Villeray in the News

Several blocks around my home have been discussed on Spacing Montreal recently. Three gas stations within a few blocks have been razed and replaced with–wait for it–condos (more here and here). The condo-ization is a relatively straightforward process. Gas stations sit on corners and take up a lot of space yet run relatively low margins by absentee owners, which means that they occupy prime real estate and can easily be purchased by developers. While the author is quite critical of the developments, and I miss one of the gas stations (they repaired our car a couple times), I can’t be too critical. Our building also occupies the entire lot. Of course, it’s been here for close to 100 years, probably predating many of the homes on our block, so it’s not exactly new construction (though the conversion to residential condos was only in 2005 or 2006). The one certain thing is that all the new construction (or in our case, renovation and reclassification) is bringing lots of new people into the neighborhood, us included. Is it truly gentrification? A lot depends on how posh those condos are and who’s buying them.

One reply on “Villeray in the News”

  1. Great post, Jon. I think what we’re seeing by way of condo-ization here in our new neighborhood, much like our prior neighborhood in Hochelaga, is different gradations of real estate development. Some of these new condo units are being sold at fairly low prices (which here in Montreal is under $180K). None of them are rental units of course. It’ll be interesting to see how many folks from the neighborhood might be buying these places as first time buyers—or maybe other first time buyers from other parts of the city will purchase them. Montreal is still a renter’s city, with its rent controlled market. But with rents going up in the city as people move (and people move apartments a lot here), more people are probably considering buying places like the ones here in Villeray — especially if they’ve got access to money to buy.

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