Montreal’s thriving late-night dance club scene rivals bigger cities and has been a favourite destination since the ’70s when the city was known as second biggest disco capital in North America, right behind New York. For visitors, you may be wondering where to find the perfect venue to dance the night away, so here’s a breakdown of some of the top spots to get you started.
EDM, Hip Hop, Electro
Ranked as Canada’s number 1 venue in DJ Mag’s top 100 clubs poll, New City Gas is a massive modern club in an industrial space that attracts an impressive lineup of international DJs and some of the top names in EDM. If you’re looking for somewhere a little smaller and more intimate, Newspeak is a small, avant-garde club in the Latin Quarter. It’s dark and minimalist, and music is perfect for lovers of techno, hip hop, and deep house.
Afterhours Dance Clubs
Stereo’s crystal clear analog sound system provides an experience of aural immersion hard to rival elsewhere. The afterhours section is always open on Friday and Saturday nights, and the club attracts a solid lineup of top name DJs. Packed with party-goers, the dance floor is modelled on New York City’s famed Paradise Garage. Across the street, Circus is the biggest afterhours entertainment complex in Canada. With three rooms, you’ll find world-class techno, house, trance and all styles of electronic music from local talent and internationally recognized artists. You can also expect high-quality lighting and projections, and a great sound system. For an alternative to the big clubs, the Society for Arts and Technology (SAT) often hosts all-night dance parties and DJ sets.
Underground House, Techno, Dub
For a smaller venue, smooth grooves, and great dancing check out Datcha in the Mile End. Local and international DJs keep dancers happy with electro, techno, funk, mulit-culti, and more. It gets pretty packed, but if you need a break, chilled out drinks can be had at adjoined Bar Kabinet— a hip, low-lit, Rasputin-themed space next door that serves great cocktails. A classic Plateau club, Salon Daomé is a small upstairs dance venue on Mont-Royal avenue playing house, deep house, tech house, prog, and dub. Head over here for laidback vibes and cheap drinks.
Hip Hop, R+B, Punk, Latin, and More…
A standard in Montreal for the past 20 years, Tolkyo Bar on St. Laurent Boulevard is a great place to go for throwback hip hop, rap, R&B, and Latin beats. The bar is beloved for free beer, cheap jaeger bombs, and outdoors dancing on the rooftop terrace. Further up St. Laurent, at the corner of Mont-Royal avenue, Le Belmont is a small venue for live acts and DJs with a nice balcony and decent sized floor space. The venue’s original and diversified programming includes electronic music, rock, punk, and rap depending on the night.
Head over to the Gay Village for two of Montreal’s most popular clubs, Club Unity and Sky, multi-level dance clubs with rooftop terraces, and a variety of music nightly. For lovers of punk rock, check out Foufones Électriques, a big, low-lit punk rock bar with cheap drinks—also the place to go for rock and metal. For a more Québecois experience, Le 2 Pierrots is an eclectic showbar in Old Montréal that attracts a predominantly francophone crowd. With a well-situated balcony, packed dancefloor, young crowd, and friendly vibes, it’s definitely a place worth checking out.