So I know what you’re thinking… Canada? Partying? It’s a land of mountains, pine trees and lumberjacks so why on earth would I want to party there? Well I’m here to tell you differently.
Yes Canada is a beautiful country, and yes there are still quite a few lumberjacks chopping down trees (though I don’t know about the buttered scones for tea bit), but it is also a great place to party.
Canada’s Party Capital
Take Montreal as an example. This bustling city is known as being Canada’s most vibrant when it comes to nightlife, and in fact it’s renowned around the world as being a top nightlife destination, up there with the likes of New York, Bangkok, and Dublin. This is the place to head for Canadian nightlife and entertainment.
Set in the province of Quebec, Montreal is a bi-lingual (English and French speaking) city, and is the second largest city (behind Toronto) in the country. It became known as a centre for nightlife back in the days of the US Prohibition when Americans would travel north to get their fill of booze, and the reputation for partying seems to have stuck.
So what makes Montreal such a great place to party?
Several things make Montreal such a great party city – there’s a high student population here so this has a knock-on effect as there’s an increased number of bars and clubs to cater to them; the drinking age is 18 compared to 21 in some parts of the world; there’s an excellent public transport system making it easier to stay out late and not have to worry about the journey back to your hotel; and finally, places are open til late. The “last call” is 3am so you have until the wee hours of the morning to party away!
Another great thing about Montreal is its different neighbourhoods. There isn’t just one street that’s well endowed with bars and clubs, there are many. Downtown is among the most active neighbourhoods, as you’d expect, but Quartier Latin is very vibrant too, and there are usually splits between the English and the French speaking sections, plus there are areas with a high gay population, so something for everyone.
More Canadian Party Cities
But Montreal isn’t the only place to party in Canada. The country’s largest city, Toronto, comes a close second and this “city of neighbourhoods” has many individual neighbourhoods with their own appeal. The Entertainment District is among the best places for visitors to the city to party though because it’s home to the highest concentration of nightclubs, bars and restaurants in the whole city, boasting approximately 90 nightclubs within just one square kilometre.
Vancouver is party-central for the west coast of Canada and it’s the Granville Entertainment District that leads the way in terms of bars and nightclubs, most with a 3am closing time but some staying open longer on weekends. Gastown and Davie Village are two more popular nightlife spots for Vancouver, with the latter being the hub for the LGBT community.
So next time someone suggests a soiree in Canada, ditch the stereotype Canadian image that’s playing through your mind, and head to Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver for a great night out!
by Claire Bolgil, Travel Writer Extraordinaire