Montréal Underground Origins Blog

An alternative guide to 1974 Montreal: Montréal Insolite, pt. 2


Montréal Insolite


In the second part of this small guide you will find a list of places we recommend visiting. This list is far from complete because we would almost need to publish a mini phone directory to describe all the restaurants, hotels and nightclubs of Montreal.

We apologize in advance to the owners of the locations we missed.

For those who love to eat, the Montreal Star published, in French, a guide to all the restaurants in Montreal. We recommend it highly because it describes about 260 of the best restaurants in town.

All major hotels downtown operate great restaurants we have ignored in this guide.

Most of these hotels also put on elaborate shows.

Le Caf-Conc of Château Champlain and the Bonaventure Room of the Queen Elizabeth present world-class performances. These “super-clubs” are very popular.


The nocturnal world has its own personality, its laws, its customs and its regulars. Just like it’s normal for people with the same tastes to revolve around a common center of interest, some areas in a city quickly acquire a particular character.

Montreal is no exception to the rule. The city center itself is completely different, from one area to the other. Montreal is the meeting place of two cultures and that creates an absolutely unusual vis-à-vis phenomenon: a kind of parallelism of special neighbourhoods.

Thus, the English “hippies” go to clubs on Crescent Street. They’ll enjoy the terrace of the Poor Richard’s or Chez Oliver’s… while their French-language counterparts gravitate around clubs of Saint-Denis Street, or savour a beer on the terraces of Old Montreal.

However, these are far from exclusive milieus! On the contrary, there are many exchanges between the “hippies” of the west and their friends from the east. This phenomenon is visible at all levels! Be it homosexuals or people with orgiastic tendencies. This is the uniqueness of Montreal! We can have fun in two completely different cultural perspectives.


La rue Crescent et ses boutiques. Crescent Street and its shops.

La rue Crescent et ses boutiques. Crescent Street and its shops.

It is very easy to navigate in Montreal. St. Laurent serves as the median line between east and west. To the west, English traditionally predominates, while in the east, it’s the stronghold of the Parti Québécois. At least, that’s the situation in theory. But Montreal internationalizes week by week, so the balance of power tends to evolve.

North and south, there are several neighbourhoods predominantly Italian, Greek, Lebanese and Portuguese. The whole, interspersed with English and French strains of Quebecers. In recent years, one can see a clear regression in some neighborhoods. Old Montreal has abandoned them to let the newcomers. This is a phenomenon seen in all major North American cities.

Place-Jacques-Cartier, "nous chantons" - "we sing"

Place-Jacques-Cartier, “nous chantons” – “we sing”

If we exclude the city center, so the neighbourhood bounded by Guy Street to the west; Papineau Street to the east; Pine Avenue and Mount Royal Street to the north; and the St. Lawrence River to the south, each neighborhood has its own personality… its little personal touch. Remarkably, in every corner of the metropolis, one can find high-quality restaurants. It is not for nothing that Montreal has earned the title of gourmet paradise!

The east of Montreal which includes Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Longue-Pointe and Tétreaultville has a distinctly French character. This is where working class and petty bourgeois reside.

In these neighborhoods, nightlife is almost nonexistent. After midnight, all is quiet. However, one can find a few great restaurants like Sambo on Sherbrooke where the chef offers the best dishes of French cuisine and of Chinese cuisine. There is also a great piano-bar featuring the best Quebec singers.

Live From Earth, Prince Arthur, 1974

Live From Earth, Prince Arthur, 1974

If you want to flirt with a nice young Montrealer, you can go to Tropicana Café, corner Sherbrooke and Sheppard, an immense club dedicated to dancing, or at Prof Maboule, a busy nightclub on the ground floor of the same establishment. There is also the famous Café de l’Est, at the corner of Notre Dame and Bennett, one of the few places in Montreal where you can see a quality show.

Parc Olympique, Olympic Park, 1974

Parc Olympique, Olympic Park, 1974


Le Toit Rouge
5440 est, rue Sherbrooke, 259-3748
Spécialité, grillades et rôti de boeuf.
Excellent et prix modérés.

