Montreal is not the gay destination that comes to mind when you plan a trip to North America…. However, the gay district of Montreal is one of the largest and efficacious of the continent.
Called The Village, the gay district occupies an area stretching from rue Saint-Hubert to Avenue Papineau, the heart of it all happening around rue Sainte-Catherine (closest metro Beaudry). From June to September, parts of the street are only accessible on foot, making it enjoyable to stroll and shop at the numerous boutiques of the neighborhood.
The village is full of restaurants with different themes, including Portuguese, Vietnamese, Chinese, and of course, French. Eat and enjoy in some restaurants with fun and peculiar names such as Lallouz Café & Kebaberie (1327 Rue Sainte-Catherine East), Restaurant O'Thym (1112 Boulevard De Maisonneuve E) et notre favori Chez Ma Grosse Truie Chérie (1801 Rue Ontario E).
Saunas are also present the two main ones being the GI Joe Sauna (1166 rue Sainte-Catherine Est), and for those fans of leather and uniforms, there is Oasis which is open year round, 24/7 (1390 rue Sainte-Catherine Est) NB if there are less than 10 people, you will be reimbursed.
As the night arrives, there are several places and activities to discover. Caberet Mado Lamotte is hilarious and always packed (1115 Ste-Catherine Est). The Campus (1111 Rue Ste-Catherine Est), and the Stock Bar (1171 Rue Ste-Catherine Est) are the two main gay bars Montreal with strippers attracting fans of bulging muscles. The Stud caters to the Bear and Leather crowd (1812 Rue Ste-Catherine Est).
L’Apollon (1450 Ste-Catherine E) and the Sky Complex (1474 rue Sainte-Catherine) each offer several floors of entertainment (bar & club). Sky bar is not to miss with its stunning views from the terrace, and is equipped with a pool and spa.
The most significant events are the Black and Blue festival organized as a benefit for those living with HIV, and the Divers Cite Festival which lasts a week during the summer with a drag show and a huge concert featuring House music. The Image+Nation Festival is the oldest LGBT film festival in the country.
You’ll soon understand why the Village is an open and friendly neighborhood—proof positive is the church, Saint-Pierre-Apôtre, is right in the middle, and is a memorial for those who lost their lives to AIDS.