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Montréal Gay Travel

Montréal gay travel is wildly popular for so many reasons. Beautiful parks, plentiful gay bars, the wonderful Montréal gay village and even a male strip club!

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The Gay Travel Experience: Montréal, Canada

Montréal’s gay life is found in the popular gay village, located in the east of the city near the Latin quarter. The gay village has increasingly been promoted as a tourist destination over recent years. I have personally found more and more of my friends taking trips to Montréal for a good time!

things to do in Montréal
things to do in Montréal
church doors

Gay-owned restaurants, clothing stores and bars line the streets beneath festive hanging balls. This rainbow art installation that has become symbolic of Montréal’s gay life. The city is one of the best destinations for gay travelers who want to visit Canada. Montréal is extremely  LGBT-friendly.

church doors

You will find a mix of Anglo and Francophone gay guys here. It’s a great way to practice that French you learned! Nonetheless, just about everyone speaks perfect English. The French influence is certainly magnificent, though.

Montréal gay travel

I had a blast during my short trip to this wonderful city. Vibrant and filled with young people, there was much to keep busy with, both indoor and out.

blue building facade

Gay Montréal: Where to Stay

I stayed in the trendy Le Plateau neighborhood. Not only was this area hip, but it was cheaper than staying next to the gay village. Plus, my friends and I could get a larger apartment with more space to spread out. The neighborhood felt very diverse and while it could get eerily quiet at night, I felt completely safe. 

where to stay Montréal

Various coffee shops are in walking distance to flats in this neighborhood, so  you’ll definitely have some local food options nearby. Le Plateau is also a short drive to most popular Montréal destinations, another reason why I recommend you stay here. An Uber to the Montréal gay village is pretty cheap. 

where to stay Montréal
street art in Montréal neighborhood
street art in Montréal neighborhood

You’ll be able to find many hotels as well as Airbnb rentals closer to the city center. I do not recommend staying too close to these highly commercial areas unless you need frequent access to office buildings there. Various more affordable options for places to stay in Montréal are outside the downtown, offering a more authentic experience.

friends at the park

Montréal has a great Metro system, so neighborhoods outside the downtown can be easily reached at low cost. In my opinion, staying along the Orange Line is a good bet.  The area around the Mont Royal metro stop is energetic and pleasant.

The Montréal Gay Village

Montreal is famous for its quaint gay village. All the gay nightlife is in this part of town and the area is a fantastic place to hang out, with tons of bars, restaurants and boutique stores lining the main street. 

Montreal gay village nightlife

For many years, uncountable strings of rainbow-colored balls hung over St. Catherine Street East in the gay village. This art installation has created a beautiful symbol of how gay-friendly the city truly is for many years.

As mentioned earlier, I think the best area to stay would be outside the gay village, somewhere with great connectivity to this area. However, I also think that staying in Montreal’s gay area is perfectly fine. I would steer clear of area with clusters of bars and clubs, as this might be a bit noisy.

bike race Montréal

Montréal Experiences for the Gay Traveler

No matter what kind of traveler you are, Montréal has something to offer. The city has several impressive museums if you prefer indoor activities, cafés and patisseries for the foodies, and plentiful park space for the outdoorsy types.

bike race Montréal

Parc du Mont Royal (Mount Royal Park)

Parc du Mont Royal is a scenic vista on a cliff, high above the city. It is easily accessible by car or by foot. Both tourists and locals capture snapshots of the drastic elevation change. Montréal’s skyscrapers offer the perfect backdrop.

Parc du Mont Royale
Parc du Mont Royale
Montréal gay travel

Walking up is pretty easy and relaxing. There is a huge park and lake on the way up the mountain. There are also some restaurants with outdoor seating. Parc du Mont Royal has probably the best view in Montréal, so you should definitely make a trip here.

Try Kouign Amann

Have a sweet tooth? Love amazing pastries? I recommend you visit Patisserie Au Kouign Amann. Here you can order some classic Kouign Amann, a pastry rarely baked anymore. The recipe originated in France back in 1860.

Montréal gay travel
friends at the park
Montréal gay travel

My friend Taylor found this small bakery that is one of two establishments in the entire world that continues to bake this fine snack. Kouign Amann is not made often because it is labor intensive, with so many layers of delicious butter-soaked flakes.