Le Sambo
5666 est, rue Sherbrooke, 256-1694.
Au choix, cuisine française ou chinoise toutes deux bien apprêtées.
Prix modérés.

Rieno Restaurant
3950 est rue Sherbrooke, 254-4555
Cuisine type nord-américain, prix modérés.

Le Sambo, 5666 Sherbrooke E.

Le Sambo, 5666 Sherbrooke E.

6583 est, rue Sherbrooke, 259-1580
Cuisine canadienne. Spécialité, club sandwich. Prix modérés.


Le Versailles
7200 est, rue Sherbrooke, 256-1613
Restaurant. Belle atmosphère.
Classe 3

Montreal Tourist Motel
6800 est, rue Sherbrooke.
Classe 3

Motel Métropole
5225 Métropolitain est,
Classe 3

Motel Le Diplomate
4645 est boul. Métropolitain,
Classe 3

Kambo Motel
5775 est, rue Sherbrooke, 255-5691
Classe 4

Motel Jacques Cartier
14070 est, rue Sherbrooke, 642-4533
Classe 3

Montréal Insolite

Le Lucerne,
4950 est, rue Sherbrooke,
Restaurant excellent, belle atmosphère.
Classe 3


5500 est, rue Sherbrooke, 256-9011
Hôtel classe 2

New Palace Hotel
2204 rue Mont-Royal e., 225-0187
Hôtel classe 4

Clubs de nuit et discothèques

Le Piano-Bar du Sambo
5666 est, rue Sherbrooke
Endroit relaxant, musique douce.
Au sous-sol une discothèque qui n’est vraiment fréquentée que durant la fin de semaine.

Le Shed 25
7008 est, rue Notre-Dame
Strip-tease de midi à la fermeture.
Bar typique du quartier. Propriété de Terry Evanshen, l’as-flanqueur des Alouettes.

Café de l’Est
4558 est, rue Notre-Dame
L’un des rares clubs de nuit à présenter encore un excellent spectacle avec des artistes québécois.

Montréal Insolite

Le Robot,
9385 est, boul. Gouin

Chez Mado
10181 bout. Pie IX
Spectacles variés

Café des Ponts
11639 boul. Pie IX

Café du Nord
10715 boul. Pie IX
Spectacle tous les soirs, excellent Steak House tout à côté.
Piano-Bar au sous-sol.

Jardins Botanique 1974 Botanical Gardens

Jardins Botanique 1974 Botanical Gardens

Le Tropicana,
Immense salle de danse, orchestre
2901 Sherbrooke est.

Le prof Maboule
2901 Sherbrooke est,
Discothèque à la mode fréquentée par les plus jolies filles du quartier.

La Porte Ste-Catherine
3767 est, rue Ste-Catherine.
Danseuses à gogo.

La Paysanne
2693 est, rue Ontario.

Café Champs de Lys
1930 rue Delorimier
Spectacles, bar typique de quartier.

Casino Royal
4645 est boul. Métropolitain
Spectacles de choix.

Montréal Insolite

Les quartiers sud de Montréal. The southern neighbourhoods of Montreal.

Les quartiers sud de Montréal. The southern neighbourhoods of Montreal.

The southern districts of Montreal, Saint-Henri, Côte St-Paul and Ville Emard essentially have the same character. However, the nightlife is brighter. There are, in fact, typical working class clubs such as Lépine, Robert Bar Lounge where striptease reigns supreme and Cafe Pagoda, the locals’ rendezvous. The best local restaurant is Da Giuseppe, on Notre Dame near the De La Montagne Street, where Italian specialties are a real delight.


Da Giusseppe
1426 ouest, rue Notre-Dame,
L’un des meilleurs restaurants italiens de la métropole. Spécialité, fettuchini, spaghetti et lasagne. Les scallopinis de veau sont à recommander. Beau décor, prix raisonnables. Excellents vins.

Trivi Pizzeria
800 rue de l’Eglise,
La meilleure pizza du quartier.

