© New City Gas
Dance on the cutting edge
Achieve dance floor 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 with a sound system to match for energetic party-goers. Electronic and hip hop merge at one of the city’s most talked-about clubs, Newspeak, in downtown Montréal’s Quartier des spectacles – dance to cutting-edge DJs, hip-hop artists, live performances by indie-electro bands and more.
© Eva Blue
Nearby in Old Montréal, international and local DJs rub shoulders with the city’s beautiful people as the drinks flow and the dance floors shake: dress up and get ready to dance at boutique-club Peopl., sexy subterranean lounge spot Velvet, hip restaurant and underground dance club Flyjin and high-energy La Voûte Montréal (located in the mysterious vault of the historic Royal Bank of Canada). Not far from Old Montreal in St. Henri, check out one of the newest cocktail bars with a dance floor and sweet sound system, Baby Far West – whether you go for the mixology experience of happy hour or to dance in the welcoming intimate atmosphere.
Dinner and dancing never looked so good or felt so cool: stay for both (or turn happy hour into a late night) at Club Pelicano, serving up great food upstairs while the dancefloor comes alive by night downstairs, at elegant downtown speakeasy Soubois, and at Sans Soleil Bar, a newer bar-restaurant-dance-club right below Japanese restaurant Fleurs et Cadeaux in Chinatown, where you can sip cocktails, sake and natural wines as you dance to classics and electro on vinyl.
© Sébastien Roy
No sleep till Montréal
Dance on and on till the break of dawn in these late-night 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 are as cool as they come, mixing the latest sounds with all-time classics. And dance in one of the city’s most historic buildings at La Voûte nightclub in Old Montreal.
Find eclectic music, deep beats and community vibes at Système on the St. Hubert Plaza: tucked among the shops and restaurants, this new space with ties to Arbutus Records boasts a stellar retro sound system and a roster of DJs from Montreal and beyond – plus there’s food, bubbly and cocktails to fuel your good time. Lucky for us, St. Hubert Plaza also boasts another one of the city’s coolest and community-oriented dance venues, Ausgang Plaza, where local artists throw record release parties, DJs spin one-of-a-kind theme nights and festivals go into party mode.
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, featuring electronic producers and DJs from around the world as well as local favourites. For even more late-night dancing action, watch for hyped DJ sets and parties at the Society for Arts & Technology (SAT) (both on the main floor and in the immersive dome upstairs), Espace Reunion, Eastern Bloc and other loft-like spaces around the city that host all-night music and dancing events.
© Chapter 9
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 live music venue and dance club Le Belmont. Or dive into the LGBTQ+ Village nightlife experience on the rooftop patios of Club Unity or Sky (1478 Sainte-Catherine Street E.) a three-storey club where electro, disco, hip hop, Latin beats and more give everyone something to dance about. treet.
© Eva Blue
Let Montréal’s talented drag queens entertain and delight you in their own fabulous ways at a drag show and then dance the night away! Go directly to Cabaret Mado on Sainte-Catherine Street, where the customers might just be as fab as the drag queens, and to Bar Le Cocktail just down the street.
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. Lose yourself in the music at Muzique and Le Rouge Bar on St. Laurent Boulevard, or dance to ‘80s and ‘90s hits in English and French at Electric Avenue on Crescent Street.
© Tommy Levan, Le Balcon
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 and Motown, world beat, classic rock and more, join the crowd at Le Balcon, located in a unique heritage building behind St. James United Church on Sainte-Catherine Street in downtown Montréal. In summer, check out their outdoor patio: they have DJ nights and evening with Latin dancing!
Themed parties, nightly DJs and great drinks, whether bourbon, beer or 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. Also on Saint-Denis near the corner of Mount-Royal Avenue, go dancing to classic rock and rockabilly at Rockette Bar or opt for house and techno at Pow Pow Bar.
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.
© Société des casinos du Québec
The Casino de Montréal brings Vegas-style entertainment to its cabaret and dance club venues, where you can dance to live music performances and DJs specializing in pop, rock, country and more. And Montréal tango and salsa clubs like Club 649 and Salsathèque sizzle, while Club Balattou spins tropical dance sounds from around the world.
© Susan Moss
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 live music and great dancing at festivals, starting with internationally lauded weekly outdoor dance party Piknic Électronik every Sunday in Parc Jean-Drapeau, welcoming big-name global and local producers, and serving up summertime cocktails and buckets of beers – it’s an experience you have to see to believe!
In July in downtown Montréal, it’s time for the world-famous Festival International de Jazz de Montréal (so many stages, so many types of music to dance to!) and the fabulous African and Carribean sounds of Festival International Nuits d'Afrique on a huge outdoor stage and in venues downtown, in the Plateau neighbourhood and beyond.
© Eva Blue
In late July and early August, don’t miss three days of fun under the Parc Jean-Drapeau sun at major summer festival Osheaga, where you can hop from international headliners on the main stages to tree-lined stages dedicated to electronic music, indie bands and hip hop artists.
Dance to cheerful EDM in a crowd of colourful, jubilant people at two-day electronic music festival îleSoniq Montreal, welcoming famed EDM, techno, trance, hip hop and more electro producers from around the world. There’s definitely something magical about dancing while the setting sun glints off the St. Lawrence River with the city in the distance.
© Eva Blue
And, if country music is your jam, pull on your cowboy boots and get yourself to LASSO Montréal in mid-August at Espace 67 in Parc Jean-Drapeau, where country’s hottest international stars and local talents perform live in the open air.
© Alison Slattery
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+ party Bal en blanc also keeps up the tradition while making new moves. No matter what season you find yourself in Montréal, there’s always dancing to be done.
© MUTEK Edition 23 | Vivien Gaumand
Later in August in downtown Montréal’s Quartier des spectacles, dance and bask in the electronic artistry of legendary digital arts and music festival MUTEK.
In the fall, the global diversity of Mundial Montréal gets us moving on the dance floor and the indie-rock, hip hop and electronic eclecticism of POP Montréal International Music Festival fills popular venues and outdoor spaces with music-loving crowds.
© Eva Blue
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, and MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE cultural and food festival in late February, where DJs and live performances warm up the Quartier des spectacles outdoor and indoor stages.