Blog — Student guide & Tips

Your guide to finding a student residence in Montréal

June 2023

Voted the best student city in America*, Montreal has many things to offer both local and international students. The quality of life and student experience offered by its student residences are just one example.

Not sure how to find a residence that checks all your boxes? An ideal setting in which to fulfill your aspirations? In this guide, Le Within gives you tips on how to find student housing in Montreal that will meet your needs.

Learn about the aspects to consider, the advantages of opting for a community-oriented residence and more. We promise to help you find a place conducive to realizing your ambitions!

QS Best Student Cities Rankings 2022

1. Location, location, location!

The location criterion tops our list, and for good reason! Where your student apartment is situated is the first thing you should consider. And contrary to popular belief, it’s not just a matter of living close to your school. Other elements will also affect many aspects of your living experience. Here are a few that our team and the Le Within community have noted.

Quick access to services

It goes without saying that your studies will take up a lot of your time. Attending classes, finishing assignments, studying and sometimes even working are just some of the things that will fill up your schedule. This makes your time a precious commodity. Quick and easy access to services comes in very handy.

When browsing student housing listings, always be sure to check what services are available nearby. Is there a grocery store, ideally within walking distance? A pharmacy, a clinic, a hospital? If you own a car, is there a gas station or a charging station within a few minutes’ drive? These are some questions that will help you geographically locate key services.

Proximity to school

Of course, living near your school will greatly facilitate your life. As a university student, your department will probably become your second home. You will go there to attend classes, but also to study, do team projects and work out. The closer you live, the easier it will be to integrate these different activities into your day-to-day life.

During your search for the perfect student residence, add a star to those within a few metro stops or a few minutes’ walk.

Public transit

In Montreal, everything is accessible via public transit. Students recommend using transportation options such as the metro (subway) or the bus to get to campus, meet up with friends, explore the city and more.

Don’t hesitate to contact the manager of the student residences that interest you to ask questions like: Is the residence near a metro station? If not, do the buses in the neighbourhood travel to your desired destinations?

You can also use the Société de transport de Montréal’s (STM) transit system map to situate yourself.

Looking for a place near McGill and Concordia?

2. The experience offered at the student residence

Few student residence listings tell you about the experience you can expect, even though it’s an important factor.

The experience and neighbourhood feel will make a big difference in your quality of life. Would you say that motivation, ambition, perseverance and student involvement are directly tied to the university experience? At Le Within, we believe they are!

We also believe that certain elements need to align to create the ideal student residence experience, such as:

Balance between education and social life

Being a student also means wanting to enjoy your youth to the fullest. Everyone wants to have fun before entering the job market, taking on more responsibilities and tackling projects bigger than ourselves. Without neglecting your studies, of course. Student housing clearly plays a role here.

For example, will the residence let you host a happy hour with friends on the one hand and make it possible to concentrate when you need to study on the other?

Community spirit

We define community spirit as “a sense of belonging to a group of people who have similar interests and goals and participate in the same activities.” Community is vital for local students, but even more so for international students. In other words, belonging to a community with whom you can communicate each day will help you stay the course and will be reassuring.

Which is why you should check what the residence offers in this regard. Does the student housing that interests you have a platform through which tenants can communicate? Common spaces that foster collaborative work, stimulate creativity and create a friendly and welcoming environment? Group activities, etc.?

It is worth finding a landlord who cares about your well-being and who will support you in your endeavours!

General atmosphere

How you feel about your living space may be more subtle and nuanced, but it matters just as much as any other criteria. The fact that you’ll only be living there temporarily doesn’t make the “vibe” less of a factor. On the contrary! You want a place where you’ll feel at home and where you’ll want to return after a full day of classes.

You might be wondering what elements create a good atmosphere. Some things are obvious, some are more personal, and thus answers vary from student to student. For you, it may be the neighbourhood’s charm, while for others, it may be:

  • General comfort
  • Common spaces in which to study and connect with others
  • The premises’ cleanliness
  • A private bathroom
  • Warm and inviting decor
  • Community life
  • A safe, monitored environment


Le Within checks all the boxes. Check out our lofts and see for yourself.

3. Amenities

Now let’s move on to the more “material” aspect of student housing. Amenities do more than just enhance a student’s daily life. They give you more time to study and have a social life while facilitating your various pursuits.

What are the most practical and sought-after amenities in student residences in Montréal? We channelled our inner detective to find out.

A furnished space

The ideal space will simplify your life, which is why a fully furnished unit is most appreciated by students. Not having to worry about getting a sofa, a refrigerator, a table, chairs, a desk, etc. is a huge weight off your shoulders. You’ll have everything you need waiting for you!

What is even better is a space that is not only furnished, but designed to support you as a student. Think integrated storage facilities, bedding provided, toiletries, (accessible shower, towels, etc.) and more. At this stage in your research, this might seem trivial. But in student accommodations, these are the little things that make all the difference. Keep an eye out for a gem that provides the above!

Services on-site

Did you know that some student residences—such as Le Within—offer laundry, housekeeping and concierge services? Depending on how flexible the offer, these may be optional. In which case, you can add these services to your rent payment and let someone else do the cleaning and laundry, freeing up your time and energy for your studies, activities and passions.

Kitchenette and bathroom

Is it important to you to be able to prepare lunches and make meals? In Montreal, student accommodations generally include a kitchenette. However, be sure to carefully read the description to see what is included, or not (oven, refrigerator, microwave, etc.). Some places—such as Le Within—also have a shared kitchen: the perfect place to prepare a meal alongside the other students at your residence. You could also use it for different activities such as preparing communal meals, holding themed evenings and more.

It is quite rare for student apartments to include a private bathroom. Residents usually share a bathroom, which can be on the same floor as your room or not. You can decide if a private bathroom is important to you based on your privacy needs and your expectations for your living space.

Study spaces

Although universities offer a variety of study spaces, it’s always convenient to be able to study at home. In a student residence, it’s not always ideal or even possible to do so.

So, if being able to hit the books in the comfort of your apartment is important to you, be sure to include that criterion in your search. Check if the unit includes a desk, but also if the residence has a quiet space such as a study hall.

Our service package launches your student experience to the next level.

Is timing important when looking for a residence?

Not surprisingly, the rental market for student housing is very busy at certain times of the year. And although it is possible to find a residence when it is most convenient for you, you will benefit from starting your search in the spring.

Summer is also an ideal time to browse the spaces available to rent in student residences. Especially if you’re open to subletting or having a roommate.

What if you live abroad and plan to arrive shortly before the school year starts? Many landlords can give you a virtual tour by videoconference. It is an excellent way to make first contact, giving both parties a chance to get to know one another in a neutral and courteous way.

In any case, never hesitate to contact the people in charge of the residence to ask questions and get a feel for the place.

Comfort, design, accessibility, service and community await you. Plan a visit now.