Bye-bye condo fees. Hello your own sweet two-storey home in a very cool neighborhood. 5556-5558 Casgrain is a former duplex converted into a 2- or 3-bedroom with two full baths.
It features a front living room with a passage to the dining room. A full bathroom with shower separates the two. There's a large open kitchen with concrete-topped counter and breakfast bar. The kitchen has windows on two sides for maximum light.
The dining room is an equally bright and inviting space and is steps away from the back door that leads to a spacious wooden deck with seating for at least eight, planters of flowers, vines and trees. Perfect for summer lounging and dining. There's protected bike storage and up a ladder, a wee playhouse for a kid or maybe the neighborhood raccoon.
Upstairs you will find a master bedroom at the front of the house. There are no bedroom closets, as is often the case with places built around about the turn of the 20th century. To compensate, the current occupants set up a dressing area in a corner at the top of the stairs. There's an oversized armoire and a chest of drawers. The armoire is staying for the next owner.
There's a second full bath with a deep tub. The guest room is a quirky space with a window onto the porch and another onto the bathroom. The office was once a closed third bedroom with a door to a small porch. It would be easy to put the wall back up, if a third bedroom is necessary.
Twenty years ago the area south of Mont-Royal Ave between Papineau and Drolet was the be-all and the end-all of Plateau living. That's where the fashionable people of the late 1980s dug in and that's where prices quickly climbed beyond the reach of ordinary buyers.
For every action there must be an equal and opposite reaction. Young, creative types began to migrate north to the ungentrified industrial area just east of St-Laurent, between Maguire and the CP tracks. Ubisoft, the French video game maker, led the parade by setting up shop in the Peck building at the corner of St-Laurent and St-Viateur.
That influx of young creative types was just the encouragement the neighborhood needed. Soon enough, there was an explosion of cafés and boutiques. The old garment factories of de Gaspe Ave. and Casgrain St. became hives for start-ups making everything from jams to custom furniture.
Today, this as yet unnamed corner of Mile End, is where it is at creatively. Le Champ des Possibles, a community-created biodiversity park on former CP Rail land, perfectly exemplifies the area's spirit. It has given birth to Le Marché des Possibles, an outdoor summer market with artisanal goods, fresh produce and free cultural programming.(Just up the street from 5556 Casgrain). Pop Montreal, the annual indie music fest, hosts shows, symposia, screenings and art exhibits all over the area throughout the year. Let's not forget Montreal Roller Derby, headquartered in the St-Louis Arena! Let's not forget Bain St-Michel, once the area's community bathhouse/swimming pool and now an art and theatre space.
La Panthère Verte for the vegans, Magpie for the old-school 'zza, and Café District for the java. None of it is more than a two-minute walk from your front door. And if you don't mind crossing the Main, the best bagels in Montreal.
The asking price for 5556 Casgrain is $523,000. The owner has lived in the house for five years and has put good money into the bricks, the chimney, ventilation and the crawl space.The roof was redone in 2010.
All in all, a pretty sweet place, for a couple, family or a singleton looking for a house of their own.
You can see the complete listing here.