Montreal’s Le Village

Published Date Author: , December 11th, 2013

Montreal Le VillageYou know what Kinsey posited — we all have a percentage of gay in us. You may be 50-50, you may be 60-40. Hell, you might even be 98-2! But, he argued, all of us fall in a grey area. And what city knows this better than Montreal, one of the most gay-friendly places in the world. Whether you’re a native Montrealer, or from a small town, all agree that there’s no better place to get your heteroflexible on than in this bilingual metropolis. Full-fledged homo already? Perfect! You’ll feel right at home. And what better place to get your queer on than the Gay Village itself.

Now I know this makes it sound like I’m encouraging everyone to hurry up and go make out in a Village cafe bathroom, but trust me, entrepreneurs caught on a long time ago…and bathroom doors are now locked.

Montreal Le VillageGoing to the Village, you’ll soon see that there are many things to do–there’s partying, walking down the blocked-off streets in summer, people-watching, shopping, and, for an increasing amount of people, choosing to move to the neighbourhood for good. Here’s why it’s appeal is only growing over time.

It Gets Better

Whether you’re gay or straight or asexual or really self-involved, you’re sure too appreciate the tight-knit community you’ll find in the Village. The diversity makes people more accepting of each other, so whether you’re a gay couple, a gay family, or just a plain old Joe looking to experience a diverse and inclusive environment, this might be the place for you.

Far from being just a party neighbourhood (the fiestas are usually reserved for Sainte Catherine Street), walking around the village you’ll be surprised to find tree-lined streets with an assortment of charming old triplexes, B&Bs, and small-scale shops and studio spaces that blend beautifully into the surrounding streetscape. So walk around and take it all in, because everyone here is welcome.

Ah, the Great Outdoors

Montreal Le VillageWorried this visit will leave you too confined to the city? Don’t worry! The Village has the largest abundance of wildlife on the Island of Montreal–here you’ll find bears, cubs, otters, foxes, and the occasional lone wolf. And it’s not as weird as it sounds to say that you’ll find them alongside leather daddies and baby dykes with backwards baseball caps and skater shoes.

So let’s get your homo lexicon up to date: A bear– an older, larger, very hairy gay man. A Cub– a younger hairy gay man who is sure to grow up into a bear. Otter–Also a hairy gay man, but markedly smaller and leaner than a bear. Fox– young man, also sometimes known as a twink when lean and hairless. Wolf– similar to an otter, but more sexually agressive or on the prowl. A baby dyke is a girl who has just come out and is determined to look as gay as possible. Leather daddy? Use your imagination…

Festivals

Montreal Le VillageLest you start growing sleepy at the thought that the Village is all picturesque B&Bs surrounded by exceptional fauna with a backdrop of double rainbows in the sky, let’s talk about all the festivals that happen yearly. During the summer months, Sainte-Catherine Street is blocked off for pedestrian use only. Restaurants spill over into the streets and tourists and locals alike enjoy the culinary offerings of the area and perhaps indulge in some daytime sangria.

Street performances and shows abound, and for several weeks you’ll be able to enjoy all the events put on by Divers/Cite and its more radical queer counterpart, Pervers/Cite (although the latter does not happen in the Village proper). Fierte Montreal Pride follows, which includes the famous gay pride parade and the recently instated (and personal favourite) Dyke March.

Everything is Here

The Village is close to many of the city’s more, ah, hetero, neighbouroods, if you’re into that kind of thing. Go north to Sherbrooke Street and you’ll find yourself on the Plateau and just a few steps from Parc Lafontaine. Go south a bit and you’ll find yourself in the Old Port. You’re just west of Downtown and Le Quartier des Spectacles at Place des Arts. Never want to leave your homosexual cornucopia? Do you find the world turns from colourful to black and white as soon as you reach Berri UQAM? No problem. The Village affords for than enough shopping to keep you satiated for one more day. Amherst Street in particular is home to interior decorating shops like Cite Deco, Second Chance, and Spoutnik. Bikurious on Amherst will help you with all your bicycle-fixing needs, and for a sliding-scale price will give you a “Lesbian Haircut for Everyone”. Boutique Osez and Evolution are staples for men’s clothing.

Getting Edgy

Montreal Le VillageYour life is as edgy as you make it. What for one person could be a sweet and simple night out dancing at Unity with friends, could, for another person, result in some pretty hot-and-heavy activity. Intrigued? Make sure to also try out Parking and Sky, some of the Village’s most popular nightclubs. What, for some, could be a simple day out shopping could, for some, turn into leather-chaps sampling at Priape or Fetish Armada on Saint-Catherine. Some will simply go to bars for a drink.

Others will go to men-only clubs with promising names like “Le Stud”, or to Chez Mado, the most popular drag venue in Montreal. So when you’re in the Village, the option is there, and it’s completely up to you. What would you like to do tonight? Go out to dinner, stay in and relax… or perhaps explore a side of yourself that’s just itching to get out?

See you there!

When she isn’t toying with the idea of going to sea, going back to bed, building a cabin in the woods, or opening a bottle of good whiskey, Laura Brouillette is the bullet that just passed you on the bike path. She is also a copywriter, people watcher, white water rafting guide, and a blogger for GuideHabitation.ca

Comments're closed  Comments are closed.