Why you should go to Montreal!

On an island in the St. Lawrence River, Montreal is a rich center of culture and a cosmopolitan city of design steeped in European heritage. Today, it considered one of the world's most gay-positive cities.

The French colonists arrived in 1642, led by Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve, who founded Ville-Marie, today's Old Montreal. According to the Quebec Gay Archives, there was even a gay military drummer among the first settlers convicted of committing "crimes of the worst kind", whose life was spared upon agreeing to become the colony's first executioner. Some of the earliest buildings remain including the Sulpician Seminary next to the Notre Dame Basilica and Chateau Ramezay, but the French influence can still be found throughout modern Montreal's distinct culture, mixed with the influences of subsequent arrivals from Ireland, Italy, Haiti, Greece, Lebanon and China, to name just a few. The variety of cultures is perhaps most apparent in the city's wide culinary offer, but also reflected in the overwhelmingly welcoming spirit on the island.

Gay and lesbian culture also got an early start although clandestine at first. Gay men cruised Old Montréal's military Champs de Mars, today the area behind Montréal City Hall. The first known LGBTQ-themed magazine in North America, Les Mouches Fantastiques, was published in 1918, and an established gay scene began to flourish in the 1950s, although subject to raids up until 1990 when the police raided the Sex Garage loft party, regarded as Montreal's Stonewall, sparking the LGBT movement.

Not long after, the Black and Blue festival was born, with activism and pride paving the way for legal victories like same-sex marriage and the emergence of the Gay Village in Saint Catherine Street East, filled with magical pink lanterns and gay businesses. The Marche de Fierté gay pride in August is only one of over a hundred festivals including the world renown International Jazz Festival and Just for Laughs comedy festival.

Things to do

Founded in 1933 as Marché du Nord, Jean-Talon Market is one of Montreal's oldest public markets. It's open year round and open air, its arcades filled with local organic...
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Montreal's historic port extends over a mile (2 km) along the St. Lawrence River, and was redeveloped as a recreational space when the shipping facilities were moved to...
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With 181 acres (75 ha) of plantings in summer and 10 greenhouses open year round, the Montreal Botanical Garden is second only in size to England's Kew Gardens. It grows...
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Things to do

The Atwater farmers market has been operating inside a striking art deco building near the Lachine Canal since 1933 with a fine selection of fresh produce, butchers,...
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Nightlife

Bar Renard is a more recent addition to the Village, right next to the Beaudry metro stop. It's a neighborhood bar, an inviting space with brown leather banquettes, a...
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Things to do

Old Montreal, which was once enclosed by thick stone walls, is the oldest part of the city. Its chapels and stone warehouses stand as testament to the religious fervor...
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Things to do

The largest cultural and artistic complex in Canada, Place des Arts is home to the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Opéra de Montréal, the Contemporary Art Museum and...
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Mount Royal, from which the city draws its name, is a 764-foot hill west of downtown, topped with a 103-foot (31 m) illuminated cross and surrounded by nearly 500 acres...
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Nightlife

Le Stud opened in 1995 as "a male bar where men love men", at first drawing members of the Village's leather community but evolving into more of a bear club that is open...
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Restaurant

This rustic Spanish restaurant offers meat-heavy items such as a black truffle and foie gras guinea fowl duo, and seafood dishes such as a gilthead seabram. Prices are...
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Built on 146 acres (59 ha) on the northern end of St. Helen's Island, the La Ronde amusement park first opened its fun fair grounds for the 1967 Expo. Top thrill rides...
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Restaurant

Chef Fuad Alnirabie is behind Damas, whose open kitchen puts out refined Syrian mezzes, grilled dishes and specialties, served to a repeat clientele in the...
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Restaurant

Decor at 3734 café-restaurant prioritizes white subway tile, industrial fixtures and bleached wood. Standouts on the simple Portuguese-influenced menu include the...

Hotel

This quirky hotel is above a sex shop and a short walk to landmarks such as Rue St. Denis, Old Port, McGill University and Mt. Royal. Chinatown and Old Montreal are...
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Hotel

Francois, the owner, prepares breakfast personally for his guests, part of the warm welcome at this boutique bed-and-breakfast in a spacious house overlooking Park...

Nightlife

Montreal's Black Eagle may have lost a bit of its leather luster but is a popular and friendly bar with a pool table, good selection of beer and nightly DJs. The summer...

Nightlife

Alexandraplatz Bar is open summers in a converted warehouse next to a brewery in an otherwise industrial area of Mile-Ex. From Bernadette Houde, the co-founder of the...

