Montreal is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the only French-speaking place in North America. Multicultural, open to the world, its European and American influences allow a unique mix of genres. Few cities can boast such a large gay district. Called – The Village – this is where the city’s multitude of LGBTQ+ bars, clubs, restaurants and shops congregate. Even its subway station serving the neighborhood proudly wears the colors of the rainbow. The city’s LGBTQ+ population is also particularly important in terms of presence as well as influence.
The population of Montreal, including its metropolitan area, is just over 4 million, half the size of the province of Quebec of which it is a part. The city is very cosmopolitan and you are sure to meet people from all over the world. The official language is French, but English is very well spoken by the vast majority of Montrealers. Its gay district is one of the largest in the world and is spread over a vast area along St. Catherine Street East and all its arteries: mainly Atateken (formerly Amherst) and Ontario Streets. The Village is served by three metro stations: Berri-UQAM to the west, Beaudry in the centre, and Papineau to the east.
Montreal is clearly one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly cities in the world. Every year, Fierté Montréal organizes one of the best gay festivals on the planet, which ends with the Pride March, attended by more than 2 million people. The community and association base is very important. The City of Montreal and the Government of Quebec actively support local organizations with numerous support programs. More generally, Canada provides a much-appreciated protective environment for LGBTQ+ people and this is reflected in society.
Canada was the second country (after the Netherlands) to legalize gay marriage on July 20, 2005. In Quebec, of which Montreal is the largest metropolis, gay marriage has even been legally recognized since March 19, 2004. Adoption for same-sex couples has also been legal for many years. Discrimination, whether private or professional, is severely punished. No restrictions in the military field. The federal government is continuing its action and is now tackling the ban on conversion therapies. The latter are already criminalized in a few provinces such as Ontario and Manitoba.
The currency used in Canada is the Canadian dollar, not to be confused with the American dollar. For 1€ you get about 1,50$ CAD. There are many exchange offices on site, so there is no need to change your currency at the airport, where it is generally less advantageous (and more expensive!). Also check with your financial institution before you leave, as partnerships exist between certain banks (e.g. if you are with Crédit Mutuel in France, you can withdraw money free of charge at Desjardins branches in Quebec).
The tourist visa is valid for a maximum of 6 months, but this is at the customs officer’s discretion following a strict control on arrival. European countries are visa-free, but it is nevertheless mandatory before your departure to apply for an ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) which costs 7$CAD per person. Ask for it on the official Government of Canada website and not through a third party as they will charge you extra for the same service. Here is the link to the official government website: ETA – Canada.
L’Aigle Noir (1315 St. Catherine Street East). Popular and busy bar, with a clientele of all ages and genders. A space is dedicated to the broadcasting of sports events.
Le Renard (1272 Sainte-Catherine Street East). Trendy bar frequented by a young, urban and hipster clientele. Beware, the bar is quickly crowded in the evening, so plan to come early.
District Video Lounge (1365 Sainte-Catherine Street East). Modern bar frequented by a clientele of young professionals with video clips broadcasting.
The Stud (1812 Sainte-Catherine Street East). Bar spread over several rooms/floors. Diverse clientele and the ultimate Bears’ landmark.
Le Cocktail (1669 Sainte-Catherine Street East). Bar that offers drag queen performances and karaoke nights. Many theme evenings.
Cabaret Mado (1115 Sainte-Catherine Street East). Well known for its shows, drag shows and special events. Mado, the most famous drag queen in Quebec, welcomes you in person on Fridays and Saturdays.
Le Date (1218 Sainte-Catherine Street East). Bar which today is a real institution for the locals for its karaoke nights every day of the week.
The Mineral Bar (1641 Atateken Street). Elegant and trendy bar with a wine bar atmosphere during the day and clubbing after dark.
The Stock (1171 Sainte-Catherine Street East). Naked dancers bar. Ephebes often take their break outside the establishment to make their mouths water.
The Campus (1111 Sainte-Catherine Street East). Naked dancers’ bar located on the floor of the building. A smaller stage than the Stock bar.
Le Tendresse (1259 Sainte-Catherine Street East). Bistro-bar with a zen and relaxed atmosphere and vegan cocktails.
Sky Complex (1474 Sainte-Catherine Street East).Gay clubbing complex with an exclusive bar area for a little more privacy. Young clientele.
The Rocky (1673 Sainte-Catherine Street East). Tavern with a mature clientele.
The Normandie (1295 Atateken Street). One of the oldest establishments in the village and recently renovated.
Bar Taboo (1950 de Maisonneuve Blvd. East). Bar for young nude dancers. More mature customers
Outside the village :
Café Cléopatre (1230 St. Laurent Blvd.). The oldest establishment in Montreal to present drag shows.
