Let's just get this out of the way first: Montreal has a better gay scene (at least for dudes) than Toronto.
There, I said it. This isn't some comparison piece where I'm trying to choose a winner or rip on either city. Rather, I just want to talk about some of the hilarious (and sometimes annoying) differences between what it's like to be a gay dude in Montreal versus Toronto.
To give some credence to this whole piece, I've lived my entire "gay life" in Montreal, so since I came out 'til now has been spent in the 514. I am, however, originally from the Toronto-area (gasp!) and have gone out in TO during visits back. All in all, I have a pretty good handle on what either city has to offer a mild-to-very attractive gay guy like myself.
No doubt that if you're a gay Anglophone in Montreal (or gaynglo, as they will henceforth be known) you'll relate to most of these struggles. Hell, even Francophones who have never even been to Toronto will know where I'm coming from. Or you won't know what I'm getting at all, call me a hater, and leave some douchey comment that I'll never read. Whichever, s'all good, just read on and see how Montreal and Toronto compare when it comes to being a gay dude.
1. You might be an 8 in Toronto, but you're barely a 6 in Montreal.
That's just how the scales work. It sucks, but such is life in Montreal.
2. You seriously can't tell if guys are gay or not.
Walking around Montreal, especially in super hip areas like The Plateau or Mile End, every dude looks gay. Blame it on how damn stylish everyone in this city is, or just the fact that all guys wear skinny jeans, but either way, it can get confusing for a guy with bad gaydar.
3. Everyone on Grindr is skinny af.
Seriously, all those headless torsos are either jacked or hella slim. Either way, they usually have some form of six-pack going on. Toronto's Grindr scene has hotties, but not to the same level, which is why I'm fairly convinced the entire population of Montreal (queer and hetero) is just on a diet of cigarettes and attitude.
4. All the hottest guys only speak French.
You say "hi" and they respond "salut." The conversation pretty much ends there. All the anglos reading know the struggle is real, especially since you're basically cutting your available options to less than half.
5. And if you do grab one, you're in for a struggle of a conversation.
Let's be honest here fellas, sometimes you don't really need to talk to someone to get them down to go down on you. We've all been there, or at least know how it goes when you grab a rando from da club. If neither of you happen to speak the same language, you're in for a pretty awkward walk or cab ride home. Not that it matters much, you're not there to talk to each other.
6. Diversity really isn't a thing.
Okay, so this based off of personal experience, and I can't really say much as a white dude, but for real, the gay scene in Montreal definitely lacks some cultural diversity. Maybe I'm just going to the wrong events or places, who knows, but from what I've seen, Montreal is pretty whitewashed when it comes to going out gay. Toronto tends to be more culturally diverse in general, and that definitely extends to the queer community.
7. Either you go clubbing in The Village, or you don't go at all.
Granted, there is Le Stud and Bar le Cocktail in The Village, but for the most part, the area is devoted to clubbing...or strip clubs. You'll find a solid amount of dance spots in Toronto, but while their version of The Village may be smaller, they have more venues devoted to casual drinking and chilling. Sometimes gay guys like to actually sit down and have a real conversation and not get crazy and dance (shocking, I know) which is far easier to do in Toronto.
8. If you want to go to an event outside The Village, you better be hip as hell.
If you want to know about any of the many queer parties outside of The Village, you pretty much need to be a card-carrying hipster, or be very ingrained into the queer scene. If you're outside of that social circle, finding out where all these kick-ass queer jams are going down can be really hard. The same thing happens in Toronto, to be fair, so this is much more a struggle both cities share.
9. Staying fit is super hard with winter and all that poutine.
When it's negative 30 outside, you literally don't want to (nor physically can) walk anywhere. Plus all you really just want to eat comforting high-cal, and cheap foods like poutine (a year-long struggle in itself) and you have a winter where those abs you've been working on turn to mush. Gym bunnies might not have this problem, but us regular gay dudes who won't wake up with a dumbbell in hand have it a little harder. How guys on Grindr still have skinny af figures only makes the "diet of cigarettes and 'tude" theory all the more realistic.
10. Pride is kind of meh in comparison.
Don't get me wrong, Fierté Montréal/Pride is a lot of fun. There are a few legit events and The Village is definitely alive with activity. But compared to Toronto Pride, well, Montreal's doesn't quite stack up. Church street in Toronto is quite literally a perma-party, and so many people come out to celebrate all things queer. Last call is even pushed back to 4am most of the time. I hate to say it, but when it comes to partying at Pride, Toronto wins out over Montreal.
11. You don't go anywhere before midnight, and you go to bed at 5am.
To be fair, this might be a struggle everyone in Montreal goes through, but since gays go the hardest, it's a bit more of a struggle for us. The basic going out timeline for gay guys in Montreal goes like this: leave the pre-drink just after midnight (nowhere gets good before), you dance, do a few shots here and there, 3am hits, you get food, and you get home mega late. Add in some time to do the dirty if you happened to be twerking it real hard and you've got a 5am bed time, only to wake up at 1pm the next day. Really, this isn't that much of a struggle, but it is if you have a regular person job and you need to wake up at 7am on Monday. At least in TO bars/clubs close at 2am, giving you a bit more sleep.
12. You know exactly what a "McGangBang" is.
This isn't nearly as raunchy as it sounds, as anyone who knows the term will already understand. Essentially, a "McGangBang" is a term reserved for the magical mayhem experienced by any gay who goes to the McDonald's in The Village after last call. Everyone is wasted, it's crazy loud, and all anyone wants is a big ol' McD in their mouth, so McGangBang is a pretty accurate term to use. I wouldn't call this a straight up struggle, I really just wanted to say McGangBang a bunch.