Visit the Biosphere Museum

Architecturally stunning, the Montréal Biosphere Museum at Parc Jean-Drapeau has some interesting history behind it. While the site is currently an environmental conservation museum, it was originally built for the World’s Fair Expo 67.

Montréal biosphere

When originally constructed, the sphere’s shell was composed of acrylic panes held between a steel lattice, which could carefully control the internal temperature. These panes unfortunately burned away in a building fire, but the trusses withstood the blaze.

Montréal biosphere

The Biosphere Museum hosts dozens of exhibits focused on topics such as ecosystems, climate change, marine environments, neighborhood design and planetary phenomena.

Also, while you’re in the beautiful and modern Parc Jean-Drapeau, walk through Espace 67 and take a look at the Trois Disques sculpture. 

Restaurants & Cafés in Montréal

For a relaxed lunch option while exploring the downtown, give Café Titanic a try. They have a coffee and wine bar as well. It’s a higher-end cafeteria style place where you bring your food to a table. It was a good find because we could relax, spready out and there was something for everyone.

cafe titanic

Shortly after eating at Café Titanic I came across a place called Ming Tao Xuan Tea House. I have never been to an Asian tea house before, but for my first time I had a stellar experience! A server prepared the first bit of tea in our individual teapots, and my friends and I sat and talked for hours.

cafe titanic
Chinese tea house
Chinese tea house

The arrangement of the room was so peaceful. So much so, that we all felt relaxed afterwards. Ming Tao Xuan is more than just a place where you can enjoy tea in a relaxing environment; a big portion of their business is selling loose tea.

church in downtown area

The arrangement of the room was so peaceful. So much so, that we all felt relaxed afterwards. Ming Tao Xuan is more than just a place where you can enjoy tea in a relaxing environment; a big portion of their business is selling loose tea.

Montréal gay travel
gay traveler

I’d say a few interesting varieties of loose tea would make a perfect gift to bring back home. You can also order them right from the Ming Tao Xuan Online Tea Store.

gay traveler

If you are in the Le Plateau neighborhood, check out Café Replika. They have iced macchiatos that will knock your socks off. If Turkish coffee is something you enjoy, they have that too! I actually got one of each. With plenty of space to sit, I cozied up in a window seat the morning before I headed to the airport.

Montréal Gay Bars & Clubs

There’s no shortage of bars and clubs to bop around in Montréal. The city has a wide range of options, from large dance clubs to cozy, intimate gay bars.

Montreal gay bars

Bar Renard: Montréal's Favorite Gay Hangout

Bar Renard is a mixed, gay-friendly Montréal bar. While it’s not branded as a gay bar, all the gay guys in Montréal hang out there. 

Montreal gay bar

It is there perfect place to start your night out in the gay village. A classy spot with great cocktails and a comfortable vibe, you can dance a bit without feeling too crowded. The venue is dimly lit and quite clean.

bar renard
Montreal gay bar
bar renard

They were playing a mix of pop music when time I went, as well as the most popular Eurovision songs. I’ve recommended many people to this bar, and they all have told me they loved it! Check out the Bar Renard Website or their Facebook Page for more photos and event information.

Complexe Sky: Dancing to Live DJs

I had the best time at Complexe Sky, a Montréal gay bar notable for poppy beats and live DJs. The space is super fun for dancing because everyone gets up on the platforms around the bar. The fog machine is always pumping and the bartenders are always pouring!

Complexe Sky Nightclub
Complexe Sky Nightclub
Complexe Sky nightclub

While Complexe Sky tends to err on the side of pop music, they are always hosting nights with a specific genre of music. Their DJs range from EDM to Latin to Urban in specialty.

Complexe Sky nightclub

Pop over to the Complexe Sky Facebook Page to see events and which genre of music will play at the next party!

Montreal gay village nightlife

Club Unity: The Huge Montréal Gay Club

Friends and I went out to Unity Nightclub, a massive gay club in Montréal! So big in fact, that multiple dance floor rooms were empty. Bar service and music were up to snuff.

club Unity MTL

Coming from US, we were not anticipating so many people under 21 years old. It turns out that 18 to 21-year old patrons frequent this club, so the faces were young!. Perhaps it was our trip timing, but it is something to consider if you prefer a more mature crowd.

Check out more on the Club Unity Facebook Page.

club Unity MTL

Bar Le Stud: Montréal Leather Bar

Montréal’s leather bar Le Stud is a great option for those into a more mature crowd. While I did not visit this gay bar myself, it definitely tops the list among local gay bars based on other travelers’ opinions.

