Meow Mix (La Sala Rossa, Casa del Popolo, Second Floor, 4848 boulevard Saint-Laurent; 514-284-0122), "for bent girls and their buddies," is a Montreal women's institution -- an almost-monthly cabaret drag spectacle and party featuring music for people allergic to house music. Men as guests. La Casa del Popolo is a fair trade caf?, music venue, bar and gallery, where you can pick up everything from snacks to zines to hipster women. Their La Sala Rosa Restaurant (4848 boulevard Saint-Laurent; 514-844-4227) offers Spanish delights, divine brunch and flamenco on Thursdays. For other women-centric info, surf to www.nomorepotlucks.org or drop by lesbian-owned ?lla-grill (see INTRO), site of occasional women's events, to check for upcoming happenings. Other social happenings are courtesy of social group, Outspoken Montreal (514-695-3983), with monthly dinners and coffee meetings. Cabaret Mado (1115 rue Sainte-Catherine Est ; 514-525-7566) is a fun, convivial drag bar attracting men and women, ruled by Mado, the city's reigning drag diva.
A stone's throw from Mado is Campus (1111 rue Sainte-Catherine Est; 514-526-3616), a men's neighborhood strip bar that allows women every Sunday night beginning at 9p.m, but is strictly men-only at all other times. Campus features more muscular boys (many of whom are straight). Taboo (1950 boulevard de Maisonneuve Est; 514-597-0010) features young nude dancers, for men only. Male strippers are also on the menu at Adonis (1681 rue Sainte-Catherine; 514-521-1355) and Stock Bar (1171 rue Sainte-Catherine Est; 514-842-1336). The Stud (1812 rue Sainte-Catherine Est; 514-598-8243) at the corner of rue Papineau is Montreal's most popular Levi's/leather dance bar; men only (women are let in one night a month), very popular on weekends. Bar L'Aigle Noir (Black Eagle Bar, 1315 rue Sainte-Catherine Est; 514-529-0040) is another men's leather and Levi's bar.
Disco Inferno (1592 rue Ste-Catherine Est; 514-523-4679), part of the Bourbon Complex, hosts drag shows, fetish parties, and various theme nights. Gotha Lounge (1641 Amherst; 514-526-1270) is a laid-back spot for happy hour cocktails before heading out for the evening. Taverne Rocky (1673 rue Sainte-Catherine Est; 514-521-7865) is a neighborhood pub for older men. L'Oasis Sauna (1390 rue Ste-Catherine Est; 514-521-0785) and Sauna 456 (456 rue de la Gauchetiere Ouest; 514-871-8341) are two of the more popular saunas in town, with the Oasis reputed to have the nicest looking guys.
Montr?al hosts numerous events of interest to gays and lesbians throughout the year, including arts festivals, gay pride and several well-known circuit parties. The Bad Boy Club Montreal (BBCM Foundation; 514/875-7026) presents parties and festivals throughout the year: the Black and Blue Festival (October), Twist during Montreal Pride Week (August), Red Party on Valentines, Hot and Dry on Victoria Day in May, and Bal des Boys on New Year's Eve. See Web site for party details. The gay village merchant association presents the International Montreal ArtFest (514/ 522-4646) covering the joint Canada Day/4th of July weekend.
Divers/Cit? (514/285-4011), Montreal's increasingly popular pride celebration, takes place late July/early August. Growing at an exponential rate each year, Divers/Cit? now spans an entire week. Divers/Cit? throws its official pride parties over the weekend, with Lesbomonde, an especially popular Saturday night party for lesbians. The BBCM Foundation (see above) also presents several gay parties on that weekend, including the popular Twist Party. The week kicks off with a night parade that travels along wide Ren?-L?vesque Boulevard from de Lorimier to St-Hubert in the Village, which allows for lots of space for spectators to admire and ogle. All the bars and caf?s in the Village open up their doors during pride and offer "terrasses" on the street, where you can watch the many performances taking place, or of course, just enjoy the people watching, which is at its best. Montr?al's pride week has won the Quebec Tourism Award and the Ulysses Grand Tourism Award, showing its importance to Montreal's gay and lesbian community, but also how gay and lesbian tourists flock to this event.
The Black & Blue Festival (514/875-7026), the most international gay event in Canada, has established itself as the circuit party not to miss. Events, including sporting activities, brunches, a gay business and travel expo, as well as the all-important parties, take place all over the city. The Olympic Stadium with its monolithic, futuristic inclined tower (the largest of its kind in the world) bending over it, welcomes more than 18,000 partiers to the main event. Montr?al's White Party, the Bal en Blanc, is a week-long event, held every April. The city's gay and lesbian film festival, Image+Nation (fax 514/285-1562; email@example.com), is held in November at three theaters along rue Sainte-Catherine.
An annual highlight for women, Le Boudoir is organized by the Meow Mix promoter (see above). A duo of sultry cabaret evenings, Le Boudoir lures the city's women out during the annual Divers/Cit? celebrations.