Montreal… The Poor Gay’s Europe

Posted on August 6th, 2009 by .

Last week the Bank of Canada declared that the recession was over.

“We are on track for the recovery both in Canada and globally,” said Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney.

“Wonderful!” I said.

But, if you are like me, the bulge in your pants is certainly not because your pockets are suddenly lined with more cash. It’s going to take a while to actually feel the financial change of seasons.

In the meantime, there are ways to satiate your wanderlust (or lust for Canadian bacon) in economically challenging times.

Here are 6 great reasons why Montreal might be the perfect choice for you…

  • Style – Montrealers are non-conformists. We have a little slice of every subculture, ranging from disheveled artsy queers to perfectly primped lipstick lezzies to deliciously rolly bears. Grabbing a drink on a patio in the Gay Village is the perfect opportunity to people-watch.
  • History – For all you history buffs out there, Montreal is a hotbed. Did you know that the city’s first executioner was a gay drummer stationed with the French garrison in 1648? The drummer had been sentenced to death when he was busted for the “worst of crimes,” but his life was spared when he accepted the job of executioner. There are many more historic gems to discover. Check out the Pointe à Callière Museum for more.
  • Jetlag – It’s a pain in the ass (not the good kind). Nothing is as annoying as wanting to get out there to tackle the streets of Barcelona, only to be stuck in a coma-like sleep until 3pm. Stick it to jetlag. Come to Montreal.
  • Environment – I take a “harm reduction” approach to travel and tourism. I’m not going to stop traveling; adventure is in my blood (like the need for dark chocolate). I don’t expect you to stop traveling either. When planning a vacation, shorter trips require less fuel, and traveling via train or bus are the most enviro-friendly ways to go. Did you hear that, Torontonians and New Yorkers?
  • Dollar – The last time I went to Europe, I cringed while converting my dollars to Euros. I don’t really need to unpack this one – it’s simple. Your money is going to last longer here.
  • Food – Montreal is a foodie’s wet dream. With a rich French culinary history paired with international immigrant influences, we cover every corner of the world. Oh, and if you need some inspiration, check out my friend Katerine’s Montreal food blog.
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