Montreal Gay Village
Feb 18 2013
by Maryo Thomas

Montreal Gay Village

Montreal’s Village was born over thirty years ago, when members of the gay community in this Québec metropolis began investing businesses and residences in this then quite poor neighborhood. Gradually, it became the gay village, the only gay neighborhood in the world located on a major city center commercial street.

You should never forget that Montreal is the second largest French-speaking city in the world. It is a French hideout in the middle of America! Despite a population of nearly three million people, it is known for its rare openness and hospitality. The city hosts one of the largest gay neighborhoods gays in the world, right in its center : le Village gai

Located near the Latin Quarter and Old Montreal, it is the meeting place of all the lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals, transgender and transvestites. During summer, families, young and old, converge there to enjoy its pedestrian artery. You will find restaurants for all budgets and tastes, bars, clubs and after parties led by world-renowned DJs, not to mention numerous shops and art and cultural institutions.

@ Beaudry metro station

In addition to being easily accessible by major highways, the Village is served by three underground stations, the most central being Beaudry, whose access pavilion was the first public building in the world wearing the rainbow colors of the community gay.

Ensconced in the heart of one of the cradles of the 19th century industrialization, the town is full of narrow streets with brick houses, typical doorways, flowered balconies and welcoming charming inns.

You don’ t want to miss the visit of St. Peter the Apostle Church (neo-gothic, 1854), as it contains in its vault the first chapel in the world dedicated to the victims of AIDS: Hope Chapel.

This group of storekeepers and actors of the Village is headed by the Business Development Corporation (SDC) of the Village. It was created in late 2005 and unites nearly 300 shops in the area.

Its first major achievement was to host the World Outgames, a sort of gay Olympics, which were held in Montreal in the summer of 2006. It was the first  opportunity to close a portion of St. Catherine street - the longest shopping street in Canada! – to traffic ... for two short weeks.

The success was so huge that this operation renews every summer since then: St. Catherine Street becomes a mile away pedestrian street, from mid-May to early September. The event is called Aires Libres, and throughout summer, it attracts a colorful crowd or a more family crowd, with animations, exhibitions and shows for everybody to enjoy.

Gay marriage is legal across Canada since the adoption of the law on civil marriage on July 20, 2005.

Unlike gay marriage in the Netherlands, Spain and Belgium, a couple does not need to live in a province or territory of Canada to get married. Canadians can sponsor their same-sex spouses (partners, civil union partners, or legal spouses) to allow them to immigrate to Canada under the family reunification.

Why not combine culture, history and nightlife in a friendly and safe neighborhood?

The Gay Village is waiting for you ... in French!

Link to SDC: www.unmondeunvillage.Com

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