Robert David Sullivan
NOTE: This is an archive article. For an updated and expanded article on Montreal click DailyXtraTravel
Montreal has a reputation for decadence among gays in the northeastern
US, but that's not exactly right. This is not a hedonistic capital like
Rio or New Orleans. Rather, gay life here is very urban, in a
pre-gentrification way. Montreal is what New York might have become if
that city had found a way to lower crime without pricing the Village
People out -- that is, if the Village People had all got iPhones and
developed a fondness for hockey and karaoke.
The largest city in Quebec still has a large "gay ghetto," full
of specialized bars that manage to stay in business even without
overflow crowds and $12 drinks. There are a number of bathhouses
competing for business, with theme nights and spanking-new equipment
and several strip clubs catering to various tastes. Downtown, there are
grand department stores and plenty of bookstores, both things that are
quickly disappearing from major cities in the US.
Though everyone seems connected to the web here, the gay scene
is not yet dominated by Craigslist and Grindr: it's still considered
good form to chat guys up in a bar or on the street. Enjoy it while it
Montreal-Trudeau Airport is about 20 km (or 12 miles) southwest of the
city and is not served by the Metro system. A taxi to downtown costs
about C$38, but an Aerobus shuttle is only C$16. It leaves every half
hour in the daytime and drops you off at the central bus station, which
happens to be one block from the Gay Village.
Central Montreal is quite walkable; strolling from Campus in the Gay
Village to La Baie department store downtown takes about 20 minutes.
But if you're looking for a street address, remember to distinguish
between "Est" and "Ouest" on the major thoroughfares. The Metro is
clean and reliable, and it operates until roughly 12:30am. Single fares
are C$2.75; three-day passes are C$14. You can also get one-day access
to BIXI, the city's new public bike-sharing system, for C$5.
The Gay Village, or simply Le Village, is the obvious destination for
gay travelers, but if you're in Montreal for more than a day, you
should take advantage of the citywide gay-friendliness.
Old Montreal. The riverfront district is undeniably touristy;
still, it's a must-see for art gallery and architecture fans.
The Plateau. With Boulevard St-Laurent at its heart, this area has the
most vibrant nights-and-weekends scene in the city. There aren't many
specifically gay places, but there's plenty of eye candy on the streets.
Montreal's 'meet' market
There are great restaurants to experience in Montreal, but not everyone
wants to devote half their travel budget to eating out. You might want
to save your dough for drinks, cover charges and maybe the occasional
Your best bet for food is one of the public markets scattered
across the city, and the biggest is Marche Jean-Talon (7070
Henri-Julien Street; 514-937-7754; marche-jean-talon.com), about a
three-minute walk from the Metro stop of the same name.
The market is open from 7am to at least 5pm on all but four days
of the year. You can almost make a meal out of sampling the fruits and
vegetables; the competition here is fierce enough that most sellers put
out sample plates of their wares. For lunch, there are small cafes, or
you can snack on walking-around food like elk on a stick. Jean-Talon
also has specialty shops for meat, fish, cheese, pastries and ice
cream, plus a vendor of fresh olives with orange rinds and other
If it all seems overwhelming, ask for advice from any of the
healthy-looking boys doing their weekly shopping. You might even be
able to do some trading -- say, a juicy cantaloupe for a nice bunch of
A great picnic spot is 3,600-acre Jarry Park, a short walk from
the market (four blocks down Rue Jean-Talon, in the oppo-site direction
from the subway stop, then a right on Boulevard St-Laurent and up four
blocks). In warm weather, you can always scope out joggers and
sunbathers hanging out by the artificial lake. There are softball and
soccer fields, tennis and basketball courts and a public pool -- all
almost entirely tourist-free.
Alternatively, you can head back to your hotel for a more
private meal. And if you happen to meet someone that evening, you can
entice him with something more appealing than cold pizza for two.
Get greased. Village Resto, on Rue Wolfe off Rue Ste-Catherine, a
24-hour hangout popular with boys needing to recharge after a night of
dancing. Go for poutine or pork pie (see restaurants below).
Get smart. McGill University has had an active gay community since the
early '70s. Check out the campus or go to queermcgill.ca.
Get bugged. See thousands of creepy-crawlies, safely contained behind
glass, at the Insectarium, part of the spectacular Montreal Botanical
Get exfoliated. Make reservations for a visit to one of the spas near
the Village. People know how to pamper their epidermis in this cold
Get new threads. Head downtown and go upscale at Ogilvy (1307 Rue Sainte-Catherine W), find bargains
at Simons or go for the art fag look at Le Chateau.
Get thighs. Rent a BIXI and glide among the guys on the Lachine Canal
The free monthly
Fugues is the best source for gay events and
attractions in the city. It is almost entirely in French, but certain
key features (like the bar listings) have English translations, and the
not-so-subtle ads are pretty easy to figure out.
