Montrealers have always discussed the differences between downtown Montreal and the West Island. It’s important to note, however, that one isn’t necessarily better than the other because each serves different demographics. In fact, there are different areas that encompass downtown Montreal just as not all suburbs in the West Island are like one another. Therefore, these are the main differences you need to keep in mind when you choose where you want to live.
The demographics of the West Island, whether you’re in Beaconsfield, Kirkland, Pointe-Claire, Pierrefonds, Dorval, or Dollard-des-Ormeaux, consists mainly of families, while downtown consists mostly of young working professionals and students. People are more spread out in the West Island due to its suburban atmosphere, while there are more people living closer together downtown. If you’re not a fan of too much noise and large populations, the West Island might be right for you.
Entertainment varies widely in both locations. Downtown and the West Island have their own individual bars and restaurants. However, Downtown is definitely the place to be for entertainment. St. Laurent is bustling with bars such as Apt. 200 for a casual night out to more elaborate venues such as Big in Japan, while there’s also The Distillerie or Mme Lee in the Plateau. Aside from that there are always shows at venues such as Metropolis, new exciting exhibits at a plethora of museums and you can’t forget the hundreds of festivals throughout the year.
Some notable places in the West Island include: Jukebox Burger, which is a popular burgers and shakes place which has even been featured on You’ve Gotta Eat Here! You can enjoy wood-fired pizzas at Le Vieux Four Manago. If you’re looking for something more calm and relaxing, the Pointe-Claire village and Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue offer beautiful sceneries perfect for an evening walk and quaint restaurants and bars such as Annie’s perfect for a relaxing drink with friends.
In West Island, the homes tend to be larger with backyards near parks and schools, while downtown homes consist of condos, apartments, and houses that are more compact. While there’s Canada Day fireworks in Old Port, each community has their own traditions in the West Island for certain days such as firemans day in Pincourt or Kirkland Day in Kirkland. Most communities in the West Island also have their own events for Canada Day and Saint Jean Baptiste.
So where do you prefer to live? The West Island and Downtown have their differences but one thing is for sure: No matter where you choose to live each area has plenty to offer.