Montréal for LGBTQ women
This article was updated on March 4, 2019.
Montréal is a city that celebrates authenticity, diversity and the creativity of local artists and businesspeople. And it just so happens that the LGBTQ community is front and centre in all this activity, offering up bold concepts and promising projects.
Several women from Montréal’s LGBTQ community are throwing their talents into businesses like restaurants, bookshops, microbreweries and visual arts projects. As a result, new spots are continually cropping up to serve these communities and enrich their social and cultural lives.
Tendresse is the latest bistro to open on Sainte-Catherine Street in the Village. This eco-friendly vegan establishment is owned by Isabelle and Marc-Antoine, who also run Le Palco in Verdun and Bar Renard in the Village. As if good food weren’t enough, the décor alone makes stopping in worthwhile. Tendresse is open for brunch, lunch, cocktails, dinner and late-night bites.
Artisanal brewery, dining room, lounge and boutique, Brasserie Harricana is all this and more. Marie-Pier Veilleux and Cynthia Santamaria got it right when they opened the business in 2014; nothing attracts attention like a girl-powered microbrewery!
Not only have they been brewing their own suds at their Jean-Talon Street location since 2015, they’ve also produced tantalizing menus for brunch, lunch and dinner. The down-to-earth atmosphere was inspired by the original brasserie run by Marie-Pier’s father in Amos, Québec —and it’s without a doubt the key to their success. Brasserie Harricana is a must-see (and must-drink) destination to add to your Montréal itinerary.
L’Euguélionne is an independent bookstore established by a Montréal collective back in 2015. Their idea was to promote feminist ideas and women’s literature. The bookstore is an accessible space where you can read, sip coffee or chat with others.
L’Euguélionne offers a wide range of collections for the different communities it serves. There are new and used books with feminist essays, theoretical works, youth literature, comics, art and specialty magazines. Book launches and readings also happen here.
Dépanneur Le Pick-Up
Dépanneur Le Pick-Up is a snack bar set inside a convenience store in Mile-Ex. Owned by Bernadette Houde from the band Lesbians on Ecstasy, this casual joint becomes the neighbourhood hotspot on weekends, when locals are hungry for brunch. From the breakfast taco to the chipotle club, you’re sure to find lasting satisfaction on its menu. And since Le Pick-Up is staffed by an extremely inclusive bunch, you can expect to feel right at home here.
At Never Apart, the mission is to bring about social change and spiritual awareness through cultural programming. Located in Mile-Ex, this 12,000-square-foot space includes galleries, a music studio and several other creative studios.
Up for dancing? Ritz P.D.B. offers something for everyone with a diverse calendar that includes dance parties, 2000s theme nights, touring indie bands, drag queen and drag king shows, and much more. It’s the perfect spot for getting together with friends for a pint while seeing some of the LGBTQ community’s top talent. Plus, it’s a safe space where you can let your true colours shine.
PING PONG CLUB
Located at the corner of Saint-Laurent Boulevard and Bernard Avenue, PING PONG CLUB is one of the best watering holes in Mile End. In addition to hosting the monthly rendezvous of the city’s LGBTQ women, the bar organizes a variety of inclusive and diverse events all year long. On Thursday nights and over the weekend, DJs heat up the ambiance and set the tone for fun. Stop in for a drink or stay all evening.
Notre Dame Des Quilles
Notre Dame Des Quilles (NDQ) is half bar, half bowling alley, and all fun! Since 2012, the establishment has been serving up comfort food in a retro ambiance. This diverse destination is a choice spot to catch a queer movie or dance the night away to disco tunes. From country-western to karaoke, its programming is pretty eclectic! This institution has a hard-earned rep and deserves your support.
Alexandraplatz Bar is a great spot to grab a drink in the summer, when it opens its massive sunny patio. Every spring, the LGBTQ community converges in this industrial space in Mile-Ex to savour its unforgettable drinks (that means you, Bicicletta) and soak up the festive atmosphere. Come with friends or to make new ones. On weeknights, the crowd also includes young professionals and students—especially when the sun comes out.