Restaurants Dillalo.
6901 boul. Monk
2523 Notre-Dame ouest.
2532 Ontario est.
3990 Beaubien est.
Une nouvelle chaîne de restaurants en voie d’établissement. On en retrouvera bientôt dans tous les coins de la métropole. On peut y déguster les meilleurs hamburgers au Québec et les Montréalais font des milles pour s’y régaler. On y mange à satiété pour un prix plus que raisonnable.

l'échangeur Turcot Interchange. Une œuvre géniale de nos ingénieurs québécois.

l’échangeur Turcot Interchange. Une œuvre géniale de nos ingénieurs québécois.

Endroits spéciaux

Le Parc Angrignon
Un immense oasis de verdure situé boul. des Trinitaires et Lavérendry. On y installera peut-être le Zoo de Montréal. C’est un projet qui dort depuis plus de dix ans mais qu’on réveille périodiquement.


Belvedere Motel
7250 boul. Montréal-Toronto.
Classe 3.

Cavalier Motel
6951 St-Jacques ouest.
Classe 3.

Laval Motel
6710 St-Jacques ouest.
Classe 3.

Montreal West End Motel
6700 St-Jacques ouest.
Classe 3.

Motel Colibri,
6960 St-Jacques ouest.

Nittolo’s Garden Motel
6580 St-Jacques ouest.

Club de nuit.

Lépine Bar Salon
2616 Jolicoeur.
Travestis en soirée.

Le Robert Bar-Salon
5090 ouest, rue Notre-Dame.
Striptease et gogo de midi à la fermeture. Bar typique du quartier.

Yvan Symonds

Yvan Symonds

Le Café Pagoda.
1875 ouest, Notre-Dame.
Orchestre bavaroise.

Le Gigi Lounge
6688 boul. Monk.

Le Barina,
2015 de l’Eglise.
Une immense discothèque où toutes les filles du quartier se donnent rendez-vous la fin de semaine.

Old Chum
Atwater et Notre-Dame.
Un trio pour la danse.

An alternative guide to 1974 Montreal: Montréal Insolite, pt. 1  
 Blue Metropolis: Montreal 1975 / 2015 discussion

Leave a Comment


  1. John
    Tuesday, January 26th, 2016
    Question - what was the name of bar before Ziggy's on Crescent. Street.
    • David McCarthy
      Friday, June 19th, 2020
      The Wrong Number
  2. Marvin
    Sunday, July 9th, 2017
    There was as Italian Resto on Cote Des Neiges near the now Metro with a large water fountain. What was it called?
    • Casey
      Tuesday, October 9th, 2018
      Chez Vito
    • thomas szirmay
      Friday, December 4th, 2020
  3. Richard Skelly
    Sunday, December 10th, 2017
    Well done. This definitely captures the era.

    As a West Coaster, I spent summer ‘74 taking French Immersion at the University Of Montreal. Program leaders Chantal Massinon and Pierre Nadeau included a visit to local restaurants in the curriculum. I’m pretty sure Le Gobelet was on the list. After hours, I remember great nights at Cafe Campus soaking up sounds from artists such as Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee.

    I arrived a few weeks before the course to better soak up the city’s cultural ambience. One of my local guides was Liam Mullan. Arguably Canada’s greatest record promo man of that era, he had recently relocated from Vancouver, but knew Montreal well.

    That summer also featured a huge outdoor anti-Vietnam War event with Jane Fonda as a featured speaker. Rounding things out, day or night, was superb bilingual rock radio, courtesy of CHOM.

    Plus there was an unforgettable open air concert pairing Joni Mitchell with French chanteuse Veronique Sanson. Joni was backed up by Tom Scott and the LA Express. While Sanson performed, I briefly chatted with Veronique’s then-husband Stephen Stills. He popped up by the mid-field mixing board to ensure technicians made adjustments for his new spouse’s unique voice.

    Again, salut to this site’s curators for using text and photos to bring to life a very special year in Montreal.
  4. Richard Skelly
    Sunday, December 31st, 2017
    Since commenting December 10, I learned Chantal Massinon passed away in 1999. As a French language instructor, she was nonpareil. My classroom time with this woman extraordinaire helped me navigate Montreal during the rest of summer of ‘74 and a subsequent trip. A loving reminiscence of Chantal, posted by friend Anne Aucy, survives at

    Au revoir, Chantal.

