In case it’s not already clear, we had a strategy. We figured that if we wanted a large place at a slight discount, we’d have to look outside the “hottest” neighborhoods: Plateau, Mile End, Outremont, etc.
One of our alternatives was a neighborhood called Verdun. It was on the metro green line (same as McGill) and was west of downtown. One ring out from St. Henri, it seemed like it might be a promising option. There’s a lot of “the next” talk in real estate, as in “neighborhood x will be the next Plateau.” Verdun is supposed to be the next St. Henri, I guess. I’m sure that there are many nice, normal homes in Verdun. However, when you get into the 2000 square foot range, things get a bit nutty.
5789 Verdun looked intriguing on paper. One of the pictures featured what appeared to be a grand piano.
And indeed, if you can fit a piano in a place, we want to take a look. But it was kind of confusing. For instance, there was this picture:
Yes, that is a giant mirror. It turns out that said mirror abuts a giant indoor hottub, right about where you’d expect to have a dining room. And where the living room was supposed to be, there was a bed on a stage. Within about 1 minute of entering the premises, the listing agent told us that the seller had “made over $100,000 renting the place out to the Quebec adult film industry.” Which explained the giant acrylic heels in the walk-in closet. The place turned out to have formerly been Verdun Auto Parts. So while the upstairs was refurbed as a loft/adult movie set, the basement was a whole other story. Huge and labyrithine, it was dark and contained many small rooms, as well as the remnants of an old conveyer belt. If adult movies were being made upstairs, it would be easy to imagine the basement as a horror set.
Needless to say, there was much immature giggling when we returned to the car, and our agent Luc dubbed it “the love nest.”
I no longer have the listing, but there was one other house of note in Verdun. Large and well-appointed on paper, it sounded promising. And it was an actual house. But when we arrived, we discovered that someone had put a group home for little old ladies up for sale. Sure, there was enough space, but first we’d have to buy a place and kick out a bunch of little old ladies. Very bad juju. Then we’d have to remove the locks on all the bedroom doors, the various safety railings and devices put in place, the second kitchen in the living room, the linoleum covering the hardwood floors. Well, you get the picture.
That was pretty much it for Verdun, though I will always return for the excellent big and tall clothing store.