Milton-Parc Neighbourhood

MILTON-PARC

What is Milton-Parc?

Milton-Parc, home to 11,150 residents, is one of the oldest residential neighbourhoods in Montreal and considered a heritage area. Sitting just east of McGill’s campus, it is delineated by University Street, Avenue des Pins, Boul. St-Laurent and Sherbrooke Street. The neighbourhood is often referred to as the “McGill Ghetto”, a harmful misnomer that perpetuates the misconception that Milton-Parc is simply a student neighbourhood, given its significant population of McGill students. In reality, students only make up about a quarter of the bustling neighbourhood’s residents! 

The remainder of Milton-Parc’s residents are permanent residents (members of housing cooperatives, home/condo owners, and long-term tenants) with a lot of love for their community. 

When threatened with the construction of high-rises in the late 1960s, Milton-Parc residents came together to fight for the preservation of their neighbourhood and created the Milton-Parc Citizens Committee (MPCC), which is still active and serving the community. The community mobilized for nearly two decades until an agreement was reached in 1987 regarding the shared ownership of the land, between co-ops and non-profit organizations. This agreement established the largest cooperative housing project in Canada, in the heart of Milton-Parc, and was named the Communauté Milton-Parc, or in English, the Milton-Parc Community. 

Photo: Gerry Bird/Montreal Star/Library and Archives Canada/PA-153958 Les 23 et 24 mai 1969, le comité de citoyens de Milton Parc a marché devant l’Hôtel de Ville pour protester contre le projet immobilier du promoteur Concordia Estates (source).

The Milton-Parc Community (CMP)

The Milton-Parc Community’s unique housing cooperative network houses more than 1,500 people from more than fifty countries in low- and moderate-income housing. The CMP includes 146 residential buildings (616 apartments) and two commercial buildings, and its current members are all co-owners :

  • fifteen co-ops
  • six low-income housing buildings (NPOs , including rooming houses)
  • la Société de développement communautaire Milton-Park (SDC) who own 11 commercial properties
  • a community-based organization
  • two other organizations with a commercial vocation

Together, they collectively are bound to an agreement akin to a land trust which requires access to quality dwellings for low and moderate income people, insists on the conservation of the urban fabric and the architectural and socio-economic uniqueness of the neighborhood, and provides stringent mechanisms on re-sale to prevent speculation. 

Students and Milton-Parc

Students and Milton-Parc residents have cohabited for a very long time, but the relatively recent influx of students into the neighborhood has proven problematic, as it has led to an increase in excessive noise and trash accumulation, especially during the moving period in May. 

In 2010, a partnership between the Milton-Parc Citizens’ Committee, SSMU, and McGill University (through the Office of the Dean of Students) was created to find solutions to these neighbourhood relations problems. Since the creation of this partnership – known as the Community Action and Relations Endeavour or the C.A.R.E Agreement – neighbourhood relations have greatly improved. Indeed, the Endeavour, summarized in this Brochure, continues to facilitate consistent, systematic and open communication among the main stakeholders and functions as a resource for all parties to engage with one another and to succeed in the implementation of collaborative projects. 

However, it remains important to emphasize that Milton-Parc is not a student neighborhood and that students moving into the area will be living among permanent residents as well as students. During large and exciting events such as Frosh, students in the neighborhood are encouraged to have fun, but to remain respectful and sensitive to their neighbors’ differing realities. When living off-campus, students are subject to noise complaints and tickets from the police if they are disruptive. To avoid this, students are encouraged to consult their neighbors when planning any potentially disruptive gatherings, as well as to reduce noise to a minimum after 11pm. 

During the moving period in April-May, there is always a problem of trash accumulation on the sidewalks and streets of Milton-Parc. As it is mostly students in short-term rentals who move during this period, they contribute greatly to the problem. This issue stems largely from the lack of awareness surrounding trash collection in Montreal. To address this, students are encouraged to consult the Ville de Montreal website to find out more about eco-centers nearby and bulky item collection in their borough. Additionally, every year during April-May, SSMU Community Affairs helps coordinate Trash2Treasure, a free carbon-neutral collection service for students and residents in the Milton-Parc area aimed at reducing the waste on the streets during the move-out period and to providing students with an easy, free, charitable, and environmentally friendly way to dispose of the goods they no longer need, but could be useful to someone in need. 

SSMU Community Affairs is cognizant of the impact that students have on the Milton-Parc neighbourhood and is dedicated to working with community organizations to mitigate the negative impacts of studentification and, instead, promote community building. 

For more information on being a good neighbour and living off-campus, please consult McGill’s Good Neighbour Guide

Note: It is the intention of the 2022-2023 external affairs team to review the CARE agreement to better it. Please email the Community Affairs Commissioner (commaffairs@ssmu.ca) or the VP External Affairs (external@ssmu.ca) with your thoughts, questions, concerns, or to schedule a meeting.  

Community Groups (non-exhaustive list)