Over the past decade, the gayborhood has morphed into what’s often termed a “post-gay” neighborhood. At many LGBT-owned businesses, you’re apt to bump into plenty of straight folks as well — and vice versa. And it’s a good bet that the formerly explicitly gay neighborhoods will continue to become steadily more diverse — including the influx of the dreaded “hipster”. But if you can get beyond the sometimes precious conceits of these trendy urban districts, you’ll discover some of the best businesses and restaurants in the country.
Every day for the next two weeks, we’ll be taking a look at a dozen of the most dynamic and interesting post-gay neighborhoods in the United States and Canada. These aren’t necessarily the biggest or the most popular — just a good sampling of especially notable ones.
To see all the articles in this series, click here.
Traditionally the city’s close-knit Jewish neighborhood, Mile End is in Montréal’s upper Plateau area, just north of lovely Parc du Mont-Royal. A couple of miles west of downtown and the bright-pink Gay Village, the neighborhood is a short walk from the Mont-Royal and Laurier metro stations and has become a bastion of dining, nightlife, and shopping in recent years.
You’ll find a nice mix of indie clothiers and trendy eateries on Boulevard St-Laurent, including homey Le Cagibi and romantic modern French restaurant L’Atelier. Off of St-Laurent, good streets for strolling and soaking up the neighborhood’s arty energy include Avenue Fairmont and Avenue du Mont-Royal, which are a bit more gentrified and upscale the farther south you go toward the Parc du Mont-Royal.
One major asset in this part of town is the wealth of terrific ethnic restaurants, including Restaurant Soy (for modern Chinese) and Sel Gras, a stylish spot that specializes in Mediterranean and French Canadian fare with a farm-to-table approach. A must in these parts is Fairmount Bagel, a 24-hour shop that bakes famous Montréal-style bagels — it’s a fun stop late at night or on weekend mornings. Next door, Kem CoBa serves tantalizing homemade ice creams and sorbets in imaginative flavors.
For late-night drinking and hobnobbing, check out HELM Microbrasserie, which draws a mixed crowd for craft beer and cocktails.
This article is one in a series about post-gayborhoods.
(Featured image via Nav Jagpal/Flickr)