Royal Victoria College (RVC)
McGill’s most historic residence having been an all-girls college before women were allowed into McGill. It has now been transformed into a coed dormitory-style residence while maintaining an all-girl section. Its location is unbeatable as it is the closest residence to campus and is located in the heart of downtown Montreal, across a 24/7 Tim Hortons, and all downtown amenities.
The residence offers single-room dormitories with same-gender floors and a common floor bathroom (same gender as the floor) which is cleaned daily by staff. The west wing is the all-women section and there are a couple of shared bedrooms although mostly single rooms. The residence offers the best cafeteria on campus as well as a large study room accessible 24/7. Common areas include access to a pool table, TV room (with Wii) and two pianos. There is a connection to the music building and the music library from the residence.
Overall this is a rather quiet and studious residence that is not reputed for its party scene.
La Citadelle is one of the 3 hotel-styled coed residences that McGill offers. This residence offers single rooms, double rooms or large doubles (in which beds are in their own room). These types of dorms have the luxury of having a bathroom per room instead of having a community bathroom per floor. La Citadelle is also known for it’s a large and spacious kitchen on the 26th floor with an amazing view of downtown Montreal. On this same floor, La Citadelle offers a small gym and a large common area with a TV, sofas and tables, a Ping-Pong table, a piano, a foosball table as well as an amazing view. Similarly, this residence offers a large laundry room with 6 washing machines and 6 driers, a study room and a café with its common area on the bottom floor (plus another piano).
Dorms in La Citadelle are as expected from McGill’s top residence; queen-size beds and flat-screen TVs in each room, great for reviewing your recorded lectures or just for watching a movie, coffee brewer, and a big closet.
La Citadelle is only a 5-minute walk to campus, and very close to a Tim Hortons, Provigo (a supermarket), Jean Coutu (a pharmacy), and very close to 2 other residences, Royal Victoria College and Carrefour Sherbrooke, which is very convenient as their cafeterias have more options than La Citadelle’s. It is also just 10 minutes from the train station and 5 minutes to the nearest metro stations (McGill and Place des Arts stations).
New Rez is another of the 3 hotel-style coed residences that McGill offers. It is the biggest residence in McGill housing 744 males and females. It has single and double bedrooms and the best part is that each room has its private washroom. Double bedrooms have double beds and some single rooms even have queen beds. Rooms are fully furnished with air conditioning. There are 24-hour security and front desk. It has beautiful hotel rooms and renovated hotel rooms that make you feel that you are in an 8 month holiday at a stunning hotel with plasma TVs. Each floor has an amazing and fully equipped kitchen and a study room. New Rez’s cafeteria is known as one of the best ones as it is very big and has one of the best foods. It has a great common study room next to its cafeteria where you can study with your friends. There is even a piano in the lobby and some foosball tables. In its lobby, there is a very famous and delicious cafe called Premiere Moisson for when you need a break from the cafeteria or want some coffee. My favorite feature of this residence is that it is located above a plaza that contains a supermarket (Metro), a pharmacy (Uniprix), an alcohol shop (SAQ), a dollar store and many other shops. There is even an elevator that takes you to the plaza, so you are not cold in the winter when needing to shop. The street where New Rez is located (Avenue du Parc) is amazing as it contains a Subway, Pita Pit, Cacao 70, Starbucks, Chatime, and many other shops! It is located in the heart of downtown close to campus and the McGill gym.
Located on Sherbrooke Street West, its prime location makes it both close to the main campus and to downtown Montreal. Originally a hotel, C4, as it is affectionately named, boasts large double rooms with en-suite bathroom to be shared between the two roommates. Although most rooms host two students, there are a few single rooms as well. C4 has its very own cafeteria unlike Upper Rez, as well as a common room on every other floor, a study room, a games room, a small gym and a Starbucks in the lobby that allows students to pay with their Meal Plan. A downside may be the fact that because of its hotel-style, it may be a bit trickier to establish closer relationships with other students on your floor. However, Floor Fellows quickly reduce this problem by implementing an ‘open door policy’ at the beginning of the year to help students get to know each other. C4 houses roughly 300 students and is known for its friendly, enthusiastic and over-all chill student-body.
The most famous place to live in as a McGill student. Upper Rez is known as the most fun and social residence option; however, this comes with a price to pay: BMH (the worst cafeteria in all of McGill). First, there is Douglas Hall, known to be the Harry Potter rez and the quietest one. The benefits are its own cafeteria, as well as a small community that will allow you to know all of your neighbors and create strong friendships. McConnell is located right above it. This rez has seven floors and is known to be one of the calmest. Although it is not the most party-oriented rez, people who live there love it because it creates a strong sense of community. Molson is known to be the number 1 party rez at McGill. If you choose this rez you won’t get much sleep or quiet time for you to study, but if what you’re looking for is to go out almost every night, this is your rez. Finally, Gardner. This residence is the furthest rez of them all, but then again, it is the closest one to Mont-Royal and has a direct tunnel to BMH (great for winter).
