Montreal men are unlike any other on Earth. Charming and handsome while finicky and confusing AF, they are a special breed of fabulous that my friends and I hate to love love to hate.*
*Kinda depends on the day.
Having been a serial dater for the past few years, here is both a guide and tribute to the men I’ve liked, loved, hated, forgiven and loved again in the city I call my home, affixed lovingly with my specially designed terms of endearments (hope you enjoy them). Please note that this is in no way an exhaustive list, and only meant to reflect a sample smorgasbord of the boys I am most familiar with. It also excludes the largest group of all – French Canadians – as these fabulous boys deserve an entire post to themselves (stay tuned).
The West Island Bro-tein Shakes
You can find these fine lads lifting- likely for several hours at a time, and sometimes twice a day – at my favourite gym in Montreal, Monster Gym. This gym is riddled with autographed posters of heavyweight champions and fitness models. It’s a fitness fiend’s paradise, and the choice workout locale for the Broteins.
These men are unlike the typical men you’ll meet at some of the other gyms in Montreal who hit on girls mid squat. Not these fellas. Side glances aside, they’re focused on dem gains, except for the occasional gym selfie to record their progress. They down BCAA’s like it ain’t no thang. They might throw you a respectful nod if they catch you sweating it out while doing assisted pull-ups.
They are often tatted up and typically drink vodka soda.
Ideal for: a fitness chick, girls who lift and boss ass b*tches.
East End Expats
The East End Expats are boys I likely went to high school with. They are often of Italian ethnicity. If they’re single and don’t live at home, they’ve likely escaped the cultural bubble of St. Leonard / Riviere des Prairies / Montreal North to either move to the Plateau or Downtown Montreal. They frequent bars on Saint Laurent, and have traded in their leather jackets, Adidas and hairbands from their days of high school yore for V neck shirts, outfits that may double as sleepwear and stylized facial hair. They almost all play an instrument, and in their earlier twenties, you could find them at their collective jam spaces that they affectionately referred to us “pads”. They try their best to use more culturally refined language, but they’ve still got their loveable East End accents, sometimes letting expressions like “Miii…”, “It’s not for you” and “bro” slip out as well as their tell tale mispronunciation of any words that feature a TH in them (i.e. “dat’s not normal” as opposed to “that’s not normal). They get Scarface and Godfather references, but want you to know they appreciate Vice News as well. They love good music, good times, and are awesome guys to party with.
Ideal for: sexy ladies who appreciate hipsters with an Italian flair.
Lavallers are so named for growing up in Laval, an island just north of Montreal. If they still live in Laval, they may frequent some local joints including Café Univers, Publiks and Moomba’s. A subculture include the Nouveau Lavallers: East Enders who have immigrated to bigger homes in Laval, now living in slightly more luxury on slightly less expensive land.
Ideal for: those who appreciate going to nice restaurants with ample parking , movie theaters and quiet walks (possibly with pets in tow) away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Made in France
As Quebec is a French-speaking province, many French Europeans are attracted to our fine, European influenced city, free to speak their native language (though, arguably, French Canadian is akin to comparing English as spoken in the UK to American English). These charming men may or may not work for Ubisoft, a video game company that welcomes many French expats per year. They are often found in Outremont, the Mile End or the Plateau. They are charming, have superior language and grammar skills and don’t cut back on romantic compliments from the get go. They are stylish, have brilliant smiles, a dangerous gleam in their eye and can make your heart melt with their accents alone. They invented romance, and aren’t afraid to back it up with bottles of champagne, midnight serenades and horse-drawn carriage rides a la Carrie and Petrovksy.
Ideal for: romantic types and girls who appreciate men with a heightened respect for grammar and proper sentence structure.
These eternal bachelors are womanizers who have found the app of their dreams. They tinderize women like one tenderizes meat; marinates them with compliments and false promise, softens them up and ultimately devours them. There are a few Tinderizers in this city who have achieved notoriety for their superior womanizing skills; I refer to these men as the No New People in your Area’s.
They are so named because they have over-swiped Tinder to a point where it is now unlikely for them to meet a girl that doesn’t know at least three girls he has also matched, dated or slept with. These local gems are definitely worth meeting – and maybe fun for a fling – but can never be taken seriously. They aren’t douchebags, per se; that is, they enjoy the carnal knowledge of women so much that they aren’t the types to sleep with you and ghost you the next day. They are, however, the types that will sleep with you and get right back on Tinder while you’re asleep next to them. If you somehow get a peek of their phone, you’ll notice that most girls’ last names are listed as Tinder. Erin Tinder. Sarah Tinder. Jen Tinder. You’ll also notice that they may or may not message you on What’s App from time to time, in order for one of their main chicks to avoid spotting a text notification from you. Their looks are matched by their cool charm, only.
Ideal for: those who are looking for alcohol-fuelled flings and don’t mind hooking up with a guy who has likely hooked up with several of your friends.
The Habs Fan
I haven’t had as much experience with these men (save for one ex-fiancée), only because they lose my attention quickly due to their obsession with the Montreal Canadiens hockey team – whom we locals lovingly refer to as the Habs. These die-hard fans are Montreal’s answer to Red Sox fans in Boston or All Blacks fans in New Zealand.
