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Guide to finding off-campus housing near McGill University

10 min read
Greg Park

Greg Park

Creative Content Writer at

Published on May 28, 2024

Last updated on May 31st, 2024

McGill University in Montreal, Quebec is one of Canada’s foremost universities and is often ranked among the best post-secondary schools in the world. Finding off-campus housing near McGill University can be an exciting yet challenging task for students eager to experience life beyond the dorms. With a diverse range of neighborhoods each offering a unique experience for students, understanding the local rental market is key to securing the perfect place to call home during your studies. In this guide, will go over tips and resources to help you safely navigate your search and find the perfect living space close to campus. – Canada’s trusted house & apartment rental website

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  • McGill University off campus housing overview

    Types of accommodation

    In Montreal, Quebec, where McGill University is located, these are the typical types of rental properties that are available for students to rent:

    There are also houses, laneway homes, and townhomes for rent with varying numbers of bedrooms.

    Students will likely either live on their own or with roommates. Even though Montreal’s rental rates are significantly lower than average prices in cities like Vancouver and Toronto, many McGill students will still find themselves living in shared accommodations.

    Looking for a place to share

    If you’re looking for a room in a shared space with other students, then your first place to check should be’s listings. You can use the convenient map tool to find a place that’s close to campus, using the search filter “Room” under “Housing Type” to look at all the available places in the area.

    Free Roommate Agreement Template

    Download this free roommate agreement template.

    Looking for a roommate

    Students living in off campus housing at McGill University looking for roommates can post their available rooms for rent on for free. Plus, the 100% digital platform means that you can connect with a roommate safely and easily, entirely online.

    Average rent in Montreal

    As of May 2024, the average rent for a one-bedroom unit in Montreal was $1,640 per month according to data from our latest Rent Report. Students will likely be able to cut down on their monthly rent costs with shared accommodation, as two- and three-bedroom units typically cost significantly less per room.

    You can see a detailed breakdown of rent prices for each Montreal neighbourhood here:

    average rent by listing type for unfurnished units in Montreal for the May 2024 liv rent report

    Montreal transportation

    For students living off campus at McGill University without a car, Montreal has an excellent public transit system that makes it easy to get to & from classes. McGill students are eligible for a Reduced-Fare Opus Card, which grants them access to Montreal’s bus and Metro system at a discounted rate.

    The Montreal Metro has an extensive network of stations connecting the entire city, with a dedicated stop right near the McGill University campus.

    Neighbourhoods to consider

    As is the case in most cities with large universities, the areas closest to campus often come with a notably higher price tag than those further from the centre. To give student renters a more diverse selection of options in terms of price and amenities, here are a few of the most popular Montreal neighbourhoods for McGill students:

    • Ville Marie
    • The Plateau-Mont-Royal
    • Villeray
    • Mile End

    We’ll be breaking these neighbourhoods down in more detail in the following sections.

    Tips for saving on rent in Montreal

    Rent prices in Montreal may be significantly lower than in Canada’s most expensive cities, like Vancouver or Toronto but the “student budget” is still a very real thing, and expenses can pile up quickly while you’re busy studying. Teaming up with a roommate is a great way to cut down on your monthly rent payments, but here are some other tips and guides for saving on rent and making the most of your budget.

    Best student housing options off-campus in Montreal

    Using to search for your off campus home is perfect for McGill University students who can rent safely and securely from verified landlords and listings, avoiding scammers that are often found on popular listing sites. Here’s where to look for the best off-campus housing for students at McGill University in Montreal.

    Best neighbourhoods to rent off campus housing near McGill University

    1. Ville Marie

    Perfectly situated in the heart of Montreal, Ville-Marie offers McGill University students easy access to campus, a vibrant nightlife, and cultural landmarks like the Old Port and the Quartier des Spectacles. This bustling neighborhood features a mix of historic charm and modern amenities, making it an ideal spot for both academic and social activities.

