Geeks simply don't get enough love. As a geek, I know this is all too true. Content on this site is definitely geared towards the party boy/girl lifestyle, and too seldom to the nerdy folks in the city. Well, to all the geeks reading, or girl/boyfriends of geeks, this one is for you.
No matter what kind of geek your significant other (or you) might be, there's a place for you to take them in Montreal. Gamers, manga-readers, Magic players, retro enthusiasts, you name it, there's a Montreal venue that caters directly to a specific geeky need, and you'll find them all below.
So to all the people reading with a geek in their life that seriously needs to get out a bit more, read on and get geeking out.
For The Geek Who Loves To Drink & Game
Just because a person is into geek culture that doesn't mean they don't like to drink/party. And when a geek likes to drink, there's no better experience than gaming with a brew or two, and these Montreal venues can make that happen.
1245 Drummond, Website
A cross between a dive bar and your best friend's basement, Foonzo offers the retro gaming of the latter with the vibe of the former. Old school consoles can be found at a number of tables, and there's even some board games in the mix, just don't expect any modern console swag. Foonzo is more about retro gaming with some beer, which is all your SO might want anyway.
Randolph Pub Ludique
2041 Saint-Denis, Website
A veritable board game paradise, Randolph is the ultimate geek date spot. Aside from the gigantic selection of games to play, the pub has great eats, and even videogame inspired cocktails, like the blue "mana potion." Be warned there is a $5 cover to get in and play, but Randolph is well worth the price.
Montreal Forum's Game Centre
2313 Sainte-Catherine West, Website
On the third floor of the Forum you'll find an arcade and bar combo that you can't really find elsewhere in the city. Over 100 games are playable in the Game Centre, from skee ball to House of the Dead, and the bar is fully stocked to wet your whistle, making the Forum a destination for more than just movies.
2019 Moreau #312, Website
About three times a month, ArcadeMTL, a community group comprised of Montrealers who are passionate about gaming, hold public gaming events that everyone can attend. Each event is centered on a specific game or genre and it's BYOB, so yeah, get excited. Check the Facebook group regularly for upcoming events.
323 Ontario East, Website
Nexus Bar, a "smartbar" from the people behind B1, has just opened its doors, and it looks to be a new kind of video game bar. All about gaming as an industry rather than just a recreational activity, Nexus promises to bring together the gaming community in innovative ways, from workshops to standard gaming events. Given Montreal's large video game production community, this could be you SO's chance to meet the folks who created your favourite games!
For The Geek Who Loves Superheroes & Comic Books
Montreal has more than a few comic book shops to choose from, making life for a comic-loving geek all the more awesome. In truth, most of the places listed below are pretty similar, save for their respective locations, as all boast a pretty wide selection of titles, figurines, and can let you pre-order your favourite comics.
For the sake of brevity, here's a quick rundown on Montreal's best comic book shops:
- Librarie Astro: 1844 Sainte Catherine W, Website
- 1,000,000 Comix: 1418 Pierce, Website
- Crossover Comics: 3560 Notre-Dame W, Website
- Capitaine Québec: 1837D Sainte Catherine, Website
- Millennium Comics: 451 Marie Anne E, Website
- Comic Hunter: 9675 Papineau #10, Wesbite
Photo cred - Doug Kline
For The Geek Who Loves Manga & Anime
There's many facets of geekdom, even though most folks think all geeks just like comic books and superheroes. But the magical world of manga and anime definitely falls into the realm of geek, and if your lover loves Japan's greatest exports, you need to head to these spots.
1421-B Bishop, Website
Open since 1991, Sci-Fi Anime has been catering to Montreal's anime needs for over twenty years. Currently repping Gundam real hard, the store has everything a manga/anime lover could want, including figurines.
3623 Saint-Denis, Website
Part cafe, part manga library/bookstore, O-Taku is the ideal spot for the manga-lover in your life. That goes double if that person is you. O-Taku also holds regular events, like their upcoming Super Smash Bros. night and One Piece quiz competition, so you can get social with the Montreal manga-loving community.
For The Geek Who Loves Collectibles & Board Games
Not all geeks are into technological hardware. Some prefer a classic figurine or trading card game to fulfill their geeky needs. Thankfully, when it comes to collectibles, these places have everything a geek could ever desire.
1663 Saint-Denis, Website
Whatever game your SO is into, from Magic to HeroClix, Chez Geeks has you covered, at least when it comes to the card-based variety of games. You can even pre-order an upcoming expansion through the store, so you can help your SO get an edge on all of their frenemies.
L’Valet de Cœur
4408 Saint-Denis, Website
Boasting a wide selection of board and card games, L’Valet de Cœur has more than you could really want out of a geek store. Anytime you need a new addition to games night with your SO's geek crew, this is the place to go.
