Living On & Off Campus

Residence Life

As a new student living in residences, there are a variety of ways to get involved and complement your academic experience. There are activities and community-building events as well as programs which help students with the transition into university life.

Commuter Life

As a new student living off campus and/or commuting, there's a team located in Campus Life & Engagement that supports your transition into the University by offering programming that supports social connection. All events are planned by COMunity: Commuters of McGill.

Tips for Living Off Campus

When looking for accommodation in Montreal, it's best to start looking early. Montreal offers many interesting neighborhoods to live in, and most are easily accessible by public transportation.

Student Housing offers Off-Campus Housing support that can help with your search and provide you with important information about your rights as a tenant and useful tips for finding a great place to live. 

Your first step in looking for off-campus housing in Montreal should be to read through Off-Campus Housing's The Good Neighbor Guide, a comprehensive guide to living and renting in Montreal. Renting in Quebec works a bit differently than you may be used to if you are coming from elsewhere in Canada or another country, and this guide will help you navigate this unique environment.

Apartment-Hunting Tips


The McGill Housing Facebook group are great resource for apartment hunters, featuring solo listings as well as ads posted by students seeking roommates-and are only accessible by McGill students!

Other apartment listings in Montreal include:

Please note: Quebec Lease Laws require tenants to let their landlords know if they will be renewing their lease 3 months before the end of the lease. Therefore, the best time to start your housing research is approximately 3 months before you your ideal move-in date.

Apartment Sizes

Apartment sizes are conveyed differently in Quebec. 

  • 1 1/2: a single-room apartment, also known as a "1.5" or a studio. It includes a room with an attached kitchen or kitchenette and a separate bathroom.
  • 2 1/2: similar to a 1 1/2 except that there is some separation between the bedroom and the living room, though they may not be two distinct rooms.
  • 3 1/2 an apartment with a separate living room, bedroom, and kitchen.
  • Each increasing number after 3 1/2 indicates an additional room.

If you are considering living with one or more roommates, be sure to confirm how many "closed bedrooms" the apartment has before signing a lease. It's not uncommon for some rooms in Montreal to separated by open archways rather than doors, or for one room to only be accessible through another room. 


When you ask about the rent, be sure to find out what amenities are included. Heat can add a sizeable portion to your rent, so you may want a lease that includes heat and/or hot water. To find out about electrical costs, you can visit Hydro Quebec to find the approximate electricity costs over the previous year.


Don't limit yourself to the areas right around campus. Rents in downtown Montreal, the Milton Park area, and the lower Plateau are higher than elsewhere, and availability is lower, so expand your search to other easily accessible neighborhoods like NDG, St. Henri, Rosemont-Petite-Patrie, Mile End, Lasalle, and Verdun. 

Do your Homework

When in doubt about a landlord, a building, or a lease, call McGill Student Housing (514-398-6368) or the provincial government's Tribunal administratif du logement (514-873-2245). Take note that it is illegal for a landlord or anyone else to ask you to pay a "finder's fee". It is best to avoid any rental where this is being asked of you.

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