Where to go dancing in Montréal
No matter what your taste in dance music, Montréal’s got you covered when it comes to shaking it off, breaking it down or getting your groove on. Dance in style to electro, hip hop, soul, top 40 and more any night of the week at the city’s best dance clubs.
Dance on the cutting edge
Achieve dancefloor rapture to the latest in EDM, hip-hop, and electro at these clubbing go-tos. The big names in EDM show up at New City Gas, a converted factory that’s now a massive club for energetic party-goers. Nearby in Old Montréal, boutique-club Peopl., subterranean lounge spot Velvet, incredible restaurant and underground dance club Flyjin and high-energy La Voûte Montréal (located in the mysterious vault of the historic Royal Bank of Canada), beckon with international and local DJs rubbing shoulders with the city’s beautiful people.
Dinner and dancing never looked so good: stay for both at Club Pelicano, serving up great food upstairs while the dancefloor comes alive by night downstairs, and at elegant downtown speakeasy Soubois. And electronic and hip hop merge at one of the city’s most talked-about clubs, Newspeak, in downtown’s Quartier des spectacles – dance to cutting-edge DJs, hip-hop artists, live indie-electro bands and more.
No sleep till Montréal
Dance on and on till the break of dawn in these all-night afterhours hotspots. Underground house, techno and dub keep the grooves smooth and dancers happy at: Le Salon Daomé in the Plateau on Mont-Royal Avenue and Bar Datcha in Mile End. Gallery Never Apart in Mile-Ex pairs with clubs and festivals on all-night parties.
When last call at 3 a.m. just isn’t late enough and you’ve got plenty of dancing energy left, look no further than Stereo and Circus, two of the best world-class afterhours venues in the city. For even more late-night dancing action, watch for hyped DJ sets and parties at the Society for Arts & Technology (SAT), Espace Reunion, Eastern Bloc and other loft-like spaces around the city that host all-night music and dancing events.
To each a rhythm
Be it punk, R&B, or Latin beats that do the trick, a dive, dance bar, or open terrasse waits for you. For hip hop, house and R&B check out the nightly options at ever-popular St-Laurent Street club Tokyo Bar (beloved also for open-air dancing on the terrasse) and live music venue and dance club Le Belmont further up the street. Or dive into the Gay Village nightlife experience on the rooftop patios of Club Unity or Sky, a three-storey club where electro, disco, hip hop, Latin beats and more give everyone something to dance about. On the other hand, a few blocks away, Sainte-Catherine Street watering hole Foufounes Électriques has been the punk-rock choice for cheap beer and live music downtown for decades – if your dancing is more like moshing, this is the place for you. For a more traditional Québecois night of music and dancing, stroll down to Le 2 Pierrots in Old Montréal, where Francophone folk and rock keep toes tapping.
Voulez-vous danser avec moi?
For those about to rock, salsa, or tango, we salute you. For a sophisticated and fun night of dinner and dancing to live soul, world beat, classic rock and more, join the crowd at Le Balcon. Themed parties, nightly DJs and great bourbon, beer and cocktails make Saint-Denis Street bar Le Clébard a good option for groups divided by a love of dancing and a preference for chatting on a terrasse. Find a whole lot of nightlife all in one place and let loose some fancy footwork at Crescent Street’s Sir Winston Churchill Pub Complex, home to a nightclub, an English pub, a restaurant and bar. The Casino de Montréal brings Vegas-style entertainment to its cabaret and dance club venues. And Montréal tango and salsa clubs like Club 649, Copacabana and Salsathèque sizzle.
Dance music, in a festival style
Neither rain, nor sleet, nor dark of night shall keep us from dancing night and day, all year long. Naturally, summertime comes packed with sure bets for great dancing, from internationally lauded weekly outdoor dance party Piknic Électronik every Sunday in Parc Jean-Drapeau to music festivals including the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, outdoor two-day EDM fest îleSoniq Montreal, techno-focused electronic music and arts fest MUTEK and urban art and music fest Chromatic.
Winter has its fair share of outdoor dancing fun too, namely Igloofest, welcoming globe-trotting DJs and melting the ice in the Old Port in late January and early February. No matter what season you find yourself in Montréal, there’s always dancing to be done.
In August, Montréal Pride celebrates that history with all kinds of events and late-night parties where electronic music takes centre stage (along with the dancers, of course). Major LGBTQ+ parties Black & Blue Festival and Bal en blanc also keep up the tradition while making new moves.
Robyn Fadden, blogger
Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.