Montlake is surrounded by water on all sides - on the west: Lake Union, on the east: Lake Washington, and on the north: Lake Washington Canal.  When the Duwamish Indian Tribe resided in the Montlake area they used these waterways as a portal to navigate through the region.  When settlers like Harvey L. Pike started exploring the land in 1853, they quickly caught on to the commercial potential.  A proposal was made to build a canal between the two lakes to allow the movement of lumber from east to west.  In 1860, Pike began digging this proposed canal from Lake Union to Union Bay by hand, using a pick and shovel.  He soon gave up and sold the rights in 1871 to a company headed by Judge Thomas Burke.  By 1885 it was completed and adopted the name “The Portal Canal.” 

In 1909, the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition was held at the University of Washington campus. It was the result of a 4-year effort and 10 million dollars in contributions.  The Exposition marked the anniversary of the Klondike Gold Rush, and was used to demonstrate the growth and development of commercial trade within the Pacific Rim.  Japan quickly agreed to participate and the event turned into a multicultural gathering welcoming over 80,000 people on its opening day. The revenues and funds from the Exposition brought new opportunity for the Montlake area; new roads, bridges, and parks were built.

Montlake consists of approximately .96 square miles, and has a population of about 4,000.  This neighborhood is north of Capitol Hill and very close to the University of Washington and Route 520. Jogging trails, beautiful houses and scenic surroundings make it a great spot to get away from the bustle of urban life. 

Being centrally located makes Montlake the ideal place to live for many UW professors, students, and other young professionals who may work for the Eastside high-tech companies. 
Homeowners in this area are long-time residents and young families. Rental opportunities are not as prevalent in Montlake as in other areas of Seattle due to its small geographical size. The area is mainly comprised of residential homes and families.

Fun Stuff
Within this Seattle neighborhood, residents have access to many parks, community activities, UW campus, and museums.  The Washington Park Arboretum is one of the biggest parks in this area with 230 acres of luscious trees providing biking, hiking, and jogging trails for many to enjoy.  Another park that is enjoyed in this neighborhood is the Interlaken Park, which is comprised of 51.70 acres of hiking and jogging trails.           
Montlake Community Center offers many youth classes and activities, as well as adult activities such as dance, Martial Arts, crafts, fitness, and pottery classes.  The Community Center has a playfield, gymnasium, pottery studio, and many class rooms for seminars and community events. 

If you love history, visit the Seattle Museum of History and Industry.  This museum attracts 60,000 visitors annually, and has grown to be the largest privately owned heritage organization in Washington State.  This museum captures the history of the Pacific Northwest, and specializes in many diverse cultural, social, and economic aspects.      

Average Rent: $$

Primary Housing:

Small Apartment Buildings

Single-Family Homes


Commute Times:

Downtown 10-12 minutes

Eastside 15 minutes, 25-30 minutes in traffic

Montlake is a small neighborhood located just south across the Montlake Bridge from Husky stadium of the University of Washington. For those who wish to have one of the most convenient in-city locations to Bellevue and Kirkland on the Eastside in addition to quick Downtown access this may be your spot.

Located just off of SR 520, this established neighborhood is almost exclusively comprised of established single-family homes. You will find a mix of beautiful brick Tudor-style homes with early century craftsman and bungalow styled homes. There are very few apartment and townhome properties in this area but the single-family homes do periodically become available for rent.