Are you looking for your first apartment in Quebec? Chances are, you'll encounter 2.5, 3.5, 4.5, etc -- in your quest to find for the perfect place. But what does that mean?
What You Must Learn to Read.
So, if you are looking for a 2 bedroom apartment. You need to be looking for a 4 1/2 or 4.5 apartment. Say what!? Let's count: two closed bedrooms + one kitchen + one living room = Four (4). Plus a bathroom which is indicated by the half part. Sums up to 4.5 or 4 1/2. I know, it's kind of confusing.
Test your knowledge. Let's take a quick test. Just click the " + " for the correct answer.
1. what is a four bedroom apartment?
There are two potential answers. First, 6 1/2 or 6.5 = four closed bedrooms + one living room + one kitchen + bathroom. And the second answer is 7 1/2 or 7.5 = four closed bedrooms + one living room + one full bathroom + powder room.
2. what is a one bedroom apartment?
The correct answer is 3 1/2 or 3.5 which translates to One closed bedroom + One living and a kitchen + bathroom.
3. What is a studio apartment?
The correct answer is 1.5 or 1 1/2, which is One bedroom open to kitchen and living and closed bathroom.
To summarize, the numbers indicates the number of rooms and the half part indicates the shared bathroom however, the full number may also maybe considered as the masters bathroom or additional shared bathroom. For example 7 1/2 (7.5) may be read as 3 closed bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room and one having a private in-suit bathroom and one shared bathroom.
It's best to ask the landlord for clarification when it comes to higher numbers. Especially when renting houses.
What Area is The Best Place?
Regardless of the area, for your first apartment I personally recommend renting nearby to a Metro Station (subway). You'll thank me in winter. If you can't find anything nearby a metro then go for a location near a bus station/stop; preferably in your block.
If you must know what people are saying about the areas. Here's what you need to know.
The farther west you go from Downtown Montreal, the more English or Anglophone they are. And to the east are more French or francophone. The center, downtown which by the way prices are astronomical are mixed and where the action is.
The area where I am right now is typically most immigrants will start -- the Plamondon Metro Station or commonly known as Côte-des-Neige district. The area has the highest concentration of immigrants and where Filipinos live.
Some Kabayans try to avoid this area for various reasons. But the most common reason is they want to practice their french and living around Kabayans is not exactly conducive to practicing your French. Ganon ba?
My personal recommendation is living around Station Metro Snowdon. Somehow you're in the middle of everything. It has the perfect balance to English and French. You also have easy access to Asian/Filipino stores and local Montreal flavors.
Ride the blue line, where Snowdon is, to the opposite end. You'll end up at Jean-Talon Market. An open-air market with many vendors selling produce, meats, cheeses, fish & baked goods at affordable prices. Just one catch, bring enough cash, they don't normally accept credit cards or debit cards.
Where to look.
The best place start is the internet. Try looking for these apartments at www.kijiji.ca and use the number method we talked about above as the keyword. I also recommend the newspapers. Most newspapers are free and you get them at all metro stations, groceries, pharmacy and most convenience stores.
Be warned. What is advertised, in websites or newspapers or flyers does not necessarily translate to what they mean. Always schedule for a visit to know what you are getting. ALWAYS. And keep your appointment or call to reschedule, typically on before 24 to 72 hour period.
Good luck and happy hunting!
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