Montreal Gay City Guide: A City of Fun, Festivals, and Friendly Neighbors

Located where the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers meet, Montreal is the largest city in Canada’s Quebec province. It is a dynamic, welcoming city with a hip, eclectic vibe. It's a city that's overflowing with culture, festivals, wonderful food, and plenty of outdoor activities, not to mention endless opportunity and a wide variety of warm and welcoming neighborhoods that will eagerly embrace anyone who wants to call it home.

A Bit of Montreal History

The French explorer Jacques Cartier initially reached the island of Montreal in 1635, followed by a group of French settlers in 1642. The settlement flourished as part of the fur trading industry and continued to grow. Various industries and businesses ventured into the city as it continued to grow, and along with that came a rich diversity that has always been a hallmark of life in Montreal. It eventually became the second biggest city in Canada and the principal city in Quebec. Today, Montreal is a city that celebrates its rich French history while also constantly looking forward toward the future. It is widely considered to be one of the most diverse and cosmopolitan cities in North America and is known for its great charm energy and vibrant spirit.

Montreal

  • Montreal is one of the five largest cities in the world where people speak French. Paris, of course, is the first.
  • Montreal has the highest number of restaurants per capita in Canada and the second-highest number per capita in North America after New York City.
  • No building in Montreal can be taller than the cross located on the Mount Royal Mountain.

Find more fun facts about Montreal here.

Montreal’s LGBTQ Community

Montreal has a rich, diverse, and thriving LGBTQ community that is well-supported by resources and community centers across the city, some of which include:

Centre Communautaire LGBTQ+

The Centre Communautaire is a popular community resource center offering a wide variety of educational programs, resources, legal, health, and support services, and opportunities for networking and engaging with other members of the LGBTQ community and the city at large.

West Island LGBTQ2 Centre

The West Island LGBTQ2 Centre is a community dedicated to providing a safe and welcoming space for the LGBTQ community and questioning individuals to feel welcomed with open arms. It is the only LGBTQ community center in the West Island area of Montreal and serves youth, seniors, and everyone in between.

Montreal Weather

Montreal has what’s known as a semi-continental climate. This means that it has warm, humid summers, and very cold winters while offering visitors and residents alike a pleasant spring and fall, one with beautiful blooms, and the other the colors of changing leaves. Winters can be quite snowy – on average, snow depths of greater than 1 cm are seen on about 109 days of the year. On the other side of the coin, there are also plenty of sunny days, and in summer the highs can reach up to around 90 °F. Truly, Montreal is a city of all seasons.

Can’t Miss Montreal Events

Fierte Montreal Pride

Montreal's annual gay pride festival is truly something that you won’t want to miss. The festival includes 10 amazing days of parties and events and culminates with a huge parade on the final day, that engulfs the entire city. Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, usually leads the parade. It’s an amazing celebration of all that the LGBTQ community adds to Montreal.

The Black and Blue Gay Festival

The Black and Blue Gay Festival is a highly popular 5-day event that takes place annually during the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend in October. Featuring electronica and techno music, the festival attracts around 70,000 people each year. In addition to being an amazing event, it’s also for a good cause – proceeds are donated to HIV/AIDS charities each year.  

A Look at the Best Montreal Neighborhoods

Some cities have gayborhoods – but Montreal has a village. Yes, it’s true – an entire gay village (one of the largest in North America!) that has an upbeat vibe, a fun, and lively club scene, and the main drag, the Rue Sainte-Catherine, which is a pedestrian-only avenue that is frequently strung with decorations and lights, and on which numerous bars, eateries, and cafes are located for all to enjoy. Its Rue Amherst street is known for its eclectic mix of boutique and antique shops, and the entire village is very walkable, warm, and welcoming. The village also includes the beautiful neoclassical Saint-Pierre-Apôtre Church, with its well-known Chapel of Hope, dedicated to AIDS victims. For those considering purchasing a home in Le Village Gai, there are a variety of housing options and price ranges available.

For those who are considering moving to Montreal, it is worth noting that bringing your own vehicle is not essential, and may not even be advised. Because of the density of the city, many businesses are within walking distance from the city’s metro stations throughout the city, and many residents choose to walk or bike.

Arts and Entertainment

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is the largest art museum in Canada by gallery space and is spread across five pavilions, showcasing a world-class collection of art from all eras and of all selection of art from all eras and of all styles for visitors to enjoy.

Place des Arts

The Place des Arts is Montreal’s major performing arts center and is the largest cultural and artistic complex in Canada. Whatever you enjoy – opera, Broadway, drama, musicals, stand-up, and more, you’re sure to find it here.

Parks and Recreation

Montreal Botanical Garden

The Montreal Botanical Garden is a stunning display of nature’s wonder that you don’t want to miss. The garden includes 75 hectares of thematic gardens and greenhouses and is widely considered one of the most important botanical gardens in the world due to the extent of its collections and facilities.

Olympic Park

Olympic Park is the district of the city that was home to many of the venues from the 1976 Summer Olympics, which were held in Montreal. Today, the Montreal Olympic Park Esplanade features outdoor events and activities year-round, as well as the Olympic Stadium which hosts sporting events and shows, along with Montreal Tower, a planetarium, and more. There is more than enough here for several days of activities, and something for everyone to enjoy.

Montreal Nightlife

Complexe Sky

Complexe Sky is the largest gay club in Canada and is one of the most popular gay bars in Montreal. It is a large building with a restaurant on the ground floor called Le Branche, and it has four floors each with different styles of music, including a rooftop terrace with a pool and a hot tub. There are regularly held drag shows, good drinks, and a great crowd. You won’t want to miss an evening out at this iconic Montreal spot.  

Le Stud

Although Le Stud is officially a bear bar, all are welcome. Le Stud has a really friendly atmosphere that includes an outdoor drinking area as well as a large dancing area inside. The bar is known for having fun themed nights and events like “Polar Bear Week” and “Full Moon” parties. It also has a connected restaurant - L'Antre BBQ + Grill which offers a fantastic selection of pub food.

Bar Le Cocktail

Bar Le Cocktail is Montreal’s most popular gay karaoke bar. Every evening a live DJ hosts the karaoke, and Happy Hour is every Friday before 10:30 pm. The bar has two levels and a beautiful terrace for enjoying summer evenings.

Contact a Montreal Realtor Today

If you are ready to find your next perfect home in a Montreal neighborhood that’s a great fit for your interests and lifestyle needs, today is the perfect day to get started. Contact a Montreal gay realtor for a free, no-obligation consultation today!