The vibrant and multicultural borough of Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (CDN-NDG) has long been one of Montreal’s most sought-after communities by everyone from students to young professionals, families and seniors. Covering an area of 21.4 square kilometres and housing 165,031 residents, it truly has something to offer people at every stage of life.
There is a strong sense of community spirit and camaraderie among neighbours in N.D.G. that seems to transcend traditional dividing lines like language, income and ethnicity, said Halah Al-Ubaidi, executive director of the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Community Council.
“People are proud of where they live, and that pride is visible on every street,” she said. “The diversity of the neighbourhood also helps bring people together, and makes the community very welcoming.
“Whether you’ve lived here all your life, or have just arrived, everyone feels at home.”
And whether you’re interested in its warm community feel, convenient location, impressive green spaces or lovely real estate, N.D.G. truly has a lot going for it.
In terms of accessibility, travel to and from N.D.G. is quite easy with two métro stations and many bus routes that link directly to the downtown core and other surrounding areas. The neighbourhood also boasts many streets lined with mature trees, and parks full of venues for sports and recreation.
“There are so many activities for both young and old throughout the year,” said Andrew Ross, vice-president of the board of directors of the N.D.G. Community Council. “You can enjoy baseball, soccer, swimming and cycling in summer, and even strap on the cross-country skis in the winter and enjoy groomed paths. We also have community groups and services for interests of all types, and new members are always welcome.”
In addition to outstanding sporting and recreational programs, N.D.G. offers a mix of public and private schools in both languages for children, and a slew of youth programs and centres.
One of the things that makes N.D.G. special is its wide array of special projects and initiatives being run by community groups, local residents and businesses.
“A favourite project is Bienvenue à NDG, which launched in 2012 and works to help newcomers from different ethnic groups integrate into society and feel welcomed by people that speak their language and understand their culture,” Halal Al-Ubaidi said. “It has been a great success.”
Other fantastic initiatives include the Good Food Box, Boîte à Lunch by the NDG Youth Table, teaching youth and their parents about healthy eating and food security, and numerous community gardens and graffiti-prevention projects that have been spearheaded by Action communiterre, in collaboration with local schools.
“The fact that many people I work with or meet in N.D.G. have lived here for more than 40 years shows what a great neighbourhood this is,” Al-Ubaidi said. “I recommended N.D.G. to my brother and his kids when they arrived to Montreal in 2013, and they are still living here today.”
In terms of housing, N.D.G. offers a healthy mix of rental units and single-family homes. Condo developments include C3 on Cavendish Blvd,, with units starting at $149,900. Similarly, condos in the Le Beaumont development on Côte-St-Luc Rd. range from $185,000 to $770,000. On the other hand, a renovated two-bedroom, two-bathroom single-family home on Beaconsfield Ave. is currently listed for $599,000.
But while growth in the community is flourishing, there have been some unintended consequences as well.
“The arrival of many important community projects in N.D.G. — such as the McGill University Health Centre — are attracting developers to the area, contributing to a jump in property values and housing costs,” Ross said. “In the St-Raymond district, for example, traditionally home to a strong Italian community, we find that their children can no longer afford to stay in the neighbourhood.”
This is a stark contrast with the fabric of the community and what makes it so unique, he added.
“NDGers work together, regardless of how you want to categorize them,” Al-Ubaidi said. “They are active, involved, creative and ready to mobilize around important issues. It may be cliché to say, but N.D.G. is a good home for everyone — singles, families, seniors and youths.”
A woman walks through one of N.D.G.’s parks during a heavy rainfall last June.
A 2013 summer event in the St-Raymond area of N.D.G., with kids performing their version of a dragon dance.
An outdoor rink at N.D.G. Park is the site of this classic 2013 Canadian winter scene.
One of the Bienvenue-à-NDG events, this one held at the Walkley Community Centre, designed to help newcomers to the neighbourhood feel welcomed by people who speak their language and understand their culture.