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mile end has a fascinating history. chevy chase is close... it was an old jewish neighbourhood, but you wouldn't be able to tell that from these photos. from about 1900 to 1950 it was part of montreal's big eastern european jewish ghetto. (montreal was probably the second-most important centre of yiddish culture in north america at the time.) after those jews left, they were replaced by greeks (my street has a lot of greek restaurants and social clubs), italians and portuguese. the jews you see in these photos are hasidic jews who arrived a couple of generations ago; the neighbourhood just west of mile end is heavily hasidic. there's even a direct hasidic-operated bus line to williamsburg, brooklyn.
there are lots of middle-class families living around here, lots of artists and bohos and a lot of students as well. it's really diverse on every level. linguistically, i think about 40 percent of the residents are francophone, maybe a quarter anglophone and the rest allophone (non-english, non-french speakers). it's probably one of the most bilingual neighbourhoods in montreal.
maineman, as i said, there are a lot of students. mcgill university is about 1.5 miles away, downtown, and concordia university is also downtown. the université de montréal is in another neighbourhood a couple of miles west; there's a bus line that connects it to mile end, though, so some of its students might live here.
rents have shot up a lot since mid-late 90s, when montreal went through a deep economic recession, but they're still affordable. a majority of montrealers are tenants (although the recent condo boom is eating into that) so there are some very tenant-friendly rental regulations that ensure there isn't too much instability. the biggest problem is vacancy, which is one percent in montreal and probably close to zero in mile end.
by the way, chevychase, i've heard of that stereotype before. it holds true for, say, ottawa, but then again it would hold true for a large number of american cities. toronto has a reputation for being bland yet it is one of the rattiest, most cluttered and diverse cities around.
it's a big hill called mount royal. part of it is a park designed by frederick law olmstead; there's also a large cemetary, the université de montréal, a giant oratory and some wealthy residential areas on its slopes.