These guys either have season tickets to Habs games or donate a sizeable amount of their paycheques to buying other people’s season tickets to games throughout the year. These are almost always superstitious types; i.e, they won’t shave during playoffs, won’t have sex on game nights and will only watch playoff games at the Bell Centre or at home. If they’ve got any pimp swagger, they will invite you to watch the game with them at a sports bar or in the comfort of their own home.
The Habs Fan is an entirely different person during playoff season. A true diehard fan may even revolve his dating schedule around games. He follows all the Habs players on Twitter and IG and knows all the right hashtags to use if he happens to take a selfie with a Habs tuque on. He likely plays hockey himself. He prefers to see you in a Habs Jersey/ bikini / cap than any lingerie from Victoria Secret. If he drives a tractor for work, he sometimes fantasizes about it being a Zamboni. They are fun-loving but will sink into depressive states when their team loses.
Ideal for: women who have equal love for the Montreal Canadiens.
Park Ex / Mile End Greek Boys
I loved the Mile End Greek Boys so much, that I exclusively dated them for a year. They have all worked at a restaurant / own a restaurant / know someone who owns a restaurant, and they don’t often drink ouzo, contrary to popular belief. They use the term “re” more than the term “bro”. They are charming, handsome and family-oriented. They love to have fun and claim to have traditional values that sometimes run contrary to their party lifestyles. You can meet a great deal of them at Mythos on Saturday nights, and as a bonus, you can dance to a traditional bouzouki band while getting your flirt on.
Ideal for: women who truly love the Greek culture. You’ll have to adopt it as your own if you get with a Greek guy. Opa!
Old Port OG’s
If you prefer fine wine, overly priced cocktails and men in suits, then head down to the cobblestone lined streets of the Old Port. The clubs, bars and restaurants run rampant with Old Port OG’s; successful men with hard-to-explain jobs that either drive Audis or rent them on the weekends. They do their darndest to adopt American regionless accents.
They are so confident that they’ll likely just approach you and somehow take your your number without actually asking for it. They are impeccably dressed and have million dollar smiles. You hope they might be your future husband but if they’re single and over 30, they’re probably your next one night stand.
Ideal for: women who are 50 Shades of Grey Fans who love flirting with champagne flutes in hand.
The Singleton is a simpleton at heart – laidback, cute and seemingly uncomplicated. It’s possible he may be in between jobs or works a standard job he’s not very fond of. He loves affection, sex and emotional connections but will put in little effort to maintain a relationship. He doesn’t need much, and won’t give too much in return.
He doesn’t care so much about style either, opting for staple comfort clothes like flannel and jogging pants – which in some ways, makes him that much more alluring. He doesn’t drive a fancy car, preferring to live “modestly”. He drinks beer and smokes weed.
Ideal for: fabulous women who love the thrilling challenge of convincing “regular Joes” how fabulous they are and why they should commit to them.
As Montreal’s answer to the Softboy, this man charms you with his occasional references to mainstream poets including Allan Ginsberg, William Wordsworth or Alfred Lord Tennyson. He can be found in the Plateau, but is likelier to live in Saint-Henri. He is rough around the edges, but his affable zero-fucks-given vibe have you convinced you’ve met your real life Noah from The Notebook.
You’ll spend the first few days together talking ‘til sunrise, drinking Pabst and listening to Etta James and Leonard Cohen. You’ll easily look past his Montreal accent, which colours the occasional multisyllabic words he’ll throw into the conversation from watching The Big Lebowski one too may times (he definitely gets most of his enhanced vocab from Julianne Moore’s character). He has a penchant for haute culture Netflix and HBO shows, and can easily quote Curb Your Enthusiasm. He is a woodsman; he enjoys camping, and being one with nature. He may practice yoga, and definitely meditates. He has a library. He juggles women and female “friends” like nobody’s business, and has somehow been able to maintain the reputation of “nice guy” throughout the years. He remains friends with ex-girlfriends that don’t hate him. He pretends everything is cool even when you’re mad, uses smiley faces (but rarely emojis) to assuage your anger and might throw around some Stop, I Love You’s to calm you the fuck down.
He enjoys factoids and is a sapiosexual.
He has managed to train his eyes to reflect what looks like a deep, old and wise soul, but really it’s all a real life IG filter. He is emotional quicksand.
He rushes in like a tsunami, rocking your world, and exits just as quickly. You’re not sure whether you’ve imagined the sparks between you or not, but you certainly enjoyed the ride.
Ideal for: women who love Sex and the City-like relationship anecdotes to share with their friends over Sunday brunch.
Again, this is in no way an exhaustive list. I’ve left out my less than favourite Montreal boys: the Ghosters, the Is He or Isn’t He’s and the Bachelor Party Outta Towners. But for better or worse, I salute the men that truly made Montreal a living, breathing collection of momentary connections and everlasting memories. Love to you all. Keep doin’ yo thang.
Who are your favourite hometown single boys? Share your love or haterade below!