Gay Village

Orientation & Geography

North America, Canada, Montreal city

Montreal's Gay Village (The Village, French, Le Village gai or simply Le Village) is located on Saint Catherine Street East, centred on Beaudry metro station, and on Amherst Street in the Ville-Marie borough of the city. The Village runs approximately from Berri Street to De Lorimier Street on Saint Catherine Street, and between Sherbrooke Street and René-Lévesque Boulevard on Amherst Street, a distance of nearly two kilometres, making it the largest in North America in terms of scope of the complete area. Formerly a poor working-class neighbourhood, part of the Centre-Sud area of the city, the area was occupied by the gay and lesbian community after the huge expulsion of many gay businesses from an area closer to Saint Lawrence Boulevard (or "The Main" as the locals call it). The area has been considerably brightened up, thanks in part to recent investment from the various levels of all governments. Indeed, despite repression as late as the early 1990s, recent government support of "Le Village" has been significant. All three levels of government are aggressively promoting the Village, and with the accepting climate of Quebec, and gay life in Montreal as a tourist attraction. In recognition of the Village's importance to the city, Montreal's Ville-Marie borough that includes the Village recently hung a rainbow flag in its council chambers, and recently redecorated the entrance to the Beaudry Metro station found in the heart of the Gay Village with rainbow pillars. The Village is specifically marked on official city maps as "Le Village".