Overall, Upper Rez is fun and you’ll meet plenty of people. If you’re willing to walk up a hill every day and eat food that is not the best, you’ll have the best time of your life in these residences and make hundreds of friends.
Spread out throughout the downtown campus and within a short walk to classes, the MORE Houses welcome 15 to 30 co-ed students in a single house. You can opt for a single room or a double room; the size and price of the rooms vary significantly depending on the house. Most houses have been recently renovated, some boast a sunroom and a pool table while others are adjacent to the McGill gym or have a beautiful rooftop view of downtown Montreal. The smaller houses (15-19 people) tend to have one kitchen while the bigger ones (30 people) have several kitchens. The leases are 11 months long, so you don’t have to rush to pack up your room during finals season! Floor fellows do not live in the house (but are still available if you need them) and you don’t have to sign up your friends to let them into your residence. Unlike dorms, you will share your bathroom with only 2-4 people and the meal plans are not mandatory, this gives you the freedom of cooking, buying a meal at the cafeteria or doing both. At the end of the year, not having to pay for the mandatory meal plan does end up saving you a lot of money.
Several events are organized throughout the year to allow houses to meet each other. During rez events, you’ll be part of the “MORE” team which is made up of the MORE Houses, Solin Hall and University Hall. The houses are small which initially doesn’t allow you to meet many people, we recommend making an extra effort and attending events and reaching out to other houses and residences. Unlike any other residence, you will be living closely with a small group of people and you’ll get to know everyone. The atmosphere varies from one house to another, but most have a tight-knit community and the house ends up feeling like a home. The party atmosphere also fluctuates from one house to another.
Overall, the MORE Houses are a great alternative to the traditional dorm experience and an excellent opportunity to make strong friendships. You’ll walk out of rez feeling ready to live on your own.
There are several websites and ways to find an apartment off-campus. The most popular is the “Housing” group on the McGill facebook group. You can also check out websites such as kijiji and craigslist. Some gems are not advertised online, so you may opt for walking around a neighborhood and looking for ads on buildings.
The McGill Ghetto is the number one choice for most McGill students. This area is composed of no more than five streets and is full of students. If you would rather not have to walk or take public transportation when it’s -35 degrees outside, this is your best choice. First of all, the location is ideal for any McGill student, it is right next to the university, and at the same time, it isn’t far from groceries (Parc) or parties (St. Laurent). There are also plenty of Ghetto parties throughout the whole year, most frats are also located there, so if what you’re looking for is a social life, this is the place for you. Although it is a great location, it is more expensive than other areas which are equally nice, depending on the apartment size and how new the building is, you will most likely be paying around $700-1000 per month.
The Golden Mile is located on the West side of campus, ideally close to those up-the-hill early morning classes in Stewart Bio and McIntyre. While it might be away from the party scene, it is a short walk away from campus and the neighborhood is very safe and quiet. It is more expensive than other areas but most apartments tend to be renovated and clean. Depending on the apartment size you will be paying around $700-1000 per month. There’s an underground submarine-looking depanneur in front of Stewart Bio and for grocery shopping, you can either opt for the supermarkets on Parc or those near Concordia, such as PA Supermarche on rue du Fort (one of the cheapest in Montreal and you have the option of delivering your groceries to your home for a few dollars).
The Plateau-Mont-Royal is a borough very close to McGill University, located on the Northeast side of McGill. The area is very close to the University, less than half an hour away on foot. In addition, it is well communicated by public transport and it is less expensive than other areas (McGill Ghetto, Mile End). Depending on the apartment size, you will most likely be paying around $500-800 per month. It abounds with social life since the area includes the St-Laurent, Mount-Royal and St-Denis Streets where a lot of pubs, restaurants, and clubs are located. Most McGill students live in the Lower Plateau area, which extends from St Laurent to St-Denis on one side and Sherbrooke and Pine Avenue on the other. As you go up to Pine and further away from McGill, you’ll reach the Upper Plateau and Mont-Royal area which is just a short bus, bike or metro ride away from McGill. The neighborhood’s originality makes it stand out. The area is full of murals that change every year, thrift shops, cat cafes and many stores you wouldn’t see anywhere else in the city.
There are plenty of grocery shops in Montreal:
- PA Supermache
- Segal’s Market
If you opt for living in the McGill Ghetto, the Provigo, Metro and marche Lobo on Parc are the most convenient ones.
If you’re living in the Lower Plateau, you might want to check out Segal’s Market, it’s one of the cheapest supermarkets in Montreal and also offers many organic and vegan products. There are always great offers.
For those living in the Upper Plateau or the Golden Mile, you should check out PA Supermarche, it’s among the cheapest in the city.