Are you searching for Indian areas to uncover the Indian diaspora within Montreal? We have got you covered with information about Indian areas in Montreal.
The culturally diverse city of Montreal, located in Canada, is widely recognized for its lively and assorted communities. Within this tapestry of cultures lies the Indian community, a group that plays a significant role in shaping the distinctive charm and energy of the city. Being one of the largest ethnic groups in Montreal, Indians have established a strong network of cultural, culinary, and business institutions that not only preserve their rich cultural heritage but also enhance the broader Montreal community.
India is a nation renowned for its extensive and captivating history. With a population surpassing 1.4 billion individuals, it proudly holds the position of being the second most populous country globally. Consequently, it is hardly astonishing that the cultural and ethnic impact of India resonates within various neighborhoods of Montreal.
Their presence has led to the flourishing of Indian restaurants, grocery stores, cultural centers, Hindu temples, Sikh temples (Gurudwaras) and businesses that cater not only to the Indian diaspora but also to Montrealers interested in Indian culture.
In the subsequent sections, we will delve deeper into the Indian communities within distinct neighborhoods of Montreal, examining how they have made each corner of the city uniquely their own. From the tantalizing aromas of Indian cuisine wafting through the streets to the vibrant festivals that paint the city with colors, let’s embark on a journey to explore the Indian experience in Montreal.
Table of Contents
Indian Population In Montreal
Montreal, Canada’s largest city, is home to many people of Indian origin. This large Indian population is a result of the immigration of hundreds of thousands of Hindus and Sikhs from India in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The current Indian population in Montreal is diverse, with a wide range of economic backgrounds and social traditions. The community has also made a significant contribution to Montreal’s cultural heritage and cuisine.
There are more than 1,00,000 (100k) Indians estimated to be living in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Including international students and families who choose to settle in Montreal after getting their permanent residence (PR) and citizenship of Canada.
In search of areas in Montreal that are particularly popular among the Indian community? We have a list for you. These locales are characterized by factors like affordability, proximity to Indian eateries and grocery stores, accessibility of transportation services, lifestyle, cultural richness, diversity, and safety. Which are as following,
- Parc Extension,
- Cote Des Neiges,
- Downtown Montreal,
- Lachine & LaSalle,
- DDO & Poine Claire
Indian Neighbourhoods (Areas) in Montreal
Indian communities in Montreal are dispersed throughout the city, each contributing their unique flavor and vibrancy to their respective neighborhoods. From the bustling borough of Jean Talon, Park Ex, Downtown to the serene suburbs of DDO & Pointe Claire, Lachine & LaSalle.
As one of the largest ethnic groups in Montreal, Indians have formed a robust network of cultural, culinary, and business establishments that both preserve their cultural heritage and enrich the broader Montreal community.
This cultural diversity is one of Montreal’s most treasured features, facilitating a vibrant exchange of ideas, traditions, and cuisines. The Indian community, with its rich heritage and diverse regional cultures, plays a vital role in this. They bring with them a variety of languages, religious practices, culinary traditions, and art forms, adding layers of depth to Montreal’s cultural fabric.
1) Jean Talon & Park-Extension
Often referred to as “Little India” or “Petite India,” Jean Talon & Park-Extension holds a significant place in the Indian history of Montreal. This area became home to the first wave of Indian immigrants to the city in the last century. Despite the relatively affordable accommodation options compared to other Montreal regions, some buildings and infrastructure may not be as modern or upscale as other districts. Yet, it’s the vibrant Indian community that truly sets this neighborhood apart.
The Indian community in Jean Talon and Park-Extension is primarily composed of Punjabis and Gujaratis, many of whom are among the oldest Indian immigrants who came to Montreal from India. Their presence has played a significant role in shaping the cultural fabric of the neighborhood, bringing with them their traditions, festivals, and vibrant customs.