Toys on Fire
1539 Van Horne, Wesbite
They're not toys, or dolls, they're action figures. Or, better yet, they're collectibles, as any geek will let you know if you ever scoff at their gigantic collection of figurines. Toys on Fire is all about figurines of every sort, though they do have a focus on superheroes, just never take them out of the protective casing, lest your SO get uber angry.
For The Geek Who's Slightly Artsy
Comic books are an art form, no matter what any haters say, and geeks know this to be true. Sure, some superhero comics may be kind of lackluster, but there's a whole genre of more artistically-minded titles that are legit pieces of literature, and you can find them here.
Drawn & Quarterly
211 Bernard, Website
There aren't enough good things I can say about D&Q, it's that amazing. Even if you'r not into "artsy" comic books, or comic books at all, walking into Drawn & Quarterly is a magical moment anyone can enjoy. D&Q's selection of titles is wide and eclectic, and they're also an independent publisher, so you'll be supporting local artists by buying one of their books!
Librairie Planète BD
3883 Saint-Denis, Website
From Tintin to fantasy titles to westerns, Planète BD has a vast selection of French comic book titles. Anglophones may not find anything they can really read, but spot is perfect for the Francophone geek.
Photo cred - geekpinata
For The Geek Who Likes To Accessorize
Geeks aren't known for their fashion sense, but they should be, especially when you check out the cosplay at Comiccon. Of course, geeks don't dress up as their favourite characters all the time, but we do enjoy regularly repping our favourite fandom on our clothes. Geeks looking to add to their wardrobe (or if you need a gift for your SO) need only head to these stores.
4323 Saint-Denis, Website
I'll always remember Boutique Geekatorium as the random store I found because of their Wonder Woman cut-out sign...which then led me to buying a Wonder Woman tuque. The geek boutique has more than just WW inventory, though, and you'll no doubt find a shirt, backpack, or hat that will fit your SO's geeky fancy.
Everyone loves onesies, but geeks love 'em the most. Why? Who knows, but it's probably because they come in geek-centric varieties like unicorns, dragons, and various cartoon characters. Montreal-based onesie manufacturer Kigurumi will hook you up with whatever geek-tacular onesie you want, but you'll have to order online.
For The Geek Who Loves Big Events
If you've ever been to a Comiccon, either in Montreal or any other city, then you know geeks love big events and conventions. It's the only time we can rub elbows with our geeky brethren in a space free of any outsider judgement, because at a big geek event, anyone who isn't a geek is the weirdo. Don't miss a single major geek even in the city and bring your SO to these events, all of which touch upon a different aspect of geekdom. They'll adore you for it.
November 7th to 8th, Website
Created by geeks, for geeks, GeekFest MTL is, as you could guess, a celebration of all things geek-related. Just passed this weekend, and will return, the GeekFest lineup includes speakers, masquerades, viewings, and so much more.
July 8th to 10th 2016, Website
The largest comic book and geek event in Montreal, Comiccon truly can't be missed. Yes, it's almost a full year away and next to no details about the next edition have been released, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't get crazy excited. Be sure to check out Mini Comiccon during the winter too!
August 5th to 7th 2016, Website
Kind of like Commiccon, but all about anime and manga, Otakuthon has a wild energy all its own. For real, some of the outfits you see at this anime convention are truly unreal.
Toys on toys on toys, that's what you'll find at Montreal's very own ToyCon, along with exhibitions catering to sci-fi and anime enthusiasts. No date has been set for the next edition of ToyCon, so be sure to stay updated if you really need some new toys. In the same vein is the Retro Expo, though there's not set time for the next event either.
Fantasia Film Festival
Hands down my favourite festival in Montreal, Fantasia is a film fest that caters to the geek-minded. Over the top and gory horror movies, Asian cinema, and off the wall comedies make up Fantasia's lineup every year, including a wide of assortment of other films, so you'll definitely find a movie that appeals to you and your SO's geeky senses.
For The Geek Who Wants To Socialize & Stay Connected
Contrary to popular belief, geeks love to socialize, even outside of conventions. We're not all weird shut-ins, you know. Montreal has a rather large geek community, and if you want your SO to socialize and stay connected to the geeky happenings of the city, without your help, you should get involved with these groups.
Devoted to everything even the most mildly geeky in the city, Geek Montreal is the Facebook group your geeky self has been looking for. Even though the group doesn't hold as many events as it used to, it's still a great resource to keep up to date on the geek life.
Montreal Girl Geeks
Anyone who thinks geek culture is only for boys is an idiot, and has obviously never visited the Montreal Girl Geeks website. A resource for women in the tech field, Montreal Girl Geeks holds some pretty sweet events, many of which are actually educational and fulfilling rather than just being about playing video games.
Here's a group for all queer geeks (like myself) and allies reading. Gaymer Zone is all about bringing to the LGBTQ+ community through our shared love of video games, with each event focusing on a particular game. Thankfully, Gaymer Zone recently re-launched, and they've been hosting events a few times a month, meaning you'll have plenty to keep your queer-geek self occupied.