I’m fairly sure I’ve mentioned it before, but the office where I work is moving from the east end of the Plateau Mont-Royal to the west side of downtown. I’m pretty psyched about the move and quite interested in seeing what differences and changes there will be.

Sortie Exit

At our old office, we were in a largely residential neighborhood with the Mont-Royal commercial strip about a 15-20 minute walk away. So there are only a handful (3 or 4) lunch places within walking distance and shopping is far enough away to not be worth the bother. Too hard to eat and fit in shopping. The commute was nice. I would take a slightly longer route and drive down Mont-Royal. With the exception of pedestrians jumping out from between cars, it was a leisurely drive with nice scenery. Parking could be difficult at times due to the almost daily no parking on one side of the street for street cleaning. But it was free and I’d used the times I park farther away as an opportunity to get some exercise. Public transport was a major pain in that the nearest Métro station was a twenty minute walk away. There are buses, but they run infrequently enough to not be worth it. Why stand outside in one place for twenty minutes when you can walk?

As for the office itself, I was fortunate enough to have one full wall of windows and a nice view over the city to the north. It was not a big office (100sf), but the boss let me determine the layout of the desk they built for it. So it worked well. The rest of the office was a step up from where we were before, but it was a modified version of what the previous tenants left behind. So there were a few corners that looked a bit rough. The building itself was quite old and was starting to show it’s age. The windows were uninsulated so depending on where the sun was, you were either quite cold or quite hot. The bathrooms were only functioning at 80% with a sink partially blocked up and they condemned one of the three available urinals (unfortunately not the middle one). And although it is a concrete building, it would sway fairly significantly under strong winds.

As for the new office, it’s on the western edge of downtown. Not in the heart, but definitely close enough to get to on foot. Although places to shop and eat are not immediately adjacent, they will be only a block away. And they will be numerous. I’m not a big shopper, but having everything so close will make finding gifts or needed items SO much easier. The commute will be a bit more difficult since I will need to find a way to cross downtown during rush hour. Hopefully my nerves will survive. Parking may be more difficult, but I’m waiting to see what it will be like that first day. I may get away without paying by finding street parking, but that has yet to be seen. Public transportation will be a bit easier since there are direct routes to home during rush hour and we will be only a block or two from the Métro.

As for the office itself, I only know as much as what I’ve seen on the plan. My office is 30% bigger than the old one, but I suspect it will feel smaller since the old one had a full wall of windows. The new one is pulled back from the exterior with a door and a full height window facing toward the exterior. The exterior view at the old place was nice, but I just feel I was lucky to have had it. My desk layout will be the same. The overall layout of the office is a bit better. One plus is that it’s all new construction. Preliminary reports are that it looks nice, but I’m not getting my hopes up until I see it myself since I probably have a more critical eye. It’s a newer building so I’m hoping it will be better, but again I’m not holding my breath until I see it and deal with it on a daily basis.

Another point that really interests me about this move is the change in overall environment. What will it be like to work in downtown Montréal and to see it on a daily basis? In Chicago I worked at three different locales and although they were similar and within a mile of each other, each had it’s own characteristics. One was a ritzy area, another was firmly in downtown, and the last was in downtown but with many more homeless and low income workers. How will my view of Montéal change by seeing it at it’s heart? This new area is much more anglophone. What will it be like to see that community more closely since my stay until now has been largely dominated by francophones?

I’m very anxious and excited to see what this move brings. I’m a city boy at heart and enjoy the action of downtown areas. I only hope I’m not disappointed.


~ by Frank on November 2, 2007.

5 Responses to “Moving”

  1. I think the most striking difference will be the plethora of English speakers on the west side. Sounds like you’ll be near the Atwater station.

  2. I’m wondering if how I address people in public will change. I always initially address people in French and sometimes even keep it in French unless I can be certain that they’re anglophone. The office is closer to downtown near the Guy-Concordia Métro station.

  3. Oh yes, and all the nice beer spots on lower Crescent you can meet your fellow bloggers at after work. 🙂

  4. It won’t have the specific charm of Mont-Royal, but you’ll find different charms. My favourite spots in that immediate area:

    Phayathai – one of the best Thai restos and quite modest in price
    Expression – attached to the metro, framing studio, also a really nice card and gift shop
    Java U – good coffee
    Omer deSerres – in the basement of the new concordia building
    Italian bakery/coffee shop – in the faubourg
    Discount book shop – also in the faubourg
    Sho-Dan – Great sushi place a stone’s throw away from you on Bishop and Rene-L.

  5. zura: Yeah, we immediately went to Trois Brassers (sp?) that first lunch. I couldn’t believe that there are that many English and Irish pubs there. There’s easily a dozen while I only knew of three.

    I’ve already seen all of them from the street except Expressions. I’ll check them all out soon. I’m a fan of Omer deSerres. I was actually there last weekend to get of all things a white grease pensil in order to mark our summer tires. I had combed Crappy Tire to no avail and decided to go for the rather expensive option instead. Thank you for the suggestions.

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