|Montreal Travel Guide|
Le Plateau Mont-Royal
Loosely bounded by Sherbrooke street to the south, Park Avenue to the West, Mount Royal to the North and St Denis Street to the East, the Plateau is home to everyone from artists and poets to young urban professionals, from new immigrants to students and everyone in between. Utne Reader magazine recently rated the Plateau as one of the hippest neighbourhoods of North America’, ahead of College and Clinton in Toronto and Commercial Drive in Vancouver.
Bars and Night-clubs:
The Plateau is filled with every kind of bar to suit any style. Try these on for size:
Chi-Chi clubs catering to Montreal scenesters: You will not see orderly line-ups outside these clubs. Rather, there will likely be large crowds of people fighting to get the attention of the stone-faced bouncers outside. There is no democracy here – rather, the cooler than cool will cruise past the velvet rope and also past others who may have been waiting for hours to get into the latest hotspot. Depending on the night, these clubs generally play House, Drum n’ Bass, R&B and Funk. Wax Lounge (3481 St-Laurent, 282-0919, this is more like a club than a lounge), Di Salvio (3519 St-Laurent, 845-4337), Tokyo Bar (3709 St-Laurent, 842-6838), Jingxi (410 rue Rachel Est, 990-0994), Jai Bar (3603 St-Laurent, 284-1114), Kokino (3556 St-Laurent, 848-6398). Things change quickly around here, so be sure to consult the Montreal Mirror Magazine, or its French counterparts, ICI and Voir – all of which are available for free every Thursday – to find out which nights are cool at which clubs.
Lounges are not as big as they used to be in Montreal, but a few are still worth checking out: Jello Bar (151 Ontario E, 285-2621), Luba Lounge (2109, rue Bleury, 288-LUBA), Blizzarts (3956A St-Laurent, 843-4860), Sofa (451, rue Rachel E, 285-1011), Allegra (3523A St-Laurent, 845-4337), are all excellent spots.
More relaxed bars, some with great terraces to enjoy: Bacci (3552 Saint-Laurent - 287-9331) a three floor pool emporium and bar with daily drink specials. Vol De Nuit (corner of St-Laurent and Prince Arthur with excellent terrace), Le Sugar (3616 St-Laurent, 287-6555), Bily Kun (354 Mont-Royal E, 845-5392), and Cafe Frappe up the street on Saint-Laurent. Copa Cabana (Next to Frappe 3910 St.Laurent) and Biftek (also in the same area as Frappe 3702 St. Laurent); Angel's (corner of Prince Arthur and St Laurent 3604 St. Laurent 282-9944).
Crescent Street, Bishop Street and Ste-Catherine Street West
As St-Denis is to Francophones, Crescent Street is to Anglophones. Crescent street is a compact grouping of restaurants, clubs, cafes and boutiques - way too many to list them all here. The advantage is that everything is so close you can literally go from bar to bar to bar without walking more than a few steps at a time.
While the patrons of this short strip are conspicuously less well-dressed and less cool than their St-Laurent and St-Denis counterparts, they are just as ready to party all night, and are somewhat less discerning in their disposition towards random romantic liaisons. There are many English- and Irish-style pubs to go along with the sometimes cheesy, but always-packed Hi NRG dance clubs. During the summer, there is barely any room to walk, as tourists join Montrealers in reveling in the summer heat as they jostle for space along the street they call Crescent.
Bars and Night-clubs:
Crescent is notorious for its pickup scene and the primary joints of this strain are Sir Winston Churchill’s (1455 Crescent St., (514) 288-0623), Thursdays (1449 Crescent St., (514) 288-5656) and DJ’s. Every night, these places are packed with people ready to find, not so much "Mr. or Mrs. Right", but "Mr. or Mrs. Right Now".
Irish Pubs are all over the area; some of the more popular ones are Hurley’s (Crescent St below Sainte-Catherine, 1225 Crescent St.) and McKibbons (1426 Bishop, Montreal (514) 288-1580). Night-clubs on Crescent include Sessions (right next door to Weinstein and Gavino’s), Club Extreme, and Electric Avenue.Some of the bars to check out are: Brutopia (1219 Crescent Street 514 393-9277, Hard Rock Cafe (1458 Crescent Street, 514 987-1420), Platinum (1220 Crescent 514-485-1712), and Stogies (2015 Crescent 514-848-0069)
The Latin Quarter
The Latin Quarter, centred around Saint-Denis street below Sherbrooke, is a lively area filled with bars and bars and more bars, specializing in beers brewed by Quebec micro-breweries. During the summer, the Latin Quarter is home base to the world famous Just for Laughs comedy festival, the largest one of its kind in the world. Jugglers and clowns mix with off-the-cuff comedians who are making the masses laugh at their jokes or at themselves.
The staple of the strip is Le Saint-Sulpice, which has a huge terrace and is located in an old Saint-Denis mansion. You can go from room to room in the house and drink all night. Most of the bars in the area are very similar – so explore and enjoy!
St Catherine East. Many after hour clubs are in this stretch of the Montreal, also home to the gay village which is also known for its happening dance and bar venues. Places to check out are Sona (1439 Bleury 514 282-1000), Groove Society (1288 Amherst 514-284-1999), K.O.X (gay establishment 1164 St Catherine East 514 596-2777) all after hours dance venues spinning good house music.
Casino de Montreal
Opened just recently- the casino of Montreal is in a beautiful modern structure that was built for Expo 1967. It was clearly refurbished to house a casino and it's interior is an interesting blend of dramatic lighting and glass floors. There is a dress code- no sneakers or shorts- and minimum age is 18. Check out the view of the skyline from the casino- it is pretty amazing. A multitude of slot machines await your quarters and loonies as well as many blackjack tables. Open till 3 am every night- whatever you do- do not spend all your tuition money on these games- Since it is government owned all the money is going back to them and we all know how they are already screwing us by decreasing education funding- don't give them more.