    Average monthly rent in Ville Marie

    • One-bedroom apartment — $1,870
    • Two-bedroom apartment — $2,587
    • Three-bedroom apartment — $3,300


    Transportation in Ville Marie

    Estimated commute to campus: 10 to 20 minutes
    Ville Marie is within walking distance of the McGill University Campus, with just about a 15-minute trip by foot. If you need to take public transit, you can expect about a 10-15 minute trip via the 107 bus. The neighbourhood is also about 5 minutes away by car.

    Ville Marie amenities

    Ville-Marie boasts a wealth of amenities including numerous shopping centers, gourmet restaurants, and key attractions like the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Mount Royal Park. Students can enjoy easy access to supermarkets, bookstores, and entertainment venues, ensuring a convenient and culturally enriching lifestyle.

    2. The Plateau-Mont-Royal

    Known for its artistic vibe and eclectic street life, the Plateau-Mont-Royal is a favourite among McGill students seeking a dynamic, bohemian atmosphere. With an abundance of cafes, parks, and unique boutiques, it provides a perfect blend of relaxation and inspiration just a short bike ride from campus.

    Average monthly rent in The Plateau-Mont-Royal

    • One-bedroom apartment — $1,754
    • Two-bedroom apartment — $2,310
    • Three-bedroom apartment — $2,721


    Transportation in The Plateau-Mont-Royal

    Estimated commute to campus: 15 to 30 minutes
    Slightly further from campus, The Plateau-Mont-Royal still affords students easy access by public transit or vehicle. The Metro lines will take you from The Plateau-Mont-Royal to McGill in approximately 25 minutes, while it’s only about 12-15 minutes by car.

    The Plateau-Mont-Royal amenities

    The Plateau-Mont-Royal is famous for its vibrant arts scene, with numerous galleries, theatres, and street art to explore. It offers an array of quirky boutiques, trendy eateries, and popular parks like La Fontaine. This neighbourhood’s lively atmosphere is perfect for students looking to immerse themselves in Montreal’s unique culture.

    3. Villeray

    A more tranquil and residential neighbourhood, Villeray offers McGill students a peaceful retreat with easy metro access to the university. This area is known for its green spaces, community feel, and diverse culinary scene, making it a great option for those who prefer a quieter living environment.

    Average monthly rent in Villeray

    • One-bedroom apartment — $1,467
    • Two-bedroom apartment — $1,793
    • Three-bedroom apartment — $2,133


    Transportation in Villeray

    Estimated commute to campus: 30 to 40 minutes
    Villeray has great transit connections but requires a little more time to commute to the McGill campus. Students can get to school by taking the 2 and 1 Metro Lines, in only about 35 minutes.

    Villeray amenities

    Villeray provides a balance of convenience and tranquillity, with plenty of green spaces like Jarry Park, perfect for outdoor activities. The area features diverse dining options, local markets, and essential amenities like grocery stores and pharmacies, making it an ideal place for students who value a quieter, community-focused living environment.

    4. Mile End

    Renowned for its creative spirit and multicultural flair, Mile End is a hotspot for McGill students who enjoy a vibrant, artistic community. With its indie cafes, vintage shops, and lively music scene, this neighbourhood provides a stimulating environment just a quick commute from campus.

    Average monthly rent in Mile End

    • One-bedroom apartment — $1,754
    • Two-bedroom apartment — $2,310
    • Three-bedroom apartment — $2,721


    Transportation in Mile End

    Estimated commute to campus: 15 to 30 minutes
    Just next to The Plateau-Mont-Royal, Mile End is easy to get to McGill from with the 80 bus a short walk from the neighbourhood, which brings you to school in just about 20 minutes.

    Mile End amenities

    Mile End is a hub for creative energy and multicultural experiences, with an abundance of indie shops, record stores, and some of the best bagel shops in Montreal. Students can enjoy the neighbourhood’s lively cafes, art studios, and music venues, along with convenient access to essential services and public transport.

