Queering Discourses of Urban Decline

Queering Discourses of Urban Decline: Representing Montréal’s Post-World War II “Lower Main”

Julie Podmore
Geosciences Department
John Abbott College

ABSTRACT: In this paper, I examine how urban redevelopment and the regulation of public spaces in Montréal in the 1960s transformed the representations of the Lower Main, the city’s historic red-light and entertainment district. I argue that although the Lower Main had long been central to anti-urban discourses regarding heterosexual prostitution, by the 1960s the increased regulation of the city’s queer and trans populations changed its meaning as a representation of the inner city in decline. A central objective is to use this case study to queer discourses of urban decline by considering how heteronormativity was involved in the construction of the city’s sexual margins in thepost-WorldWar II period. A related objective is to call into question the narrative of “decline” itself by providing one example of the opportunities it created for queer place-making.

Keywords: urban decline, the post-World War II city, queer populations, Montréal, St-Laurent Boulevard


From San Francisco’s Tenderloin to New York City’s Times Square, post-World War II urban restructuring altered the economies, entertainments, and clienteles of many North American inner-city entertainment districts.1 In Montréal, the strip of cabarets, restaurants, and taverns located at the corner of Boulevard St-Laurent and Rue Ste-Catherine (“The Lower Main”) underwent this process. As the former bright lights facade of Montréal’s entrenched residential red-light district, the area had a reputation for “vice” that dated back to the late nineteenth century. By the late 1950s, however, urban restructuring, municipal reform politics, and moral regulation altered how the Lower Main was represented in the expanding metropolitan, entertainment, and sensationalist presses. Predictably, the changing fortunes of the Lower Main were generally associated with increases in poverty, homelessness, alcoholism, and drug use. However, its so- called decline was also represented through images of what were considered contentious “new” gender identities and sexualities: gay men were frequenting the Lower Main’s taverns, hotels, and cinemas; b-girls and sex workers of both sexes were working inside of its nightclubs; gays and lesbians were more visible among its working-class clientele; and its stages increasingly featured drag performances and the striptease. The apparent decline of the district had been so dramatic by the early 1970s that night club owners and booking agents told the press that the Lower Main was “dead,” as signified by the fact that the only remaining entertainment attraction of the district were les travestis, the drag performers.2

In many ways, this representation of the Lower Main was a continuation of the discourses that had long depicted the area as an “immoral region,” a “necessary” location to accommodate sexual transgressions that were the source of public fascination and desire as well as abjection and disgust.3 However, this particular representation naturalized the area’s decline through the bodies of les travestis whose increased prominence on the stages of the Lower Main signaled the end point in a long period of decentralization, a process that had emptied the area of its “respectable” customers and left it to be appropriated by others. While this representation was certainly part of shifting class geographies that repositioned the inner city in relation to the expanding suburbs and the downtown, a critical reading suggests important links between discourses of inner-city decline and shifting gender and sexual norms in the post-World War II era. As Hubbard has argued, geographies of heteronormativity are constructed through a moral dichotomy between those landscapes that support idealized family life and zones of the city that are designated through the processes of urban governance as the proper location for “immoral” non-normative sexual behaviors.4 During periods of urban redevelopment and civic betterment, moral panics create pressure to relocate or even cleanse the city of its immoral regions making such regions symbolic locations through which to rework the heteronormativity of urban space.5 In the post-World War II period, the Lower Main was one such site. Represented in the press through crime reporting, entertainment news, and portraits of the area’s “decline,” moral panic regarding the transformation of this binary ultimately rendered it a duplicitous and ambiguous space for heteronormativities. The production of its decline, the governance of its morality, and the corresponding media spectacularization of its non-normative genders and sexualities made the Lower Main symbolically central to the reworking of local heteronormativities in urban space.


Figure 1. Looking south on the Lower Main atnight in 1963at the intersectionwith Rue Ste-Catherine. Source: Montreal Gazette, Jan. 26, 1963.

In this paper, I use a case study of the Lower Main to explore the relationships between the post-World War II discourses of urban decline and the emerging representations of queer populations in the spatial discourses shaping North American cities.6 Drawing on queer geography, I highlight the heteronormativity of these discourses and analyze how they served to naturalize urban restructuring by locating non-normative forms of sexual and gender embodiment within the declining inner city.7 I examine how post-World War II practices of urban governance—including urban renewal, reform politics, and policing—intersected to transform popular representations the Lower Main within Montréal’s imagined geographies. In contrast with research that treats sex work, homosexuality, and transsexuality separately, the focus here is on the intersection and aggregation of these identities in representations of one place. I begin by reading the links between inner-city decline in the post-World War II period and queer histories, advancing a framework for reading discourses of urban decline in the media. The case study has three sections: it begins by situating the Lower Main within Montréal’s urban restructuring in the 1950s and 1960s; next, newspaper clippings collections are used to describe the increased regulation of this space by authorities; finally, I explore how these representations contributed to the process of redefining heteronormativities by representing the Lower Main as a duplicitous nocturnal queer space. I conclude by reflecting on the implications of this case study for the study of heteronormativity, urban redevelopment and queer populations in the post-World War II city.