Hotel

The hip and budget-conscious flock to ALT in Griffintown (and its sister in Brossard) because of the designer furniture, the expansive views of the city, the modern gym...
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Hotel

This independent hotel is quaint and classic, but its biggest draw is the location on the busy shopping streets of St. Denis and The Main, close to many restaurants and...
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Hotel

ApartHotelMontreal is a "unique Montreal downtown oasis" located next to McGill University and Place des Artes. The building is a historic stone structure overlooking a...
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Restaurant

Guests should book their spot at Au Pied du Cochon months in advance to avoid waiting in a line wrapping around the block. The pig's head and bison tongue are said to be...

Hotel

Run by two self-described "hippies," this laid-back hostel offers spacious accommodations, complimentary breakfast and evening activities in a converted church with...
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Hotel

Auberge Bonaparte has 30 rooms in a five-story historic building outfitted with Louis-Philippe style furnishings, hard woods and exposed brick under high ceilings. There...
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Hotel

Auberge De Jeunesse Alexandrie in the Gay Village is a basic hostel with mixed and single-sex dorm rooms and private rooms with shared bathrooms. Guests have access to...
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Hotel

The 25-room Auberge le Jardin d'Antoine has a prime location on Rue Saint-Denis, with shops, bars and restaurants on its doorstep. Inside, the inn is paired down but...
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Hotel

This charming and eclectic bed and breakfast in a converted downtown Victorian townhouse offers rooms ranging from budget to family suite, decorated in bold colors and...
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Hotel

The Royal Versailles is a budget hotel with spacious rooms, an outdoor pool and good WiFi. The St. Lawrence River, Olympic Stadium, Biodome and Loblaw's Grocery are...
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Things to do

One of Montreal's most popular attractions, the Biodome Space for Life complex recreates the Laurentian Maple Forest, a tropical forest, the subpolar regions of the...
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Restaurant

In its minimalist dining room, the neighborhood Bouillon Bilk serves an eclectic menu of French-inspired dishes prepared with ingredients from all over the world -...

Restaurant

The counter-service Boustan (which means orchard in Arabic) is a neighborhood favorite opened by a Lebanese engineer in 1986. It is often packed with regulars who stop...

Restaurant

Established in 2010, Brit and Chips is a traditional fish-and-chips shop with a little Montreal flavor. Cod comes battered in burgundy, haddock in maple syrup, salmon in...

Nightlife

Cabaret Mado does Cabaret in drag in a 1920s Berlin-styled club, outrageously animated by hostess Mado Lamoth and co-host Nana. The priority is always fun. Credit cards...

Nightlife

Café Cleopatra is fixture and a survivor in the city's historic red light district, a no frills strip club where an eclectic group of dancers takes the stage every day...

Restaurant

A quiet spot in the Plateau, Cafe Replica is popular with area university students who come for the sandwiches on simit bread, bold Turkish coffee and relaxed...

Nightlife

Open since 1996, Campus is a gay male strip club with young, muscled and friendly dancers and a crowd that tends to skew older. Sunday night is ladies night, but there...

Things to do

Built between 1985 and 1989 as an urban reconstruction project around the historically classified Shaughnessy House mansion, the Canadian Center of Architecture is a...

Things to do

Named after two of the city's most prominent businessmen, brothers Emmanuel and Jean-Baptiste Saint-Louis, Carré Saint-Louis is a charming European-styled square...

Restaurant

Everything on the menu costs $5 at Cinko, a Latin Quarter tavern done up in bold color blocks and graffiti. There's some standards like burgers, chili and Atlantic...

Nightlife

This cavernous multilevel club, complete with its Funktion-One sound system and high tech lighting, hosts some of the greatest trance, progressive, techno and house DJs...

Nightlife

Club Unity has a rooftop terrace and a multilevel dance floor, where it hosts international DJs, award-winning artists and up-and-coming performers from Europe and North...

Nightlife

A massive establishment in the village, Sky has three dance clubs - with anything from cabaret to dirty pop to hip hop to house to latin beats - and a rooftop terrace...

Restaurant

Opened by three siblings of Filipino origin, the minimalist Hao is sleek in design and specialized in take-away steamed buns, with a choice of braised pork shoulder or...

Restaurant

Established in 1919 by Isadore Shlafman, Fairmount competes with St-Viateur for the title of Montreal's best bagel. Bagels are hand-rolled, dipped in a honey and water...