The lifeblood of Indian cuisine pulses along Rue Jean Talon. From the delectable dishes served at Maison Indian Curry House and Bombay Mahal to the South Indian delicacies of Dosa Point, food lovers can embark on a culinary journey through India. Stores like Bhane, Dhillon Brothers Grocery, and Marche Desi Mandi provide an array of Indian groceries, while 786 Halal and Desi Mandi specialize in Halal chicken and meat, making this a gastronomic paradise for Indian cuisine enthusiasts.
For those with a sweet tooth, Ram Sweet Shop is a must-visit. Known for its delectable Indian sweets and desserts, this shop is a favorite among locals and offers a taste of traditional Indian treats.
This neighborhood also serves as a spiritual oasis with its various religious establishments like Shree Ramji Temple, Dhurgai Amman Temple, and Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar Park Extension. Jean Talon Street adds another layer of cultural richness, teeming with shops selling traditional Indian wear and jewellery. The majority of the residents, primarily Punjabis and Gujaratis, are part of the oldest Indian immigrants in Montreal. Their influence has shaped Jean Talon & Park-Extension into a vibrant enclave of Indian culture within Montreal.
2) Chemin De La Cote Des Neiges
Centrally located, Côte-Des-Neiges is a bustling hub for Indian expats in Montreal. The neighborhood is conveniently situated around the metro stations of CDN, Snowdon, Cote Saint Catherine, and Plamondon, making it a strategic residence for the Indian diaspora. Its advantageous location puts it in close proximity to universities, colleges, Indian grocery stores, Indian restaurants, and places of worship, making it a popular choice amongst Indian residents.
A number of prominent educational institutions, such as the University of Montreal (HEC), Tav College, and well-known CEGEPs are within easy reach. Consequently, it is an attractive neighborhood for many students. Besides its educational facilities, Côte-Des-Neiges boasts a plethora of amenities including Côte-Des-Neiges Plaza, Maxi, Dollarama, Walmart, Metro, and high-end hospitals, all easily accessible within the area.
Streets like Rue Linton, Decelles, Saint Kevin, Barclay, Gover, and Queen Mary are known to be hotspots for the Indian expat community. Furthermore, numerous metro stations and STM bus routes, including the 165,166,129,161,51, and 124 ensure commuting around the city from this neighborhood is a breeze.
When it comes to Indian groceries, Côte-Des-Neiges is home to some of the top Indian grocery stores in Montreal. Establishments like Marche Vitoria, Marche Tharshini, Marche Victoria, and Fruit Baby stock a wide array of Indian staples.
Food enthusiasts can delight in the Indian fare offered at various restaurants in the vicinity. With establishments like Didar Restaurant, Foodine, Punjab Canteen, and Royal Paan, the neighborhood offers a wide range of delectable Indian cuisines. Notably, the famous South Indian Thanjai Restaurant is also located on Plamondon Street, providing residents and visitors alike with an authentic taste of South Indian cuisine.
One of the most appealing aspects of Côte-Des-Neiges for students is its affordability. Whether it’s rent or personal expenses, living here can be quite cost-effective. While the area is majorly populated by Gujaratis and South Indians, you’ll find people from all over India residing here, making it a vibrant Indian microcosm in the heart of Montreal.
3) Downtown, Montreal
Downtown Montreal, the bustling city center renowned for commerce, culture, and education, is home to a thriving Indian community. With prestigious universities and colleges such as Concordia University, McGill University, LaSalle College, Dawson College, and Canada College in close proximity, this area is particularly appealing to Indian students. Along streets such as Rue Maisonneuve, Fort, Saint Marc, and Av. Lincoln, you’ll find a rich tapestry of Indian life, with both students and families forming a vibrant part of the local community.
The neighborhood’s residential scene is marked by popular buildings like 1645 Rue Maisonneuve, 1280 Saint Marc, 1411 Rue Fort, 2250 Rue Guy, and 2055 Saint Mathieu, all playing host to an array of Indian inhabitants. Despite being nestled in the heart of the city’s business district, these places have become hubs of Indian culture and community.
