Laval is a city that happens to also be the largest suburb of Montreal, being located on Ile Jesus (“Jesus Island” in English) to the north of the Island
of Montreal. It has a population of roughly 400,000 inhabitants and takes up approximately 265 square kilometres of land.
This Montreal suburb is well-known amongst locals for being one of the areas in Montreal that is almost exclusively francophone. It also appears to experience population growth rates ranging between 5-10% every time a nation-wide census is conducted.
There is no question that Laval’s economy is primarily driven by the pharmaceutical industry.
This is evidenced by the several research laboratories in its vicinity and the major buildings occupied by industry giants such as Vertex, Merck, and Pfizer.
With that being said, it also benefits greatly from the technology, agriculture, and retail sectors. With a total of 200,000+ employed by these various sectors, there are an abundant number of job opportunities for newcomers.
Over the years, Laval has been praised as a shining example of a city that continues to experience above average growth on an annual basis. This is partly thanks to a strong government framework that has a long-standing history of strong budgetary performance.
The unemployment rates and labour participation rates that are respectively below and above the averages across the province confirm these statements.
City: 267.20 km2
Land: 247.09 km2
Montreal is regarded by many as a place where people can save money on shopping, yet Laval is known for being even cheaper. This makes it very
attractive to prospective tourists and residents who want to get some shopping done. With Carrefour Laval and many other malls available, it’s
unlikely you will be leaving empty-handed!
If you are into museums, the Cosmodome comes highly recommended by the citizens of Laval. It is a science and technology-themed museum that takes a deep look into space exploration and aviation. If you are to see only one attraction when you go there, look for the life-sized space shuttle cockpit. Another highly recommended place is the Recreatheque, an indoor amusement centre that contains something for everyone. Mini-golf, arcade games, bowling, and much more! Last but not least, there are also several historic churches that will provide visitors with a deeper appreciation of Laval’s rich history that spans several centuries.
Laval is not officially divided up into sections, but it can generally be considered to consist of three major areas: Alfred-Pellan (formerly Laval East), Marc-Aurele-Fortin (also known as Laval Central), and Laval-Les Iles (also known as Laval West). Each of these major areas contains several districts of Laval that possess their own unique characteristics. In part, this is what allows these three areas to be viewed as separate from one another.
Laval-Iles is home to the neighbourhoods of Iles Laval, Laval-Ouest, Saint-Dorothee, Laval-sur-le-Lac, Chomedey, and Fabreville. This area is closest to the small area near the Riviere des Prairies that is right between Ile Jesus from the Island of Montreal, providing residents with nearby access to the highways that will take them to the most populated areas of Montreal. This is convenient for those who need to commute to work, or individuals who want to explore Montreal’s nightlife. Make sure to visit the Bio-Ferme Laval during the summer to get fresh farm produce.
Alfred-Pellan contains the following neighbourhoods: Pont-Viau, Duvernay, Saint-Vincent-De-Paul, and Saint-Francois. These neighbourhoods are by far the oldest in Laval and are home to many mom & pop shops and smaller businesses. This also happens to make them the quietest neighbourhoods in the city. In addition, there are many scenic parks that are great for walking and for outdoor getaways.
The neighbourhoods located within Marc-Aurele-Fortin are Sainte-Rose, Auteuil, Vimont, and Laval-des-Rapides. The majority of the fine dining restaurants in Laval tend to be aggregated within this area, along with many of the historic churches that are symbolic of Laval’s past milestones and achievements.
The homes that you can expect to find in the Alfred-Pellan area are mostly townhomes, semi-detached homes, fully detached homes, bungalows, and the occasional mansion if you are
lucky. Many of these homes are fairly standard with respect to what they offer, and would be most suitable for single families looking for residential homes at affordable prices.
Most of them were built in the 1950s, which might be appealing to those who prefer traditional home designs.
Marc-Aurele-Fortin contains an eclectic mix of homes depending on the neighbourhood that you choose to live in. Some areas offer larger semi-detached and fully detached homes with a modern design. Other areas offer low-rise luxury condos for sale that tend to disappear pretty quickly due to their extremely competitive sale prices.
Laval-Iles offers a mix of high-end fully detached homes, bungalows, and affordable apartment rentals for students or temporary workers. Many of the detached homes come with parking garages for multiple cars, fully renovated interior rooms (kitchen, bathroom, etc.), and an ample amount of open space.
Data source: Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers (APCIQ)/Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMCH) report for 2020/2021.
Laval is home to several technical colleges and schools that specialise in providing students with a trade that they can immediately use to
jumpstart their own careers and small businesses. There are approximately 10 such schools in the Laval area, each a specialist in its own niche.
Even if you are not interested in learning a trade, they provide several adult education opportunities for those who are behind in credits or wish
to learn more about a new subject.
For parents looking to provide their kids with a high standard of education, there are 27 elementary schools for them to choose from. Many of these schools offer bilingual programs for those who want their children to simultaneously learn the French and English languages. They also come with programs for gifted children and provide advanced opportunities to children who wish to seek them out. With nurses, school psychologists, librarians, and so much more to offer, you can rest easy knowing that your child is in the best hands possible.