Photo cred - Johnny Martin
Go to the Village once, and you'll pretty much have the same experience every single time. Drink, dance, get sloppy, repeat. Unity, Sky, Apollon, and the other Village staples are all fun, they can just get a little monotonous. Broaden your Montreal queer horizons by getting out of the Village with some very legit bars and events catering to Montreal's queer community. The Village is outdated anyway.
Notre Dame Des Quilles
Technically NDQ isn't a gay bar, but the clientele and servers would prove otherwise. NDQ has soared in popularity over the last year for its chill atmosphere, fun weekly events like bingo (more fun than it sounds) and karaoke, as well as their infamous bowling lanes. With something for everyone, NDQ earned its title as Best Bar in Cult's 2014 rankings.
If I were to be ranking this list, Bareoke would hands down take the top spot. Why? Because it blends two of the most awesome things ever: karaoke and stripping. Sounds strange, I know, but this is an event you really need to see for yourself to get a true sense of the awesomeness. Not only are the hosts energetic and entertaining, everyone who goes is incredibly friendly and just there to have a good time. No stress if you don't want to strip/perform, but you'll probably change your mind once you arrive. The desire to strip-karaokize is infectious.
Here's one for the ladies. Hot Sauce is concept party where there is no opening or closing DJ, its just a musical tag-team between the resident DJ and the monthly guest, who generally stick to a mix of house and hip hop. Guys are more than welcome too, so feel free to bring your boys. The Next Hot Sauce will be June 13th for all interested.
Voted Cult's Best Gay Bar of 2014 for a reason, the Royal Phoenix is a healthy mix of bar and club. A lot of straight folks don't even know of RP as a gay bar, since they host so many different events and musical acts, which is definitely a strong suit of the bar, as you'll always have an eclectic mix of people and a cool show to look forward to.
For over 5 years (with some pauses along the way) MPU(or Mec Plus Ultra) has brought the party outside of the Village and into the Belmont. Every event has a different, and usually pretty scandalous, theme, and also expect a larger male population, most of whom will be wearing fitted caps and muscle tees. If that's your jam than be sure to attend, as it really can be a lot of fun.. Check out MTL Blog's photo-coverage of past events for a sense of what's in store for you at MPU.
Once a month Drama Queen takes over Russian Nightclub, and it is awesome. Created to liven up the sometimes tepid Montreal queer scene, Drama Queen is all about throwing a good party with good music, cheap drinks, and hot people. All the elements of a good time. Check out our photo coverage to get an idea of the debauchery.
New on the queer scene, just going onto its fourth event, LIP is quickly becoming a party-staple for its chill vibes and fun music-themes, like last LIP's 90s and early 2000s jams party. LIP is taking a brief hiatus, but only for a little while, so be sure to check back (probably in July) for the next event.
You wouldn't think of Katacombs as the most gay-friendly bar, but the LGBT crowd flocks to the clack box on St. Lo every third Thursday of the month for one of the best preekend (pre weekend) parties around. Crazy outfits, visiting DJs, and drag performances are all par for the course at Pompe, as is a good time.
Holding sporadic events throughout the year, GayBash always does throws a solid party. Their Halloween party was all-u-can drink (thus epic) and their last event was in April, so expect Tyler and Sally (GayBash creators and coordinators) to be back in full force for summer party-action.
Less glitz and glam but just as much fun is what you'll find at Cousins. Hosted at various locations around the city, Cousins is an incredibly inclusive "fam jam" that plays tons of different styles of music and just has good vibes all around. At a Cousins Party, everyone is family. Just not the creepy-incestuous way, in the everyone-is-chill-and-gets-along kind of way. Attend the next event and see for yourself.
Slut Island Festival
If the awesome name hasn't sold you, the sheer amount of parties and events will. For the first time, Montreal is hosting the Slut Island Festival, a 9 day-long (June 5th-13th) celebration that will kick the summer off right. Bands, DJs, and anti-slutshaming are all on the set list, so be sure to check out the FB event page for a detailed listing of events and how to get tickets.
Fierté + Divers/Cité
It's kind of strange Montreal has two separate queer pride festivals in the summer, but we ain't complaining because more summer-party-action is always better. Both festivals feature outdoor shows and dance parties, various special events, and TONS of individual parties, a lot of which aren't solely centered in the Village. Divers/Cité starts things off at the end of July until early August, while Pride runs August 11th-17th, so get ready for a month full of fun.