Montreal as a Gay Destination
Montreal was firmly placed on the gay destination list after it hosted the first World Outgames in 2006 – an event that also included an International Conference on LGBT rights. As Quebec's premiere city, Montreal has one of the world's largest concentrations of gay businesses. Before hitting Le Village de l'Est, as the gay district is called, curious holiday-makers may like to explore the historic heart of the city that boasts many architecturally-important buildings, the scenic Parc Jean-Drapeau and the Rialto Theatre.
Montreal's gay district is centred on Rue Sainte-Catherine Est from roughly St Hubert to De Lorimier Street. Along this two-kilometre strip you'll find a multitude of businesses that serve a gay clientele. Affectionately known as Le Village, popular bars and clubs on this strip include Stock Bar, Le Stud and Le Cocktail. Cabaret Mado is a great place to enjoy a drag show, while Club Unity is the largest gay club. Lesbians may enjoy Le Drugstore.
Gay and lesbian travellers will be welcomed at any Montreal hotel. However Le Village boasts many boutique hotels and B&Bs catering to the gay market. For ease and convenience, staying in The Village minimises travel after a big night out.
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Montreal Pride Parade
The first Montreal pride parade dates back to 1979, when 200 supporters remembered the tenth anniversary of New York's Stonewall riots. Today the Montréal pride festivities are celebrated by 200,000 people over four days in mid-August. The pride parade features 2000 participants who begin marching at 1pm from the corner of Guy Street and travel east along René-Lévesque Boulevard concluding on Sanguinet Street in the heart of the Village. After the parade, there's usually an alfresco party in Émilie-Gamelin Park.