2B Magazine is a new English language magazine from the same publisher as French-language
RG Magazine and Etre.
The Hour, a free
weekly in English, has general arts info as well as
For "hard" news of interest to the gay
community, log on to the Montreal section of Xtra.ca.
A queer-specific arts festival on the edge of the Village that includes
free concerts and outdoor tea dances.
July 25-August 1, 2010
Montreal Pride Celebrations
The official event, with a parade and endless dancing.
August 12-15, 2010
White Party Week
Bal en Blanc 16
Six nights of dancing.
April 1-5, 2010
Montreal Convention Centre
Hot & Dry
Bad Boys Club Montreal event
May 13-17, 2010
Various Village venues
Festival International Montreal en Arts
Open-air art show in the Village.
July 1-11, 2010
Another package of
Bad Boys Club dances.
July 30-August 3, 2010
Black & Blue Festival
The autumn roundup of dance parties, arts events and gay athletics.
October 6-12, 2010
Montreal Olympic Park and other venues
A gay independent film festival
October 21-31, 2010
Cinema Imperial, (1432 rue de Bleury)
Abri du Voyageur
Hotel (9 Ste-Catherine; 514-849-
2992) appeals to the budget-conscious
traveler, also has efficiency suites.
Bourbon (1574 Ste-Catherine E;
514-523-4679) 31 rooms and
Dorion (1477 Dorion; 514-523-
2427) convenient to Bar Taboo with overnight or short-term rooms, each with private bath, some with Jacuzzis and fridge.
(1274 Ste-Catherine E; 514-525-2424)
across from Beaudry Metro, some rooms
have hot tubs, outdoor terrace.
Gouverneur (1415 St-Hubert; 514-
842-4881), large high-rise chain hotel with indoor pool, above the Place Dupuis shopping arcade.
Hotel Manoir Des
Alpes (1245 St-Andre; 514-
845-9803) French/Portuguese flavor, late continental breakfast, modern comforts at modest rates, free
Andre; (1285 St-Andre; 514-
849-7070) hotel with modern decor, moderate prices, in-room
continental breakfast, free
Hotel Ste-Catherine (1674
Ste-Catherine; 514-527-4440), spacious and inexpensive basic
rooms by the hour or the day at the heart of the Gay Village.
Hotel Stay Centreville (910 Blvd Maisonneuve E) modern, urban renovated en suite rooms, 32 inch TVs, breakfast, Wi-Fi, in Gay Village near Berri-Uqam Metro and bus station.
Accommodations: Bed & breakfasts
these B&Bs, most hosts and guests are gay. Full breakfast is the norm.
Montreal (1790 Amherst; 514-223-
0017) hip urban B&B, film-themed rooms, luxury amenities, gourmet breakfast until noon, all-season garden hot tub.
(1870) B & B (1631 Alexandre de
Seve; 514- 598-0555), centrally sited prestigious house restored to original splendour, gourmet kitchen, tranquil garden with sundeck and shower.
et L'Autre) (1641 Amherst; 514-
597-0878) has affordable rates, cozy
rooms, underfoot comfort with heated floors and plush carpets, semi-private & private bath.
BBV Bed &
Breakfast Du Village (1279
Montcalm; 514- 522-4771) great values,
hot tub, private baths, interior parking, engaging owners.
B&B (1407 Panet #2; 514-521-
9998) central location with great views above Second Cup, large rooms, home comforts, apartment-sized suites.
Escogriffe B &
B (1264 Wolfe; 514-523-4800) elegant Gay Village guest house, full American breakfasts, affectionate cats and smart dog, rooftop terrace.
Le Chasseur (1567 St-Andre, 514-521-2238) relaxed and very
affordable, shared or private
bath by Baudry Metro station in Gay Village, also with private apartment.
La Conciergerie (1019 St-Hubert; 514-289-9297) indoor
whirlpool, roof deck, cruisy gym, glass-enclosed breakfast nook overlooks garden.
(1637 Amherst; 514-524-2493) B&B/Gite with urban garden, includes workshop brimming with works of Canadian artists.
Maison Des Jardins (1365 Logan) gay men only relaxed B&B at heart of Village. Generous breakfast, year-round outdoor spa and massage.
(1345 Ste-Rose; 514-598-1586) grand Victorian on quiet
street, huge windows, full breakfast, sunny terrace.
Gite/B&B (1455 Montcalm; 514-
522-7747), urban chic decor, two and three-room suites with private bath, community room with fireplace where four-course breakfast is served, free gym passes.
HERE for more places to stay in Montreal.
An easy two-hour drive west of Montreal, the
Inn on Somerset (282 Somerset St, W Ottawa; 613-236-9309) offers simple getaways -- or complete gay wedding packages. For romping or resting, this inn's custom beds have a reputation as some of the best, and longtime host, George, takes special pride in them.