    Richard Skelly
  5. Holly Avila
    Sunday, July 1st, 2018
    If you hung out in Le Vieux Montreal that summer, I was the American hippie woman singing on the streets with my Quebec Quoi girl friend. I wrote a song that summer that is on my CD, Mountains Back Home, and I'm writing my memoirs from that summer, since I kept a journal at the time. I would love any photos from those years, particularly of the Iroquois Hotel, where I often stayed.
    • Mary
      Tuesday, October 16th, 2018
      Hi Carole,
      I sure do remember, having spend most of my (underage then) evenings there for 2 years and so. It was very special, roomy for dance, aery with its two floors height, and the crowd was really nice.
      I think the address was 1226 Stanley.
      But in mémories it seem to have been shadowed by the close bu Lime Light... Which I never liked as much.
      Many friendships there... I wonder were every one is gone.
      Hope live have been good to you. :)
  6. Carole
    Saturday, September 15th, 2018
    Does anybody remember the Lorelei dance hall on Santly st. ..?
    • Mary
      Tuesday, October 16th, 2018
      Tuesday, October 16th, 2018
      Hi Carole,
      I sure do remember, having spend most of my (underage then) evenings there for 2 years and so. It was very special, roomy for dance, aery with its two floors height, and the crowd was really nice.
      I think the address was 1226 Stanley.
      But in mémories it seem to have been shadowed by the close bu Lime Light... Which I never liked as much.
      Many friendships there... I wonder were every one is gone.
      Hope live have been good to you. :)
    • Edith
      Monday, December 31st, 2018
      Yes! I used to go there all the time in the mid-70s when I was 18 or so. Loved dancing there.
    • Casey M
      Thursday, February 18th, 2021
      Yep wasn't called Loreleight right next to Limelight... One of my first underage clubes I frequented. Is was a open 2 floor club, huge Dance floor in the center, Band at the end. Second floor, here was tables all around onto opened flor!
    • Mary and Kim
      Tuesday, November 1st, 2022
      Sure Carole, I loved so much the place and ambiance.
      We were underage, then but we spend night there nearly all week long for 2 years or so. A lovely and very special place, very unusual and 70"... And I knew nearly all the regulars customers. I wish I have kept contact, or at least have some pictures.
  7. Vicki, Chicago, IL
    Monday, November 12th, 2018
    Hi! I passed through Montreal in the summer of '74 and have always wondered where I stayed. My girlfriend and I were backpacking and we met a student who invited us back to his dorm downtown. It was a high rise and there were police outside but we walked in no problem. Inside we were able to buy and smoke marijuana freely. We appreciated the hospitality. Any idea what school that was?
    • Steve
      Monday, February 4th, 2019
      Sounds like YMCA on Stanley street
  8. Barbara Farnham
    Tuesday, June 16th, 2020
    Trying to find a magazine type information for my brother who worked at Le Gobelet in the 70 's
    Les dernieres annee de le Gobelet
  9. Celine
    Thursday, April 8th, 2021
    Quels souvenirs! Merci!
  10. Win
    Monday, September 6th, 2021
    Does anyone remember the restaurant La Tour Eiffel on rue Stanley . There was a wonderful chanteuse from Guadeloupe who sang beautiful songs and played guitar. Wish I could recall her name.
  11. Alexander MacDonald
    Thursday, May 5th, 2022
    Looking for the name of the mall that eventually morphed into Eaton centre.
    Octagonal split level with lots of sets of stairs . A truly confusing place.
    Roughly where 750-800 Ste Catherine o
    Thanks! Alex
    • Christine
      Monday, July 4th, 2022
      The shopping Center before it became The Eaton Centre was called ‘Les Terrace’
      - as you described it - it was multiple floors - rather confusing to navigate I must say. I once found a purse I really liked and went back the next week to purchase it and never found the store again lol.
      In the basement level they had a mini Julip ( big orange - just like the one on Decarie Blvd) where they sold Orange Julip!
    • Lesley
      Sunday, July 10th, 2022
      "Les Terrasses" from 1976–1987.