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Old 01-22-2014, 07:04 PM
 
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My two children will be attending McGill University next year and the year after. We are from Toronto. The problem is the son will be attending the downtown Montreal campus, while the daughter will be attending the MacDonald Campus at Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue.

My question is: is it practical for them to share an apartment halfway between the two campuses, along the commuter train line, say at Dorval or Lachine? Is that a safe area for students? And is the commuter train a reliable, dependable way to get to school on time, in rush hours? My wife is saying we should spend a bit more money and let each of them live near their own campus, but I am thinking the two can share cooking and shopping, support each other, etc.

From the standpoint of a local, how does the plan sound ? Is it even practical? How bad does the two commute sound to you ? In Toronto our Go Transit or TTC would stop service a few times a year due to bad weather..... does that happen often in Montreal during winter?

What about driving from Dorval to Sainte-Anne during rush hour, is that an option ?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience, very much appreciated.


J
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:11 PM
 
Location: Montreal, QC
60 posts, read 66,968 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack W View Post
My two children will be attending McGill University next year and the year after. We are from Toronto. The problem is the son will be attending the downtown Montreal campus, while the daughter will be attending the MacDonald Campus at Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue.

My question is: is it practical for them to share an apartment halfway between the two campuses, along the commuter train line, say at Dorval or Lachine? Is that a safe area for students? And is the commuter train a reliable, dependable way to get to school on time, in rush hours? My wife is saying we should spend a bit more money and let each of them live near their own campus, but I am thinking the two can share cooking and shopping, support each other, etc.

From the standpoint of a local, how does the plan sound ? Is it even practical? How bad does the two commute sound to you ? In Toronto our Go Transit or TTC would stop service a few times a year due to bad weather..... does that happen often in Montreal during winter?

What about driving from Dorval to Sainte-Anne during rush hour, is that an option ?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience, very much appreciated.


J
Dorval would be a pretty good in between spot for them. There are plenty of rush hour trains for people heading downtown in the morning, and back to Dorval in the afternoon. So the train wouldn't be feasible for your daughter. However, there is good express bus service from Dorval to MacDonald campus. There's the 211, 411 and 405 that will take her there in no time. They have a really good frequency too. Your son could also use these buses as well as the 485 and 425 from Dorval terminus to get to downtown, when there's gaps in the schedule of the train. It's a non-stop ride from Dorval terminus to Lionel-Groulx metro, which is 4 stops from the McGill metro station. During off peak hours, this bus ride will be around 15 minutes, but during rush it is longer. As far as safety goes, it's very safe.
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Old 01-23-2014, 01:14 AM
 
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If money were no object i'd have them both living next to their perspective university and having no commute at all. One in the student village downtown the other residing in St Anne De Belleview.
What are their preferences?
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by goldeneyed View Post
Dorval would be a pretty good in between spot for them. There are plenty of rush hour trains for people heading downtown in the morning, and back to Dorval in the afternoon. So the train wouldn't be feasible for your daughter. However, there is good express bus service from Dorval to MacDonald campus. There's the 211, 411 and 405 that will take her there in no time. They have a really good frequency too. Your son could also use these buses as well as the 485 and 425 from Dorval terminus to get to downtown, when there's gaps in the schedule of the train. It's a non-stop ride from Dorval terminus to Lionel-Groulx metro, which is 4 stops from the McGill metro station. During off peak hours, this bus ride will be around 15 minutes, but during rush it is longer. As far as safety goes, it's very safe.
Thank you for the detailed information, I really appreciate it. The bus routes suggested are very useful. We might go try them out during March break. You mentioned the bus ride from Dorval to Lionel-Groulx would be around 15 minutes or more, what about the bus trip from Dorval to MacDonald Campus, will that take similar time, or more ?

Glad to hear that Dorval is a relatively safe place. What about Lachine ? Sorry I don't really know the city, I just found these names on the map and I have no clue !
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
If money were no object i'd have them both living next to their perspective university and having no commute at all. One in the student village downtown the other residing in St Anne De Belleview.
What are their preferences?
Thank you for your response.

Actually the kids do not mind living together.... but as parents you want the best for them, so we have to determine whether social support of having a sibling at home in the evening is more important, or living 5 minutes to campus is more important. That's why we want some input from locals who know about the traffic, how bad it is during rush hour, etc.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Montreal, QC
60 posts, read 66,968 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack W View Post
Thank you for the detailed information, I really appreciate it. The bus routes suggested are very useful. We might go try them out during March break. You mentioned the bus ride from Dorval to Lionel-Groulx would be around 15 minutes or more, what about the bus trip from Dorval to MacDonald Campus, will that take similar time, or more ?

Glad to hear that Dorval is a relatively safe place. What about Lachine ? Sorry I don't really know the city, I just found these names on the map and I have no clue !

Lachine is an area where a lot of new condos are now being built, but certain areas are more working class compared to Dorval which is pure suburbia. If you had to pick which one is "safer" I'd choose Dorval, but it's really negligable.

But living in Lachine would mean an extra connection for your daughter which will make her commute much longer. If she were to take the 405 bus from Dorval, it would be about 45 minutes to MacDonald campus. The 211 would take about 55 mins because it does more stops. You don't want to be adding to that by living in Lachine.

There's also a free shuttle bus from MacDonald to the downtown McGill campus provided to students, if she ever has a few classes downtown too.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack W View Post
. We might go try them out during March break. You mentioned the bus ride from Dorval to Lionel-Groulx would be around 15 minutes or more, what about the bus trip from Dorval to MacDonald Campus, will that take similar time, or more ?

!
Do try those bus routes at the time the kids will be taking them as morning and evening rush hours can be a bit longer than just normal hours in the day. Dorval and the western parts of Lachine would be an ideal midway place for residence.
Also try the commuter train.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldeneyed View Post
Lachine is an area where a lot of new condos are now being built, but certain areas are more working class compared to Dorval which is pure suburbia. If you had to pick which one is "safer" I'd choose Dorval, but it's really negligable.

But living in Lachine would mean an extra connection for your daughter which will make her commute much longer. If she were to take the 405 bus from Dorval, it would be about 45 minutes to MacDonald campus. The 211 would take about 55 mins because it does more stops. You don't want to be adding to that by living in Lachine.

There's also a free shuttle bus from MacDonald to the downtown McGill campus provided to students, if she ever has a few classes downtown too.
Thanks again for the great information. What about the commuter train ? There seems to be a train stop in Dorval and at MacDonald campus.
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Old 01-23-2014, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Canada
4,694 posts, read 8,458,530 times
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Originally Posted by Jack W View Post
Thanks again for the great information. What about the commuter train ? There seems to be a train stop in Dorval and at MacDonald campus.
The train stop may seem close to Macdonald on a map, but in practice the walk from there to Mac Campus is actually about 20 minutes and the snow clearing can be shoddy through some of those streets in the winter, so it's less of a great option then it might initially seem.
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:04 AM
 
34,239 posts, read 41,268,949 times
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Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
The train stop may seem close to Macdonald on a map, but in practice the walk from there to Mac Campus is actually about 20 minutes and the snow clearing can be shoddy through some of those streets in the winter, so it's less of a great option then it might initially seem.
The same can be said of Dorval if you have to catch a bus at the terminus next to the train station, a good 20 minute walk from most of the apartment complexes off Dorval ave.
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