Bad Boys Club
Montreal (Bbcm.org) circuit
parties include: Hot & Dry; Twist Weekend; Black & Blue Weekend; Bal des Boys Weekend, December 31-
January 3, 2010 and Red Weekend
dancers can strip down to the bare essentials, and hard-ons are permitted. Lap dances are fine in secluded lounges.
(1111 Ste-Catherine E) a world-favorite with buff guys who strip for men daily 3pm-3am (except Sunday for women), with dimly lit VIP private section.
Stock (1171 Ste-Catherine E) shower shows, large VIP lounge, two backrooms, seven nights. See their website for live feed of performances.
JP Cabaret (1681 Ste-Catherine E) replaced Bar Adonis. After a brief change of pace they returned to the old ambience, and slender nude strippers.
At Taboo (1950 De Maisonneuve E), agile, smooth nude dancers with imaginative
routines, every night from 7pm.
Bars: Leather, bears
(1315 Ste-Catherine E) leather, rubber, kink and fetish men's bar, pool table, intense murals.
Stud (1812, Ste-Catherine E) men-only bar favored by bears and leathermen but friendly to all guys. Dancing, wide music variety, theme nights, non-stop sex videos.
(1296, Amherst) all-male mixed age leather, fetish bar and dance club beneath Club Parking. Men-only backroom K-Lub with glory holes, labyrinth, sling, porn films, showers and cabins.
Bar (1661 Ste-Catherine E) men's bear bar with fetish theme nights, spaghetti supper karaoke, and rock n' roll nostalgia nights.
Cleo (1230 St-Laurent) real-girl strippers at street level, and drag shows on the second floor.
Mado (1115 Ste-Catherine E) the campiest drag shows in Montreal, seven nights a week.
Cocktail (1669 Ste-Catherine E)
lounge & karaoke bar with amateurs and performers in drag, plus games.
(1309 Ste-Catherine) unassuming local pub with pool tables and older crowd.
(1218 Ste-Catherine E) popular piano
and karaoke bar with diverse crowd.
Gotha (1641 Amherst) mixed crowd, cozy cocktail lounge with fireplace and
Le Cajun (1574 Ste-Catherine E) second floor bar for cocktails and conversation, pool and video lottery games.
Le Drugstore (1360 Ste-Catherine E) large multi-level complex, open patios, pool tables, weekend dancing, drag shows, women's favorite Village venue.
Rocky (1673 Ste-Catherine E) older locals' neighborhood bar, all-day erotic male videos, karoake nights.
Circus (917, Ste-Catherine E)
mixed 18-plus after-hours dance club, three rooms of house-urban-techno-trance music til the sun comes up.
Club Bolo (2093, rue de la Visitation) country line dancing lessons Fridays and Sundays, open house 16th anniversay celebration dance, April 30 2010.
Montreal (1171 Ste-Catherine E)
city's largest gay dance club in three rooms, international DJs, live shows.
(1296 Amherst) shirtless crowd, all-gay dancing, Wednesday through Monday. They're planning to relocate to a big new home under the Olympia Theater (1004 St-Catherine E) by sometime this summer (2010). See website for updates.
Ste-Catherine E) popular dance complex for gay, straight, young and old, with cabaret, pub, and roof terrace.
Stereo (858 Ste-Catherine E) mixed gay/straight after-hours dance club until noon next morning, top-class DJs.
Tools (1592 Ste-Catherine E) weekend disco dance club, playing 80's to now music. (Playroom sex club presently closed).
Bath house heaven, Montreal has more of
these pleasure palaces than most anywhere else in North America. Common
facilities include dry saunas, steam
rooms, hot tubs, massage
rooms,labyrinths, porn lounges, snack
bars, and towel-clad cruising.
456 (456 de la Gauchetiere W) largest facility in Montreal with swimming pool, internet cafe, massages, and all other comforts.
Bath (963 Colonial) old-
fashioned style in the Plateau with natural stone steam system, mature
Sauna (1166 Ste-Catherine E) big leather guys.
(5018 St-Laurent) terrace, massages, porn cinema, popular with students, in the Plateau.
Sauna Centre-ville (1465 Ste-Catherine E) in the Village on two levels. Room specials and long-term stays welcome.
Plateau (961 Rachel E) summer
rooftop terrace, labyrinth, "hotel"rooms.
(1836 Ste-Catherine E) five floors of pleasure at Papineau Metro station, with bear, leather and fetish special nights.
(1390 Ste-Catherine E) very popular, also in the Village, with Thursday foam parties.
Sauna St-Hubert (6527 St-Hubert) small alternative sauna with bisexual and transsexual crowd, popular "lingerie Tuesdays."
