Editor's Trip: Montreal Summer Weekend

Montreal has always been on my bucket list of places to visit. After making several trips to Paris, I’ve always wanted to compare the 2 French-speaking cities. So I decided to plan a relatively inexpensive solo trip to visit The City of Saints in July. What I discovered during my extended summer weekend is that Montreal is a friendlier-version of Paris, especially for an American who is not fluent in French.

Green spaces with off-the-beaten-path hiking trails, Old World architecture, cobblestone streets and a vibrant, charming LGBT community are all reasons why I enjoyed my first intimate encounter with this city. In order to embrace everything Montreal has to offer, I recommend visiting this metro-accessible city in the summertime, when it comes alive with dozens of fun festivals and Rue Sainte-Catherine in the city’s gay neighborhood, The Village, transforms into a pedestrian thoroughfare.

Here are some of my gay-friendly recommendations for things to do if you’re planning your first summer trip to Montreal.

Les Hôtels Gouverneur

Stay at the Hotel Gouverneur Place Dupris Montreal

Located on the corner of Rue Saint-Hubert and Rue Saint-Catherine in The Village, Hotel Gouverneur Place Dupris is a place to rest your head when you’re not sightseeing or venturing out to grab a drink or a bite to eat at one of the area's many bars or restaurants. In addition to a great concierge service, enjoy the amazing $15 continental breakfast that includes fresh pastries, fruit and morning fare like scrambled eggs and French toast. Don’t let the understated and sometimes dingy décor scare you from making a reservation here. The hotel’s moderate rates, package deals and close proximity to the Metro make it a perfect location for tourists.
Hotel Gouverneur Place Dupris

1415 Rue Saint-Hubert, Montreal, QC H2L 3Y9, Canada

Get Directions

Phone: +1 514-842-4881

Cacao 70

Indulge in a Decadent Brunch at Cacao 70

If you miss Hotel Gouverneur’s continental breakfast, then you’re only a short walk away from Cacao 70, a restaurant that serves decedent chocolate-laced brunch fare. As with most restaurants along Rue Saint-Catherine, take advantage of the al fresco seating and enjoy chocolate-infused items like the Illegal Chocolate Waffle, Chocolate Chunks Oatmeal, Intense Black & White Chocolate Crepe Roll and Young’s Chocolate Beer. Cacao also serves food for patrons who don’t have a need to satisfy their sweet tooth. Try the crepes, grilled sandwiches, frittatas or my favorite, the Lazy Breakfast with scrambled eggs, country-style ham, sausage, bacon, potatoes, baked beans and fresh fruit drizzled with melted chocolate.
Cacao 70

2087 Rue Sainte-Catherine Quest Montreal, QC H3H 1M6, Canada

Get Directions

Phone: +1 514-933-1688

Tourisme Montréal, Rosalie Pépin

Go Jogging on Mont Royal/Parc du Mont-Royal

Enjoy the beautiful summer weather and head to Parc du Mont-Royal, one of Montreal’s largest green spaces. Frederick Law Olmstead -- who also co-designed New York’s Central Park -- designed this park that sits on a hill west of downtown Montreal. Relax and commune with nature as well as dozens of bikers, joggers, birdwatchers and tourists along a few multi-purpose paths. Walk to Chalet du Mont Royal and pass the semicircle plaza -- usually occupied by skateboarders -- to get an amazing panoramic view of downtown Montreal from the Kondiaronk Belvedere Lookout. Explore the trails, grab a bite to eat at Maison Smith, and on Sundays, experience Tam Tams, a fun hand drum jam session. It’s not uncommon to catch the smell of marijuana wafting in the air.
Mont Royal/Parc du Mont-Royal

1260 Remembrance Road, Montreal, QC H3H 1A2, Canada

Get Directions

Phone: +1 514-843-8240

About the Author

Kwin Mosby is a managing producer for When he’s not working, Kwin visits relaxing beach locations, cultural urban epicenters and prime destinations for outdoor enthusiasts, such as Costa Rica, Miami, Santorini, Barcelona, New York City, Paris, London and Brazil. Follow his adventures @KwinMosby.

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