Living in Outremont Montreal, Explore the Neighbourhood
Outremont is a residential borough unlike any other in Montreal, the bustling North American city known for its joie de vivre and European flair. See why those seeking an idyllic, family-friendly lifestyle love to make this upscale area their home.
Take a quick trip through Outremont:
When it comes to location, Outremont is one of those rare gems that really does have it all. The fact that this area is so small (just under 4 km²) – and so close to downtown Montreal – makes it all the more coveted.
Outremont is mostly residential and unapologetically high-end. Picture stately Victorian homes with lovingly landscaped lawns tucked along tranquil tree-lined streets dotted with picturesque 19th century parks. Now toss in a generous selection of trendy restaurants, world-class entertainment, chic boutiques, and exclusive schools, and you’ve got Outremont in a nutshell.
And let’s not forget the hillside views. Outremont flanks the northwestern slope of Montreal’s famed Mont Royal – directly on the other side of the mountain from its more English-speaking counterpart, Westmount, another ritzy neighbourhood. In fact, Outremont owes its name to its “beyond the mountain” position.
Once its own city, Outremont is now a borough of the city of Montreal. The area is bounded to the northwest by Mount Royal, to the northeast by Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension and Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie, to the east by Le Plateau-Mont-Royal and the Mile End district, to the south by Ville-Marie, and to the west by Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.
Outremont’s enviable location – close to downtown Montreal, but tucked away from the big-city hustle and bustle – is just the beginning of what makes Outremont such an appealing place to live.
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You don’t really need to be told you’re in Outremont. You can just tell. It’s like stepping into a posh bubble. Stroll its streets and boulevards under the canopy of trees and you’ll quickly understand why people say Outremont is equal parts tranquil and lively – always at the appropriate time and place.
A welcoming family-friendly lifestyle is a given in Outremont. But what is optional is owning a car. You can easily get around on foot. With all the picture-perfect parks, opulent architecture and quaint commercial streets tastefully adorned with charming restaurants, chic cafés and upscale shops, it’s no surprise that walking is the preferred way to get around for most residents. All this foot traffic also helps to keep noise levels low – a rarity in such a large metropolis. It also makes bumping into neighbours a common occurrence.
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With a third of the area made up of urban forest, quality of life reigns supreme for Outremont residents, who widely embrace traditional values and financial comfort.
The borough has a density of 6,000 inhabitants/km2, which is less than half of that of its neighbouring borough to the east, the oh-so-hip Plateau-Mont-Royal. Interesting fact, the population of Outremont has fluctuated little since 1930.
Most households are affluent families and French expatriates lured by the world-famous Vincent-d'Indy Music Conservatory and the Collège Stanislas, a private school offering high-quality French-language education from elementary all the way to the college level. Many doctors, university professors [AM3] [RS4] and other professionals call Outremont home, due in large part to its proximity to the Université de Montreal-Polytechnique-HEC and several well-regarded [AM5] hospitals. Montreal’s other French-language university, Université du Québec à Montreal, and two English-language universities: Concordia and McGill University are also just a short bus or subway ride away.
Snapshot of Outremont residents
60%: residents with a university education
30%: residents who earn more than $150,000 per year
46%: households with children
Outremont Real Estate
Outremont’s social composition is reflected in its traditional architecture: beautiful homes draped in climbing ivy and fronted with impeccably manicured private gardens. You’ll also find luxurious apartments, and to a lesser degree, multiplex buildings, equally oozing with character.
The higher up the hill you go, the more luxurious the homes become. “Haut Outremont” makes for a particularly lovely stroll, with multimillion dollar properties as a constant backdrop.
Northwest of Côte-Sainte-Catherine Road you’ll find pretty traditional homes of a slightly smaller stature. Head down the hill and closer to the neighbourhood’s main commercial arteries and you’ll find low-rise apartment buildings. Larger apartment buildings and gorgeous modern townhouses can also be found to a lesser degree.
As a rule, it’s easy to find Outremont condos and apartments in a variety of sizes, ranging from compact lofts to sprawling units of four or more bedrooms. Red stone facades, luxurious wood-panelled interiors and other classic features are common features in Outremont rental buildings.
