Maybe it’s all the talk of Canadian cold fronts being blamed for the blistery winter weather across America, but I’ve got our northern neighbor on the brain. For those of you considering crossing the border to get hitched, here are some tips for one of my favorite cities Montreal. To me, it’s Paris sans jet lag.
Unlike the Canadian states of Ontario (Toronto) and British Columbia (Vancouver) where couples can pretty much fill out paperwork and get married in one day, Montreal’s state of Quebec makes it a little more difficult to get married. And not just for gays, but for everyone. There’s a requirement that couples need to post their intention to get married at both the courthouse and the location of the ceremony—in case anyone wants to object. So soap opera! There’s also an issue around divorce with some strict residency requirements. Best to consult an attorney in advance. My tip: tie the knot in Toronto, honeymoon in Montreal.
Tastey Stay. What I love about Montreal is the old world charm of the cobblestone streets mixed with a vibrant gay community in The Village. Several of the members of the Gay Chamber of Commerce have packages for gay wedding celebrations. La Loggia Art & Breakfast is a unique B&B with an artistic mission with rates averaging around $150 per night, double occupancy. Set in a brownstone, La Conciergerie has the feel of staying in a classic but modern French guesthouse with rates averaging around $125 per night. Also check out Tourisme Montreal’s special LGBT packages that start at nightly rates of $115 with discounts for dining and drinks and free public transportation.
Tastey Eats. If you love pork, then you absolutely can’t miss the famed Au Pied de Cochon. You’ll feel like a pig eating the much heraled foie gras poutine—French fries with gravy and cheese curds and poached duck liver on top. For a more traditional French bistro experience, my pick is L’Express located in the heart of the Plateau on Rue Saint Denis. It’s not too fancy but packs in a room of elegant locals enjoying the can’t miss steak frites.
Tastey Break. If you visit this summer, pull yourself away from all the male and female eye candy spilling out on the streets of The Village and head to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. From June 17-October 2 the museum is mounting a don’t miss retrospective The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk. The man who put a cone bustier on Madonna and skirts on men deserves some recognition.
Jon Paul Buchmeyer is the author of the award-winning humorous memoir Alphabet City: My So-Called Sitcom Life and writes frequently for Condé Nast Traveler and Bon Appétit magazines. In addition, he is the author of his own popular blogs: ABCityblog.com and Poptimistic.com.