Many of the following places are
popular for dejuner (breakfast),
diner (lunch) and souper (supper). Most
waiters routinely offer separate
(1310 Ste-Catherine E) good Thai, easy
on the wallet.
(1800 Ste-Catherine E) coffee and
(1560 Ste-Catherine E) North
Dejeuner (1017 Ste-Catherine E)
fabulous breakfast, fruit bowl.
Sandwich (1570 Ste-Catherine E)
over 60 different sandwiches, tasty
breakfasts, poutine (gravy over french
fries and cheese -- try it, you'll love
Commensal (1720 St-Denis) veggie and vegan
DSens (1330 Ste-Catherine E) French cuisine, elegant setting.
Restaurant (1320 Ste-Catherine
E) East Asian food, stylish
Vrac (1368 Ste-Catherine E)
nicely priced made-to-order sandwiches.
Le Gout du Viet
Nam (1389 Ste-Catherine E) a
trip to Saigon.
(1495 Ste-Catherine E) hangout with
sandwiches, cake, great cheesecake.
Nutrition (1303 Ste-Catherine E) smoothies, healthy snacks.
Thai (1694 Ste-Catherine E) chic Thai restaurant.
La Perle de
l'Extreme Orient (1350 Ste-
Catherine E) fine Vietnamesedining.
Madona (1487 Ste-Catherine E)
budget-friendly pizza slices.
(1451 Ste-Catherine E) global cuisine,
exotic cocktails like Up Uranus and I'm
Secrets (1440 Amherst) eclectic
cuisine, romantic setting.
Village (1310 Wolfe) quaint gay
(1333, Ste-Catherine E) tres gai
restaurant for salad, pizza,grilled
(1351 Ste-Catherine E) coffee, tea, lots of eye contact.
(1301 Ste-Catherine E) a caffeinated buzz.
(1477 Ste-Catherine E) pasta
Restaurant (1329 Ste-Catherine
E) Bangladeshi-Indian fare.
(1327 Ste-Catherine E) city's best
Shopping & services
(1311 Ste-Catherine E) casual clothing,
underwear, beachwear, leather.
Complex (930 Ste-Catherine E)
the porn place, with peep shows,
(911 Ste-Catherine E) bargains for a
Ste-Catherine E) affordable connoisseur
Plus (1431 Saint Andre)
Cardio (845 Ste-Catherine E) each offer daily, weekly, monthly
Septentrion B &
B (Leseptentrion.qc.ca) in the
Laurentians, is Quebec's only five-star
gay inn. Les Chutes (waterfalls) de Ste-
Marguerite du Lac Masson, are nearby in
(Tremblant.ca) is a ski resort 90
minutes north of the city. In the summertime the great expanses of waterways are great for an odyssey by canoe.
night in Quebec City two hours from
Le Coureur des Bois (15rue
Ste. Ursule) is a Franco-Canadian
Museum of Fine Arts/ Musee des
beaux-arts de Montreal (1379-1380 Sherbrooke W; Mmfa.qc.ca) is the grand dame of Canadian museums.
of Contemporary Art/ Musee D'art
Contemporain De Montreal (185Ste-Catherine W; Macm.org) opposite Complexe Desjardins, has many exhibits of interest.
Notre-Dame Basilica (116 Notre-Dame;
Basiliquenddm.org) is a 350 year-old neo-gothic basilica where Celine Dion got married.
Calliere (350 Place Royale,
Pacmuseum.qc.ca) showcases archaeology
and history in Old Montreal.
Montreal (4777 Pierre-de-
Coubertin; Ville.montreal.qc.ca/biodome) illustrates the continent's four
ecosystems beneath the dome.
Parc Jean-Drapeau (1 Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve;
amusement and water park, is on St Lawrence River Island.
Montreal Amphi-Bus Tours (Montreal-amphibus-tour.com) lets you view the city skyline and Mont Royal and cruise the St Lawrence
Casino de Montreal
(514-392-2746) free shuttle from
downtown at the Centre Infotouriste on
Square Dorchester (Peel at
In 2008, city officials decided to close the street running through the Gay Village from mid-May to mid-September to see if
street life would blossom without
disrupting traffic. Most people declared the experiment a huge success so the practice has been continued.
For details, see
You can find the gay magazines
Fugues, RG and Etre in the gay bars and shops, all or mostly in French, and 2B in English.
Plus (1657 Amherst) exclusively
male. Massage, hair styling,tanning,
skin care, laser hair
Winter and Spring 2010
Montreal Jazz Events
Concerts scheduled from January to June so far.
all summer affairs filling the skies above the city
International Art Festival
The Interantional Festival of Arts
dates have been set for July 1-11
International LGBT Film
October and November each year.
Village Scene Gay
has stage presentations of interest in French and English.
Dark at present, check online for updates
Our pull-down menus have more listings and links to most Montreal websites plus additional photos. See also Bonjourquebec.com.