Bar seats

Le Stud has a lot of themed nights going on during the week, so if you’re in Montréal only for the workweek, Le Stud may be a great spot to try. Check out the Bar Le Stud Facebook Page for info on events.

Montréal Gay Saunas

Montréal is quite popular as a gay travel destination, not only for the gay clubs, but also for the gay saunas. They’re also quite easy to get to, located right in the middle of the Montréal gay village. Here are the best Montréal gay bathhouses to try.

Sauna Oasis & G.I. Joe Sauna

For those looking for something a bit more risqué, you’re in luck. Montréal has several gay sauna options. You won’t miss the front of G.I. Joe Sauna, with their famous illuminated male figures on the front windows. G.I. Joe is one of the most popular Montréal gay saunas. 

gay sauna MTL
gay sauna MTL

Sauna Oasis is one of the best gay saunas I’ve ever been to. They have a huge, multi-level space with a modern jacuzzi. Everything was acceptably sanitary and fairly priced. 

gay village

Both of these Montréal gay saunas are within close proximity to one another, as well as to the gay bars, on St. Catherine Street East in the Gay Village.

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Campus: Montréal's Famous Male Strip Club

Most of the men at Campus, Montréal’s infamous male strip club, love showing off and they can dance like you’d never imagine! Plus, most of us probably wouldn’t deny that it’d be fun to check out a male strip club. 

Get a sneak peek at the guys inside the club on the Campus Bar Facebook Page. Even thought the Facebook page may seem to be oriented toward women, you’ll surely notice almost all the patrons at Campus are gay guys.

Montréal gay village

Montréal Gay Travel Tips

The largest French speaking population in the world outside of France is right here in gay-friendly Montréal. Even with this massive Francophone population, almost everyone knows English. The city has an astonishingly high rate of bilingual residents. This is not entirely surprising, though. They all learn French in school from a young age!

Montréal gay village
The city of Montréal gets its name from a variant of the words “Mont Royale,” a sort of contraction that, over time, took on the shape of one word. A semi-European vibe permeates some parts of the city with many cafes and patisseries to try!
Montréal gay travel
visiting downtown
colorful building

Unfortunately, the City of Montréal took down the hanging balls in September of 2019. They were truly a symbol of the gay village. Many were upset about the decision, wondering why anyone would desire to remove something so iconic to the neighborhood and community.

colorful building

On the bright side, the City of Montréal will sell these iconic balls while the next project design is chosen. Some will also be kept for display in the Espace Village Gallery.

canadian flag

Canada Gay Rights

Canada granted fundamental rights to the LGBT community in the country’s constitution as of 1982. A whopping 80% of Canadians favor are accepting of homosexuality (as of 2013). This statistic grows higher when you narrow the age group to Millennials and Generation X.

canadian flag

The Canadian government recently surveyed citizens about their overall comfortability about having a LGBT neighbor. Completed in 2019, results showed a heartwarming 91.8% rate of comfortability, a huge success for Canada.

church in downtown area

Canada decriminalized same-sex activity back in 1969. Since 1996, sexual orientation has been included in anti-discrimination protections and more recently, gender expression since 2017. LGBT people are able to serve openly in the military as of 1992, and gay marriage has been legal in Canada since 2005.

gay village
park

Lastly, here’s an interesting LGBT-related Canadian fact. The Inuit, or the indigenous people of Canada that settled farthest to the north, embraced gender nonconformity in their culture! The Inuit people (at this time no longer formally known as Eskimos) had words for describing those individuals who did not conform to their gender at birth. Read some more on this if you like; it’s quite fascinating.

park

Overall, Canada is one of the more progressive Countries in the western world with regard to homosexuality and LGBT rights! I personally can’t wait to explore more of the country.

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Montréal can be a snowy, cold city in winter. Brave the elements with my Outdoor Gear Must-Haves List on the wolfyy Amazon Store.

snowy street

While you’re reading about Montréal gay travel, be sure to read wolfyy’s Syracuse Gay Travel Guide. This mid-size city, adjacent to a beautiful college town, is not too far away from good ol’ Canada.

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In 2018, I quit my job to travel the world. My mission is to provide authentic, local gay travel information to gay travelers everywhere.

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