Snapshot of Outremont real estate
· 21%: buildings that are single-family homes
· 58%: buildings less than 5 storeys
· 75%: buildings constructed before 1960 (many since renovated with care to retain the historic charm)
The cost of living is a[AM8] little pricier in Outremont than in other nearby Montreal neighbourhoods. But in Outremont, you really do get what you pay for. The local grocery store, 5 Saisons, caters to those with generous food budgets and has the high-end fare to satisfy even the most discerning chefs.
That being said, there are a few classic gems that have chosen to keep their prices more accessible. Lester’s Deli and Cheskie Bakery, both Outremont mainstays, are just two great examples.
What Outremont lacks in buzzing nightlife it certainly makes up for in chic dining, high-quality groceries and elegant houseware and clothing boutiques – mainly centred on Laurier, Bernard and Van Horne avenues. You’ll find specialty food shops, open air cafes and world-class restaurants, including the famed Les Enfants Terribles. And, of course the bagel shops of Mile-End are right nearby.
Families are spoiled for choice when it comes to educating and entertaining their children, particularly if they are open to a French-language education. There are 4 excellent francophone schools, several private options and one alternative school.
Families get good use from the area’s numerous parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, sports facilities and recreation centres.
Outremont is accessible via the 40 highway to the north and has ample public transportation, including the Parc Avenue bus, the Van Horne bus and the Outremont subway station on the Blue line, located at Van Horne and Wiseman avenues. There are also CommunAuto car share areas.
Despite its small size, Outremont has more than its fair share of hotspots that attract people from across the island and well beyond year-round.
Lester’s Deli – A family owned-and-operated neighbourhood institution serving quintessential smoked meat and other authentic deli fare. An irreplaceable part of Outremont’s history for the past 60 years.
Premiere Moisson – An artisanal bakery offering a wide selection of premium artisan breads and pastries, including baguettes worth queuing up for.
Bilboquet – Think people are crazy for lining up around the block for a simple scoop of ice cream? Your first Bilboquet cone will relieve you of this misconception. Everyone flocks here on hot summer evenings.
Mamie Clafoutis – A Parisian-style bakery with croissants and pain chocolat so addictive, they should come with a warning.
Michel Brisson – Montrealers are known for their chic fashion sense and this Laurier Avenue high-end menswear store deserves a large credit.
Restaurant Leméac – An upscale Outremont mainstay that makes the perfect setting for a champagne brunch.
Chez Lévêque – Where the streak-frites is always a good idea.
Being tucked away on the other side of the mountain, Outremont is a relative youngster compared to Montreal’s nearly 400 year-old history.
Its oldest properties date back to the early 19th century when Montreal’s French-speaking upper echelons built their country houses here, looking for a quick escape from the “big city.”
Originally known as Côte Sainte-Catherine, the area came to be named Outremont after the country residence built by Louis-Tancrède Bouthillier in 1833, who named the house “Outre-Mont” (beyond the mountain).
In 1875, the new Village of Outremont was created on the initiative of Canadian politician Louis Beaubien, and named after the Bouthillier house, which still stands today on McDougall Street. Being a sly fellow, Beaubien used barns and other farm buildings in order to reach the minimum house count required for the status of city. At the time, Outremont residents had to pass through Mount Royal by wagon or on foot to reach their lovely little town, which helped keep the population low.
Outremont remained a separate city until it merged with Montreal in 2001. Over the years, it has been home to a number of notable Canadians, including former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who was locally born and raised.
The neighbourhood has long played an important role in Montreal’s rich cultural history, with the Theatre Outremont on Bernard Avenue taking centre stage. Since its inception in 1929, the theatre has been widely regarded as one of the city’s most elegant architectural monuments to the Golden Age of Cinema.
Why We Love Outremont
Despite the passing of time and trends, Outremont remains a small, quiet and peaceful residential paradise. It offers upscale homes, some 25 parks and thousands of trees.
Just ask any local resident: Outremont is one of the most beautiful, comfortable and welcoming neighbourhoods on the island. And they wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
Spend an afternoon here and you’ll see why: Gorgeous vistas, well-maintained streets, impeccably landscaped parks, great schools and an enticing mix of shops happily supported by locals. All centrally located and close to downtown. Toss in a heap of yummy eateries and you’ve got a near-perfect place to live.