently built in the neighbourhood’s south end, Parc-Extension features many small multiplexes dating from the 1950s and 1960s. Some of the laneways behind buildings are unpaved, recalling the network of “green alleys” found across Montreal.
North of Ball Avenue, tall poplar trees line the streets and row houses soon give way to semi-detached duplexes. The number of single-family homes—usually made of brick and often surrounded by fruit trees and vines—continues to grow.
A new campus on the way
The construction of l’Université de Montréal’s Outremont campus on the site of former rail yards at the southern end of Parc-Extension will bring further change to the neighbourhood.
The borough of Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension plans to upgrade the section of Beaumont Avenue nearest the new campus. Condos and social housing will replace derelict buildings, sidewalks will be enlarged, and green spaces and traffic-calming measures will be introduced. The university plans to build a footbridge linking the campus to Beaumont Avenue.
Where: between l’Acadie Boulevard and the train tracks running along Jarry Park, from the Outremont rail yard to Highway 40.
Housing options: single-family homes built after the Second World War, duplexes, and condominium multiplexes.
Residents love: the neighbourhood’s strong multicultural and community vibe; affordable housing; variety of easy transportation options including train, Metro, bike and bus.