Maybe it doesn’t really seem like it right now, but summer is around the corner. With the warm weather,  residents are waiting for the rainbow pedestrian road on Sainte-Catherine St. to make its colourful return in the gay village Montreal is renowned for. 

Of course, this has everything to do with the Gay Village, which is going to be decorated with thousands of colorful hanging balls.

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Montreal’s Gay Village is the biggest in population on the entire continent, so it’s no wonder the decorations are next level. Montreal embraces their LGBTQ communities like no other, hosting events, festivals and parties all through the year.

Gay Village Montreal
Photo: Denis Chabot

Aires Libres

The city changed things up last year, switching from the traditional pink balls to a full rainbow of colors.

As soon as the balls are up, the road will be closed off to cars and transform into a fabulous pedestrian walkway and it’s almost time for the transition. The balls are usually hung at the beginning of May and keep things bright until September, during the Montreal event known as AIRES LIBRES.

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Take a walk around the neighbourhood’s narrow and winding side street and enjoy the vast array of trendy businesses from cafes to restaurants and boutiques to antique shops to satisfy any taste. You’ll definitely observe different styles from ultra chic to downright kitsch – both of which will provide the most unique shopping experience.

Amherst Street is renowned for its vintage shops and home decor stores where you can choose from a wide array of retro tables and chairs as well as clothes and collectibles created by Quebec artisans. You’ll find that the antique shops in the Village generally specialize in everything 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s.

@ Stain Jacques Market/Facebook

But, whatever you do, consider taking public transit to the Village because parking is a challenge, and that’s putting lightly. It’s easy! Just take the Metro and get off at Beaudry. While in the Village, stop by the Saint-Jacques Market for gourmet cheeses and more!