|MONTREAL - Living in a North American Gem of a City
AFTER COMING HOME
we began to think more about buying something there. We decided the most
important thing was a location on the Plateau directly west or north of
Parc La Fontaine. From time to time (for 3+ years) I browsed the
Montreal MLS database. Prices always seemed quite reasonable for the location, a neighborhood
that is officially the
most creative place in Canada.
ONE DAY I moved the price range
up slightly to see what it would bring up and there it was . . . .
the perfect place on the west side of the the park, and only 75
yards away from it. It was on the second floor of a three-story, three-unit
building built in 1906 which had been completely renovated in 1996. It had 1100 square feet, a bay window with an unobstructed view of
the park, built-in bookcases and desk, a great kitchen, two balconies,
windows on three sides, and was just around the corner from the
cobblestone Duluth Street near St. Denis.
WE KNEW it was an A+ location, but
were we ready to do it? After one week of
discussion, we called our agent and made an offer without seeing the
property in person. The seller accepted our offer and we made a trip up to
see it two weeks later. Of course we had a contingency in the contract
that we could see it in person and then make a final
decision on whether to proceed. We closed the sale in May, 2006.
THE SELLER stayed until July 31 and during August we furnished it and made it our Montreal
home. We intend to return
each summer until retirement and then live there from May 15-October 15 each year.
WE LIVE IN a
high-density neighborhood with many people on foot, roller
blades, bicycles, and in small cars (very few SUVs). It is a safe, old
and it is easy to live without a car
altogether. There are car-sharing options in Communauto
and Car2Go to have access to a car when needed and the pickup points
are very near our front door. Montreal is also a city of children, and you see them
everywhere: in strollers, playing in the park, preschoolers walking down
the sidewalk tied together with their teachers, or on bikes with parents.