    Tips on how to find & secure off campus housing near McGill University

    How to avoid rental scams in Montreal

    Unfortunately, rental scams are growing more commonplace across Canada, but luckily, you can protect yourself. Know your rights as a renter and use a trusted rental platform. Here are some of the most common scams to look out for:

    • Scam #1 Rent is too low
      If the rental rate seems shockingly below the rental average for the city, it could be a fake listing.
    • Scam #2 Urgent demands for cash
      Renters don’t have to pay for anything until a lease is signed. So, if someone’s pressuring you to send cash now, don’t do it.
    • Scam #3 Too much info
      Until you’re 100% ready to move forward with a lease, you’re not obligated to share your bank account or SIN number.
    • Scam #4 Not enough details
      While some smaller landlords may withhold unit numbers for privacy, you should know the exact address of the unit you’re looking at. without that info, it could be a scam.

    Pro tip: rent from ID-verified landlords on to avoid scams.

    Be smart with your rental search

    • Tip #1 Know your needs
      List of your priorities: pricing, location, amenities, lease duration, pet policy, etc. Use filters to narrow your search. 
    • Tip #2 Do your research
      Find out the average rent in your target area. It’ll arm you with the necessary info to negotiate terms & rates.
    • Tip #3 Google the property
      See if there are any complaints online regarding building management, maintenance, noise, neighbourhood, etc.
    • Tip #4 View video tours first
      If possible, view video tours first. Then, narrow down your selection and book viewings only for places you’re seriously considering. 

    Tips to improve your search

    • Tip #1 Don’t be afraid to check
      Have the landlord demonstrate that all appliances are working – run faucets, check thermostats, flush toilets, turn on stoves, etc. Also, check cellphone reception.
    • Tip #2 View in daylight
      Viewing a home in daylight will give you a better sense of the living space.
    • Tip #3 Prepare questions
      And ask the hard questions (e.g. how much interest have you had for this unit) to uncover info not in the listing.

    Stand out when you apply for your rental

    Completing your profile, or renter’s resume, is the easiest way to stand out. You can also go the extra mile and pre-submit your application before your viewing if you’re pretty sure you want to rent the unit. By introducing yourself upfront, it shows that you’re serious about the unit – leaving a strong impression on your landlord.

    Pro tip: on, we use the Trust Score to rate renters’ trustworthiness and reliability — it’s free for students to get theirs with their profile!

    How to secure a rental before arriving in Canada

    It’s fairly easy for McGill University students who aren’t yet in the province, or even in the country yet, to find and rent off campus housing safely and securely.

    Once you have filled out your profile completely, you can use it to apply to listings on our platform.

    In your profile, you can select whether you are a first-time renter and whether or not you have a Canadian credit history yet. That way, a landlord can accurately assess your profile and help you secure a rental without having references or a credit score in Canada.

    For more on how you can browse listings in Montreal from anywhere in the world, you can check out this step-by-step guide we’ve put together.

    Student resources has a ton of resources for students renting in Canada. Whether you’re moving to Halifax from abroad, or just from out of province, Montreal has its own unique tenancy laws & practices to study up on in order to protect yourself throughout the rental process and ensure you’re getting a fair deal.

    Check out our guides on everything from renting and leases to tenants’ rights and relationships with landlords.

    FAQ: Off campus housing at McGill University

    How much does it cost to live in McGill?

    In terms of off-campus housing, rent prices vary significantly across Montreal depending on where students prefer to live. The neighbourhoods above should provide a good idea of how much you’ll be spending on rent.

    For on-campus residence fees, it’s best to consult McGill’s Student Housing page directly.

    Is housing guaranteed at McGill?

    Student housing is only guaranteed for first-year undergraduate students under the age of 22. This means that for many McGill Students, off-campus housing is the primary option.

    How does housing work at McGill?

    Students can apply for Student Housing by following the instructions provided here.

    For off-campus housing, we recommend using a safe & secure listing site to browse and apply for rentals. You can find a video here that walks you through how to search for listings on


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