M2 (3800 Notre-Dame Street West). Resto-bar with a sleek industrial design in the St-Henri district.
The Wiggle Room (3874 St. Laurent Blvd.). Burlesque and drag show presentation (ManSpread) !
Sky Complex (1474 Sainte-Catherine Street East). One of the largest gay complexes in the world with indoor and outdoor bars, rooftop terrace, several dance halls. Young clientele and affordable prices. Don’t forget your ID to get inside.
Club Unity (1171 Sainte-Catherine Street East). Big gay club with many theme nights: Thursday Latin, Friday top 40 and hip-hop, and Saturdays more house clubbing. Gay and mixed clientele.
Le Stereo Night Club (858 Sainte-Catherine Street East). One of the best sound systems on the planet! Gay-mixed clientele and international dj’s.
Check out the “Gay nights” tab as many gay nights are also held in other clubs outside the village!
Black & Blue Festival. A large international LGBTQ+ festival that takes place every year in October. Exists since 1991. One of the biggest gay parties on the planet with thousands of people coming from all over the world for the event.
Mec Plus Ultra. Monthly party often presented in the Belmont Club located in the Plateau district.
Glitter Bomb. Monthly party at the Bar Le Ritz P.D.B.
LuvHaus. Monthly evening in the Hochelaga district.
District. Big gay parties that take place a few times a year. Not to be confused with the bar having the same name in the village.
You are in North America, some restaurants do not serve alcohol and propose the “Bring your own wine” concept. In this case, go to one of the 2 branches of the SAQ (Société d’Alcool du Québec) located in the gay village.
Saloon Bistro Bar (1333 Sainte-Catherine Street East). Restaurant and bar on two floors with a nice atmosphere, dj, fusion cuisine, and a nice terrace in summer.
Rebel Brasserie Urbaine (1470 Sainte-Catherine Street East). This is the restaurant located at the bottom of the Sky Complex (bars & clubs). American style food.
Palme (1470 Sainte-Catherine Street East). Excellent address with tropical cuisine.
Le Tendresse (1259 Sainte-Catherine Street East). Vegan cuisine.
Mozza Restaurant (1326 Sainte-Catherine Street East). Quality cuisine with Italian specialties.
La Maison de Banh Mi (1263 Sainte-Catherine Street East). Asian cuisine.
Resto du Village (1310 Wolfe Street). Open 24 hours a day. American kitchen.
Torro Rosso (1453 Sainte-Catherine Street East). Steak house restaurant.
Our Beef of Grace (1302 Sainte-Catherine Street East). Restaurant specializing in burgers.
O’Thym Restaurant (1112 Mainsonneuve Blvd East). Excellent chic bistro with high quality cuisine. Book in advance!
The Blossom (1101 Mainsonneuve Blvd East). Japanese restaurant.
The Red Tiger (1201 Mainsonneuve Blvd East). Vietnamese restaurant.
For a brunch, you can go to Bistro Le Passé Composéor in the branches of the chains l’Oeufrieror Coralocated in the village.
G.I. Joe (1166 Sainte-Catherine Street East). Large gay sauna in the Village with a mixed clientele of all ages and fetish lovers. On several floors and with a large terrace.
Oasis Sauna (1390 Sainte-Catherine Street East). Large gay sauna in the heart of the village with a mixed and relatively young clientele.
Downtown Sauna (1465 Sainte-Catherine Street East). Gay sauna with a rather mature clientele.
Out of the Gay Village:
Colonial Bath Sauna (3963 Colonial Avenue). Sauna with a predominantly gay clientele.
From 1 to 7 August 2022
Fierté Montréal organizes one of the largest LGBTQ+ festivals in the world every year. The parade passes through a large part of the city along René-Lévesque Boulevard and ends in the Gay Village. The final Montreal Pride Walk will take place this year on Sunday, August 7, 2022. At the end of the march, a mega T-Dance with thousands of people will be held at Olympic Park followed by a show with the famous Brazilian drag queen Pabllo Vittar. The main stage of the festivities will be located in the Olympic Park esplanade and each evening has its own show with several artists, with an opening show on August 3, 2022. Two community days will be held on August 5 and 6, 2022 in the Gay Village. It’s worth mentioning that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Quebec Prime Minister François Legault and many political figures are also participating in the march.
Grindr, Scruff and Hornetare the most used applications.
Gay411.com is a local network still used by Quebecers. No application but accessible via a mobile version.
PlanetRomeo, Gaydar, Manhunt as well as Blued, Jack’D, Squirt or GuySpy are less used or not at all.
Video source: YouTube – Tourisme Montréal – May 17, 2020. Photo credit: licensed by Shutterstock.com / photographer: Alexander Demyanenko.