Montreal in the French speaking province of Quebec is one of North America's great entertainment playgrounds - you
could easily spend a week here without tiring of the trendy eateries set all
over town, the stylish clothiers and antiques shops, and the lusty gay
nightlife scene. While it happens this is a wonderful place to cut loose
and meet stylish dykes and gay guys. The city is a cultural treasure, and
a preserve of intriguing architecture spanning three centuries.
In comparison, Quebec City - the provincial capital - is much smaller and
moves at a slower pace. Gays and lesbians tend to
be less visible, and the scene is more intimate, if somewhat limited. Out-of-towners
often draw notice at the handful of gay bars, but there are a slew of hip and often arty
cafes, bars, and restaurants that pull in plenty of stylish LGBT patrons.
Two sexy dancers in the Montreal Pride Parade
Photo: Marc Bruxelle
Aesthetically, whereas Montreal feels like a hybrid of North American
European cultures, Quebec feels distinctly old-world and Continental.
city is hilly and abundant with stone houses and cobbled lanes - it
preserves its French heritage and the French language, better
than many parts of France. |
In terms of gay-friendly accommodations, Montreal's and Quebec City's
scenes are more like Europe's than North America's, with an emphasis on
small, affordable - though sometimes bare-bones - pension-style
contrasting with many massive, newer convention hotels (especially in
Montreal). However, both cities have a few historic grande dames of
considerable character. Rates are generally quite reasonable in both
although edge up much higher during the summer tourist season.
What follows are a sampling of some of the best gay-friendly
in both Montreal and Quebec:
IF MONEY IS NO OBJECT
In Montreal, a super-plush boutique hotel that's a discreet address for
visiting celebrities, the Loews Hotel Vogue has sleek, contemporary
furnishings and bathrooms with whirlpool tubs and TVs. The lobby's
lounge is a favorite place to meet friends for a drink. Another
the Ritz-Carlton Kempinski, which has since 1912 represented the best
money - usually very old money - can buy. It's the perfect roost for
indulgent divas (Liz Taylor married Richard Burton here), and even
should pop in and raise a pinky during the fabulous afternoon teas.
City's Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac ranks among Canada's most
hotels. This massive 1893 structure was built by the Canadian Pacific
railroad to house passengers. Additions over the years have given the
wide range of room types, but traditionalists will want to stay in the
Part of the fun of staying here is taking in the many elegant
public rooms, shops, and eateries, and you can't beat the central
Quebec City's highly romantic Auberge St-Antoine, in a converted 1830s
maritime warehouse, sits next to the esteemed Musee de la Civilisation
historic Lower Town. Accommodations are plush yet understated, each
themed individually. Most have exposed stone or brick walls, muted
tones, and custom-made beds and tables; some have private rooftop
overlooking the St. Lawrence River. The staff looks carefully after
guest, and an afternoon wine-and-cheese reception in the lobby is a
way to unwind. An intimate, wonderful find in quaint Old Montreal, the
Auberge du Vieux-Port contains 27 individually decorated rooms with
stone and brick walls, tall casement windows, brass beds, hardwood
and wooden beams. The location, a reasonably short walk from the Gay
and steps from the cafes and antiques shops of the Vieux Port, couldn't
In Quebec City, Le Germain Hotel Quebec is a chic and gracious boutique
with stylish guest rooms and a personable staff. In this retrofitted
warehouse, the tallest building in Canada back when it was built, guest
have high, beamed ceilings, arty bathroom fixtures, cobalt reading
the bed and desk, and down duvets and plush linen pillows. The
gay-friendly management team opened Hotel Le Germain in Montreal
and this impeccably furnished hotel
discriminating travelers who appreciate the loft-inspired rooms with
framed black-and-white photos, mahogany blinds, natural-fibre linens,
soft yet cool color schemes. There's also a lavish breakfast buffet.
MIXING BUSINESS WITH PLEASURE
A short walk from both the Gay Village and the
Quarter, the Hotel de L'Institut
represents an exceptional value. This 40-room hotel rests upon the top
floors of a hospitality college, and sure enough, the staff works hard
does a great job keeping rooms clean and attractive - employees have
grades to think about, after all. The building's exterior is rather
it presides over tree-shaded Carre St-Louis (and the Sherbrooke Metro).
Considering the rates, the polite staff, and the excellent location,
place is a steal.
WHERE THE BOYS ARE
Guy-oriented, La Conciergerie is one of the
best-kept gay friendly historic Guest Houses in Montreal, with its antique-filled
rooms and a 24-hour private hot tub. Some rooms have this 1885 townhouse's
original elaborate plaster moldings. A cute breakfast room is filled with colorful paintings,
and the location is close to the Gay Village and Vieux-Montreal.
Sainte Catherine Street in Montreal's Gay Village with hanging decorations - Photo: ablokhin
In Quebec City, Le Coureur des Bois Guest House is a rather social little
inn that's popular with both single guys and male couples. This cozy stone
house with thick walls and old-fashioned casement windows has meticulously
clean, recently renovated rooms with basic but pleasant furnishings; an
adjacent house has two full apartments with self-catering (ideal for long-term).
It's just up a quaint, steep street from the city gate at rue St-Jean - an
easy walk from the city's several hopping gay bars and saunas.
THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK
Auberge du Vieux-Port (97 rue de la Commune est, Montreal, 514-876-0081
Auberge St-Antoine (10 rue
St-Antoine, Quebec City, 418-692-2211 or 888-692-2211,
Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac
des Carrieres, place d'Armes, 418-692-3861 or 800-828-7447,
L'Institut (3535 rue St-Denis, Montreal, 514-282-5120 or 800-361-5111; Website).
Hotel Le Germain (2050 rue Mansfield,
La Conciergerie (1019 rue
St-Hubert, Montreal, 514-289-9297, Website).
Le Coureur des Bois Guest
(15 rue Ste-Ursule, Quebec City, 418-692-1117 or 800-269-6414; Website).
Vogue (1425 rue de la Montagne, Montreal, 514-285-5555 or
Ritz-Carlton Kempinski (1228
Sherbrooke O, Montreal, 514-842-4212 or 800-363-0366,
Andrew Collins authored the revised Fodor's Gay Guide to the USA, the Connecticut
Handbook, and six regional gay guides for Fodor's.
Revised February 2019.