With so many universities in Quebec’s largest city – and a legal drinking age of 18 – the nightlife here is always pulsing, even in the depths of winter. Montreal has two main clubbing districts: Crescent Street, to the west of downtown, and Saint Laurent Boulevard, to the east. We guide you around the 10 best dance floors in town.
A mainstay of the Montreal club scene, Stereo attracts international DJs and musicians who energize its old-school sound system with relentless house and techno. Since 1998, Stereo has appealed to the city’s thriving late-late crowd; the sprung dance floor also has shock absorbers, and it’s always thick with partiers.
Part music venue and part bar, Le Belmont has been at the heart of Montreal’s active nightlife for more than 20 years. With a range of original programming every week that includes concerts and club nights, it covers every genre, from electronic music to hip-hop, rock, soul, jazz and burlesque. There’s definitely something for everyone at this Plateau hotspot.
Datcha is a Mile End neighborhood bar and nightclub that plays an eclectic mix of electro, house, funk, disco and “multiculti” beats. Promoting both local and international DJs, this spot has a dark, intimate setting comprising two separate rooms: a dance floor in one and the Kabinet in the other, where inventive cocktails are created and served up.
A newcomer to the city’s nightlife scene, La Voûte had its grand opening in 2017. Located in Montreal’s first skyscraper, the vault of the old Royal Bank has been repurposed as an upscale club that caters to a sophisticated clientele in the historic Old Montreal neighbourhood.
Le Rouge Bar has been voted as one of Montreal’s best nightclubs for more than a decade. With two floors, Rouge serves up the city’s hottest DJs in a relaxed atmosphere on Friday and Saturday nights. Located at Prince Arthur and Saint-Laurent, this club is always a good bet for a lively night out.
Unity can be found in the heart of Montreal’s gay village. With three floors, a VIP lounge, and large rooftop terrace, Unity appeals to a varied and diverse crowd that comes for the two different styles of music every night and great entertainment with animation, drags, and more.
Located off the beaten track in Griffintown, New City Gas is housed in a complex that was built in 1859 to transform coal into gas for lighting the streets and buildings of Montreal. Today, the heritage building has been repurposed into an entertainment space that covers 3,700sqm (40,000sqft) across two floors. New City Gas hosts a range of large events, including private functions and New Year’s Eve parties. Every week, more than 3,000 people head here to party to the tunes of internationally renowned DJs and artists.
Montreal’s best alternative bar and venue since 1983, Foufounes Electriques will appeal to those who are less inclined to the standard club fare of house and techno beats. Les Foufs (as it’s affectionately called by locals) is easily identifiable by the giant spider sculpture climbing its exterior wall on St Catherine Street. The three-floor space includes dance floors, pool tables, a stage for bands, and a booth for DJs, and during the warmer months, there is a great outdoor patio. Foufounes caters to punk, metal, hardcore, and electronica fans, regularly hosting top local as well as international bands; in the past, they’ve hosted big names such as Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana and the Smashing Pumpkins.
Another relative newcomer to the scene, Allure, located on Mackay Street at the heart of the city, is where people come to unwind after work with a drink, relax with friends and even party into the early hours. There’s a large island bar and an expansive dance floor, along with a lounge that has its own bar and staff. Music and entertainment are covered by some of Montreal’s best live DJs and dance bands.
Salon Daomé is a former dance school gone wild, offering up some of the best deep house, electro and techno in the city. Located on Avenue du Mont-Royal in the Plateau neighbourhood, with unique décor including African rococo furniture and other eclectic designs. Salon Daomé is a relatively small, loft-like space with a casual vibe and cheap drinks.