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Alex Charlebois/Handout

5110 Rue St-Dominique, Montreal

Asking Price: $1,950,000

Taxes: $4,937 (2022)

Lot Size: 2,723 square feet

Agents: Jeff Lee, Real Estate Broker, Engel & Volkers, Montreal Outremont

The backstory

Montreal’s Mile End neighbourhood wasn’t always known for its lavish and high-end properties. In 2003, when Richard Ostiguy, 57, first moved to the neighbourhood it was still in its early development stages and filled with lots of struggling artists. It wasn’t the neighbourhood it is today, filled now with luxury homes and trendy shops.

The Mile End is part of the now trendy Le Plateau – Mont-Royal, bounded by Mont-Royal and rue Van Horne to the north-south and Saint-Laurent and Parc to the east-west. In 1876, the transcontinental railway gave the neighbourhood its first growth spurt and in 1982 it was given the name ‘Mile End.’ Now, the neighbourhood is filled with an array of townhouses, duplexes and apartment buildings.

Mr. Ostiguy’s loft at 5110 Rue St-Dominique sits directly across from Parc-Saint Michel. It was originally built in 1926 and was an industrial building that has since been transformed into a discreet condominium with three units, one of which has been renovated by Mr. Ostiguy to fit his likings. But, at one point, the loft was just a mere dream for him.

The loft at 5110 Rue St-Dominique in Montreal sits directly across from Parc-Saint Michel.Alex Charlebois/Handout

Mr. Ostiguy, who is a producer for television advertisements, first saw the place in 2002, just a year before he put in an offer and it officially became his. At the time, he had just developed a feature film and had shared the script with another producer who fell in love with it. They were set to meet at the loft on 5110 Rue St-Dominique which was then owned by the other producer. The two met up there to discuss the script and project, but as soon as Mr. Ostiguy walked into the place he instantly fell for it. A discussion about business soon turned into an inquiry about the home.

“It was definitely love at first sight,” Mr. Ostiguy said. It reminded him of the loft in one of his favourite movies, Diva, a 1981 French new wave classic directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix.

With immediacy, Mr. Ostiguy told the owner he wanted the place, and as luck would have it the then owner was willing to sell.

Back before he bought the loft, Mr. Ostiguy said, “I had always dreamed of living in a big lofty kind of space. I remember that I had actually looked at buying into a building with some friends of mine in Old Montreal back when things were affordable. But regrettably I chickened out. So when this opportunity came up, I wasn’t going to miss out.”

The deal was done and in 2003, the big industrial loft belonged to Mr. Ostiguy. At that time the Mile End was a lot less developed than the rest of Le Plateau. But, he said, “you could still tell back then that the neighbourhood had an edge to it and it was just going to transform itself.”

Mr. Ostiguy was there for it all. From Arcade Fire partying down the block to the city of Montreal investing more in the neighbourhood, he witnessed all the cultural and physical changes through his loft’s windows. By around 2012, Mr. Ostiguy said it was as if the neighbourhood had reinvented itself.

The house today

As the neighbourhood changed, Mr. Ostiguy began his renovations. “The only thing I did pretty quickly was build a new rooftop deck because the roof of the deck that was there when I got there was very small and had no view.” At the time, the loft was the only three-storey building on the block, and now, the new upper roof deck takes full advantage of the view.

Mr. Ostiguy, along with the help of a few of his designer friends, continued to transform the industrial building into a homey loft. “The major renovation of the kitchen turned the place into a real home,” he said. “I would say before then, the kitchen was not that functional.”

As the neighbourhood around the building changed, Richard Ostiguy, along with the help of a few of his designer friends, continued to transform the industrial building into a homey loft.Alex Charlebois/Handout

The newly renovated kitchen also lends itself perfectly to parties. Added to which, the entire loft is soundproof, so there are never any complaining neighbours.

But, one of the best parties Mr. Ostiguy hosted was his daughter’s Harry Potter-themed birthday. “All the kids came dressed up and we held a huge Hogwarts graduation ceremony for them where we gave them all a wand,” he said.

The loft gave Mr. Ostiguy some amazing memories, “I’ve been here 19 years, so it’s going to hurt when I have to leave, but change is good at some point.”

Today, the loft has all the amenities one may need to settle in, including two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a private rooftop terrace that offers a panoramic view of the neighbourhood along with a fully functional outdoor kitchen with hot running water.

The renovated kitchen lends itself perfectly to parties, and the entire loft is soundproof, so there are never any complaining neighbours.Alex Charlebois/Handout

Listed at $1,950,000, the loft is entirely open concept and also offers a wide and spacious living area with 14-foot ceilings.

With windows lining the walls as soon as you walk in, Mr. Ostiguy said the pressures of the day just drop. “The feeling that you get when you walk into the loft, as opposed to a typical apartment that you find on Le Plateau, is that you don’t feel like you’re in the city, you feel like you have the space of a country house,” he added.

The best feature

Mr. Ostiguy said the neighbourhood is outstanding. “Everything is right at your finger-tips.” The neighbourhood has two of Montreal’s best bagel spots, Fairmount Bagel and St-Viateur Bagel. There are countless restaurants and boutiques. And all the action can be seen from your own rooftop terrace.

But not least of all, Mr. Ostiguy said, the people make this place amazing. “I know all my neighbours and everyone is so friendly. I know I’m going to miss that,” he said.

Alex Charlebois/Handout

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