There are smiles and recipes from all over the world in this neighbourhood. It’s like a rendezvous with a multi-ethnic population and its restaurants with fragrant flavors. Between the exotic grocery stores, the colorful fabric stores and the clothes imported from far away countries, there is an atmosphere of immigration land. Organic grocery stores, cafés, restaurants, pubs and big-box stores are as close to each other as the population. More than half of the inhabitants are of immigrant origin. Most of them are allophones. This means that the neighborhood is not lacking in spices and accents.
For any newcomer, what catches the eye is the high tower of the University of Montreal as much as the bell tower of Saint Joseph’s Oratory. In tune with student life, the Côte-des-Neiges district is also home to cafés and bookstores on Côte-des-Neiges Street. Students particularly appreciate the cafés and terraces in telecommuting or exchange mode. They come from HEC Montréal, Université de Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal or the Loyola campus of Concordia University. The Collège International Marie de France also welcomes students, the majority of whom are of foreign origin. Not to mention hospitals such as the Jewish Hospital and Sainte-Justine, and their research laboratories which attract professionals and researchers from all over the world.
Friendliness rhymes here with accessibility. Housing for sale and for rent is affordable. An opportunity for students! Nearly 80% of the families are tenants. Of old construction, the buildings can need however, a brush stroke. The poorest and most precarious sector of Côte-des-Neiges, the lower part of Mont-Royal, is in need of refurbishment. Conversely, the upper part of Côte-Sainte-Catherine, on the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce side, is inhabited by a more affluent population. Family homes line the quiet streets, most often with a lawn in front and a private garden in the back with a parking lot.