The journey of a family, from the Mile End to Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve
Elizabeth Murphy-Lavallée now lives in Montréal, in the Faubourg Contrecoeur neighbourhood in the east sector of the city. But initially she was a girl from the suburbs. She shares in this article her experience as a property owner in Montréal and her life choices.
“When we heard about the Accès Condos financial tool, my spouse and I did not yet have children and we were still in college. We lived in the Mile End neighbourhood, which we liked, but we did not have the money for the down payment needed to buy a property.
The SHDM-run home ownership program seemed to meet our needs perfectly. So we took the plunge by purchasing our first property in the development that was repurposing the former Biscuiterie Viau, an accredited Accès Condos project. Though we thought that we could not live away from the Mile End, this new project turned out to be love-at-first-sight for us. In addition, we also received a $6,000 grant from the Ville de Montréal because we were first-time buyers. Furthermore, the quality of the architecture, the industrial character of the project, the price and the conditions of purchase were the winning arguments to convince us to move away from the Mile End.
From the beginning, we saw this purchase as a springboard that would enable us later on to move into something bigger. And indeed, this first home purchase enabled us to buy, a few years later, a property to accommodate our two daughters. When we sold our condo, the area had evolved for the best. Several shops had opened and many private condos were built in close proximity to La Biscuiterie. Neighbourhood life was increasingly more interesting. The capital gain we made on the resale, four years after purchasing the condo, enabled us to have the necessary down payment that opened the door to a wide choice of properties.
Today we live in the Faubourg Contrecoeur, also in the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough and we love this neighbourhood. The Accès Condos accredited urban houses were not built at the time of our second purchase, which is why we opted for a townhouse offered in the same development.
My husband works 10 minutes from here and I, in downtown Montréal. Having had the experience of being raised on the South Shore while attending school in Montréal starting at the primary level, it was important for me to reduce commuting time. By living here, the time we spend on commuting is minimal. Our oldest daughter attends the local school, which she loves, and our youngest is in a childcare centre located nearby. We value the social and cultural diversity of the neighbourhood, but also its tranquility and family character. We also love the accessibility offered by this location. For example, highways 25 and 40 allow us to quickly get out of Montréal, to visit the grandparents or go to the cottage.
When we arrived at the Faubourg Contrecoeur, we were among the first buyers and our street wasn’t even paved! Today, we feel a real sense of community. People are proud to live here. Our children and their friends attend the same schools or daycare, meet at the park. It is a beautiful quality of life!
If one day, I move away from here, it will be to be in the woods, the real countryside, but it will not be an in-between. The little time we devote to commuting seems to be too big an advantage to lose if we decided to leave Montréal while continuing to work here.”