As one of the pioneering nations to recognize same-sex marriages, Canada is as logical a destination as any for the LGBT tourist; and with one of the largest gay neighborhoods in the world, Montreal is the icing on the cake.
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Montreal's Gay Village (often simply known as "the Village", French, Le Village gai or simply Le Village) is located mainly on St. Catherine Street East and extends along Amherst Street in the Ville-Marie borough.
The entire Village is bordered approximately by St. Hubert Street to the west, De Lorimier Avenue to the east, Sherbrooke Street to the north and René Lévesque Boulevard to the south, making it the largest gay village in North America in terms of area. It is served by the Berri-UQAM, Beaudry and Papineau metro stations.
Seriously – each year, between May-September, Le Village Gai has a large display of around 200,000 pink balls hanging down across the main street, the mile long Rue Sainte-Catherine.
Originally a poor working-class area, the Centre-Sud neighbourhood became increasingly attractive to the gay and lesbian community after the migration of many gay businesses from other parts of the city. The area has become considerably gentrified, due in part to significant investment from the various levels of all governments. All three levels of government are aggressively promoting Montreal's gay life as a tourist attraction. In recognition of the Village's importance to the city, the Ville-Marie borough has displayed a rainbow flag in its council chambers and redecorated the entrance to the Beaudry Metro station with rainbow pillars. The Village is specifically marked on official city maps as "Le Village".
There are many gay bars in the Gay Village of Montreal. We recommend to just head there and see where the night takes you – there’s always something happening every single night of the week.
Note that in Montreal, there’s a blur between what is a bar/club. Most are both and are open until 3am due to the licensing laws. After 3am, people head to “after hours” clubs. These are a few of our favourite gay bars/clubs in Montreal, which close by 3am, unless otherwise stated.
Fierte Montreal Pride: every August, Montreal has an incredible gay pride. Everyone gets involved, families, allies, as well as the LGBTQ community of the city. We visited the Fierte Canada in Montreal in August 2017 and absolutely loved it. It features a moving Moment of Silence to commemorate LGBTQ pioneers, after which, the parade culminates in the Gay Village where there is fantastic, fun party atmosphere going on till late.
Black & Blue Festival: this is a large gay electro/techno dance music festival which takes place during the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend (second Monday in October). It started in 1991 and has been going strong since. It raises money for HIV/AIDS charities and attracts around 70,000 people.
Image+Nation Gay Film Festival: the annual 2 weeks queer film festival of Montreal, which highlights revolutionary storytelling. It takes place in late November / early December and in 2017 it celebrated its 30th anniversary.
Igloo Fest: from mid-January for a month, Igloo Fest takes over the Old Port of Montreal for a large electro music festival each weekend. Whilst it’s not an exclusively gay festival, it’s extremely popular with the LGBTQ crowd. One highlight is the unique #Iglooswag winter wear competition.
Piknic Electronik: this is a large electronic music outdoor festival every Sunday afternoon from May to September at the Parc Jean-Drapeau. Like Igloo Fest, it’s not exclusively gay, but all our local gay Montreal friends raved about this one as well.
Festival TransAmériques: a popular annual 2 weeks dance and theatre festival taking place in May/June, with workshops, debates and performances.
Just For Laughs: the largest international comedy festival in the world held every July for 1 week. It features dozens of stand-up acts, comedy galas and fre