Hotel

Guests at the Hotel Gault are welcomed by handwritten cards, homemade treats and a complimentary cocktail. Housed in former carpet factory, the interior is sleek and...
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Hotel

Hotel Nelligan offers a taste of Old Europe in the heart of Old Montreal, set in a stone building on a narrow cobblestone street, where an old-fashioned bellhop greets...
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Restaurant

Consistently voted Best of Montreal, this 40-seat restaurant uses locally-sourced, organic foods to create seasonal menus adept in flavor combinations. According to GQ...

Nightlife

Billed as a speakeasy bar for real cocktail amateurs, Le 4e mur is accessed through a hidden door in a brick wall. Inside, classic prohibition era cocktails, often with...

Nightlife

Le Belmont is an established live performance venue with a packed calendar and acts ranging from dubstep DJs to burlesque to drag and underground rock. Note the Mec Plus...

Hotel

In the heart of Old Montreal, LHotel has one of the largest collections of pop and contemporary art in North America, including works by Warhol and Botero. The eclectic...
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Hotel

M Montreal offers tidy dorm-style and private rooms in a historic building in the heart of the Gay Village. The hip basement common room has free foosball and pool and...
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Things to do

Founded in 2006 by Georgia W. Tush, Montréal Roller Derby (MTLRD) is the very first Roller Derby league in North America. Today, MTLRD comprises three home teams and two...

Nightlife

Often described as a hipster dive, Notre Dame Des Quilles is an unpretentious bar with two old school bowling lanes, comfort food and events that range from DJ nights to...

Things to do

Montreal's Notre Dame Basilica is an awe-inspiring Gothic Revival structure with two 228-foot (m) towers rising up out of Old Montreal. Inside, the deep blue ceiling is...
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Nightlife

Just down the way from Ste-Catherine, Pang Pang has private karaoke rooms in true South Korean style, complete with a disco ball, drink service and thousands of pop hits...

Things to do

The Parisian Laundry art gallery features avant-garde work by Canadian and international artists on two floors of a former commercial laundromat. Although the rotating...

Nightlife

Opened in 2015, Play Montreal is a house music destination, a high-energy club backed by a high-end sound system and an extensive drink list with over 20 kinds of...

Things to do

Founded in 1983, the Quebec Gay Archives preserve the history of the LGBT community of Quebec with an impressive collection of magazines, newspapers, books, videos, posters, photos and other items. Visitors can explore the materials in a comfortable and well-lit reading room, which also doubles as a gallery for some of...

Things to do

Boulevard Saint-Laurent divides Rue Sherbrooke, Montreal's second longest street, into East and West. An enclave for the city's wealthy in the early 20th century, the...

Things to do

The imposing Saint Joseph oratory, Canada's largest church and one of the world's most visited pilgrimage sites, sits on the slopes of Mont Royal, at the top of a steep...
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Restaurant

Salmigondis opened in 2014 and was voted Best Breakout Restaurant the same year for its inventive Canadian cuisine served lunch, dinner and weekend brunch in a...

Things to do

The Silent Disco Squad is a massive silent synchronized dance party that takes to the streets several times a year. All participants slip on their headphones and listen...

Things to do

In the tradition of the public baths, this day spa rejuvenates through hydrotherapy in a relaxing setting outfitted with a Scandinavian bath, Nordic shower, Finnish dry...

Restaurant

Established in 1957 by Myer Lewkowicz, St-Viateur competes for the title of Montreal's finest bagel and serves over 12,000 hand-rolled Montreal-style bagels a day. The...

Restaurant

Ta Chido is short for "Está chido!" which is Spanish for "It's cool!". It calls itself a snack bar, with an ample selection of tostadas, tortas, chilaquiles, chapulines...

Nightlife

Established in 1981, Taverne Normandie has welcomed thousands of visitors and many a celebrity to its karaoke stage in the heart of the village. In 2015, a large terrace...

Nightlife

The Wiggle Room is a burlesque and cocktail bar right on St. Laurent Boulevard across from Schwartz's. Inside is a plush setting that pairs nicely with the frilly...

Nightlife

The paired-down Théâtre Sainte-Catherine hosts improv, film screenings, music and theater, with something scheduled nearly every night, as well as the annual Sketchfest...

19 community reviews / Montreal

General impression
Excellent
LGBT-friendly
Good
Anna Marcina Hermanos has been to and rated Montreal

Added 6 days ago

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Veronica Matallana has been to and reviewed Montreal

Added 1 month ago

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Amazing, diverse city, always something to do!

Camila Comino has been to and reviewed Montreal

Added 1 month ago

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An amazing city! One of the best places to visit! You can find good places for party or only to take a good meal.

John Anthony Barefield has been to and rated Montreal

Added 1 month ago