The culinary scene in Downtown Montreal is strongly influenced by the Indian community, featuring popular restaurants like Le Taj, Bawarchi, Thaali, Sana Restaurant Halal, Maison ChiaSai, Chez Devi, Etoile des Indes, and Spicebros. Whether you’re craving the complex flavors of biryani or a comforting thali, these eateries cater to every preference. South Indian cuisine also has a strong presence, with restaurants such as Our Place, Madras Curry House, and Chennai Express offering delicacies from the southern region of India.
Grocery stores catering to Indian culinary needs, although fewer in number, can be found in Downtown Montreal. They offer the unique spices and ingredients essential to Indian cooking, making it possible for residents to create authentic Indian dishes at home.
In addition to its robust culinary scene, Downtown Montreal offers convenient access to a range of amenities, including shopping malls like EATON Montreal, Montreal Trust, and Alexis Nihon, as well as extensive library facilities within Concordia University and other colleges.
While living in Downtown Montreal might be a tad expensive, the convenience it provides, particularly for those studying or working in the area, is unmatched. The time saved in commuting often makes it a worthwhile choice, especially for students who choose to share accommodations.
4) LaSalle & Lachine
LaSalle and Lachine, suburbs nestled on the South Shore of Montreal, present a tranquil residential choice for many Indian expats. Notably, these areas are particularly popular among the Punjabi community, which significantly contributes to the Indian flavor in these locales.
These neighboring boroughs, located along the picturesque Saint Lawrence River, provide a quieter, suburban alternative to the city’s busier districts. Indian communities have been attracted to LaSalle and Lachine for their peaceful living conditions, scenic beauty, and high quality of life.
The presence of Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar in LaSalle is a significant cultural landmark. This Sikh temple is more than a place of worship; it’s a community hub that fosters social cohesion among the Indian diaspora. Its presence has drawn a growing Sikh community to the area, gradually transforming it into an epicenter of Punjabi culture.
Complementing the strong community vibe is an array of Indian grocery stores and restaurants, such as Marche Chauhan Brothers. These establishments cater to the culinary needs of Indian expats, offering a taste of home while also introducing locals to the richness of Indian cuisine.
Additionally, the proximity of Lachine Industrial has attracted a sizable number of warehouse workers and other similar professionals to the area. The employment opportunities coupled with relatively lower rental rates compared to other parts of the city make Lachine an attractive option for many Indian expats.
While LaSalle and Lachine are somewhat removed from Downtown Montreal and other concentrated Indian neighborhoods, a robust transport system ensures connectivity. Winter months may present some commuting challenges, but the overall appeal of these neighborhoods makes them worth considering.
5) DDO & Pointe Claire
Dollard-Des Ormeaux (DDO) and Pointe Claire, located in the West Island of Montreal, host a flourishing Indian community. These neighborhoods are particularly attractive to settled Indian families who’ve chosen Montreal as their long-term home, offering a harmonious blend of suburban tranquility and urban convenience.
In both DDO and Pointe Claire, religious and cultural events play a pivotal role in community life. The presence of temples such as Hindu Mandir, Murugan Temple and Gurudwara Sahib du Grand Montréal in these areas provide ideal venues for the celebration of Indian festivals and cultural events. This vibrant Indian diaspora ensures that traditions from the homeland continue to be celebrated and passed on to the younger generation, even as they adapt to Canadian culture.
These areas have become particularly popular among Indian expats looking to invest in real estate and buy their own homes. The appeal is multifaceted – apart from the comfort and spaciousness associated with suburban living, residents of DDO and Pointe Claire enjoy excellent schools, shopping centers, recreational facilities, and a close-knit community feel. The safety and quality of life in these neighborhoods make them an excellent choice for Indian families to set down roots.
When it comes to culinary needs, Marche Om India, a popular Indian grocery store in the area, ensures that residents have easy access to Indian ingredients. From staples like lentils and rice to regional delicacies, the store caters to the varied culinary preferences of the Indian community.