Considering how hard it is for members of the LGBT community to find accepting neighborhoods, it’s no wonder people have been flocking to Montreal. Being one of few countries that recognize and support gay marriage, Canada is absolutely thriving with LGBT activities and businesses. The city’s residents are a pleasant mix of the LGBT community, both gay and straight families, young business professionals and both gay and straight university students. It should be noted that some of the locals complain of red-light activity and occasional sketchiness in the area, though nothing particularly life-threatening has been reported. Any prospective students planning on moving to Montreal may also appreciate the neighborhood’s proximity to the “Université du Québec à Montréal”, which is about ten to 15 minute walk away. Most people planning to move to Montreal should be able to get by sufficiently with English, but would do well to pick up some French just in case, considering the city’s bilingual nature.

Montreal’s “Gay Village” is a testimony to the cosmopolitan and accepting nature of the city, being a nightlife hub of opportunities with restaurants, terraces and some of Montreal’s best nightclubs lining St. Catherine Street, the district’s main artery. It also boasts affordable living costs, even to the extent that it could be considered ‘student’ affordable. Along the thoroughfare, there are many gay and lesbian strip bars that line the street, with a few more “casual” bars as well. The many eateries that can be found throughout the city consist of exotic cuisine, ranging from authentic Italian, to Spanish, to French and Thai, further reinforcing the city’s accepting nature and cultural diversity. The city also hosts a large number of events and social gatherings centered around LGBT views, including festivals and live musical performances by gay artists.

To the prospective visitor or resident of Montreal, one thing worth mentioning is the lack of vehicles. Due to the density of the city, most businesses are within walking distance from any of the three metro stations that travel through the city. Most residents choose to walk around the city, this choice further reinforced by the Gayborhood’s “no-car zone” that is erected along St. Catherine St. during the summer.

So what does Montreal have to offer that other gayborhoods don’t? A friendly, relaxed atmosphere, social community, and exceptional eateries are certainly a good start. The entirety of Montreal feels like something out of a storybook, where a night on the town and having a good time involves only going a block or two down the street.

Author Jeff Hammerberg is the Founding CEO of Free Instant Access to the Nation’s Top Gay, Lesbian and Gay Friendly Realtors Coast to Coast. FREE Buyers Representation ~ Free Relocation Kit to any City, USA ~ Free Sellers Market Analysis for home sellers.