Queering discourses of urban decline

In the early 1990s, Robert Beauregard’s Voices of Decline contributed to the “discursive turn” in urban geography by drawing attention to the role played by representations in the process of restructuring post-World War II American cities.8 Focusing on the rhetoric embedded in interpretations of urban decline, Beauregard argued that such discourses served a purpose: to reconcile American national ambivalence about the twentieth-century city. In the post-World War II period specifically, representations of decline naturalized uneven urban development through a relational spatial imaginary that celebrated the modernization of the city by isolating and spectacularizing areas of “urban decay” created by disinvestment. Discourses that centered on areas of increased impoverishment and ghettoization in the inner city served to spatially fix mainstream anxieties about the deepening contradictions of capitalist urbanism and racialized inequalities in the declining inner city. As suburbs and central business districts expanded, societal responsibility for the conditions in America’s inner-city areas could be resolved through a moral discourse that scorned the populations who could not escape by repeatedly representing them as a “concern” and by separating areas of decline from the modern promise of the rest of the city.

Beauregard argued that representations play an important role in the process of reconciling the contradictions of capitalist urbanism, an argument that has been influential among urban scholars. However, despite his specific argument that discourses of decline have a “moral” component, geographers of sexualities have yet to consider its implications for the study of sexualities in post-World War II cities. Granted, for Beauregard, the “moral” concern expressed through discourses of decline is one of class consciousness, of “shared obligations in an unjust society,” the moral dilemma of white middle-class suburbanites turning their backs on the city and “letting” it decline.9 However, he argues that a complimentary aspect of this discourse was to build on preexisting anti-urban sentiment by repositioning the city as a place that is not just unsuitable for white, middle-class family life but also as “undesirable”: if suburbanites were not going to live in the city and be responsible for its regeneration it had to be because it was undeserving and incompatible with their ideals of how and where to live. Given that these post- World War II ideals re-centered on the reproduction of the nuclear family, it should follow that normative proscriptions about heterosexuality would have been part of the process of isolating and spectacularizing the inner city. However, while Beauregard skillfully demonstrates how representations of impoverishment and racialized ghettoization served to justify this turning away from the city, representations of sexualities are absent from his analysis.

While historical geographers have yet to explore the potential of Beauregard’s argument for the study of queer geographies of the post-World War II city, there are clearly links between the types of power relations that he traces and evidence from the historical literature on queer sexualities in North American cities. Histories of sexuality in the post-World War II period demonstrate that not only was heterosexuality reinvented through the production of a normative binary between heterosexual and homosexual, but also notably through the reproduction of “homosexual panic” that was the signature of Cold War concerns about national security in both the United States and Canada.10 As John D’Emilio and Estelle Freedman argue, combined with the increased visibility of bars and the stability of cruising grounds for gay men in this period, homosexual panic also led to increased police surveillance and “unpredictable, brutal crackdowns” on gay and lesbian spaces.11 Moreover, urban histories of emerging gay, lesbian, and trans communities in the post-WWII era demonstrate that pockets of the “decaying” inner city became, on an ontological level, spatial resources for queer communities in the making. Indeed, the 1950s and 1960s represent a twenty-year period in which pre-liberation gay, lesbian, and trans populations in the urban West built an increasingly visible nightlife by appropriating space in the bars, taverns, hotels, and night clubs of “declining” inner-city entertainment districts.12

The diversity of sexual and gender identities that made these inner-city areas central to discourses of decline have also been neglected in urban geographies of sexualities. While the sub-discipline essentially began with the study of how gay men regenerated “discarded” residential neighborhoods in the 1970s and 1980s, the spaces of pre-liberation gay, lesbian, and trans populations have yet to be analyzed in relation to broader urban processes.13 One major reason for this absence is the fact that most such research has focused on gay village formation within the context of the post-industrial or neo-liberal city after the 1970s.14 When pre-liberation spaces do appear in gay and lesbian urban studies, they serve as a “starting point” in the long narrative of claiming gay space or making a “gay village.”15 For example, modeling gay village evolution in England, Collins has argued that “locations of sexual and legal liminal activities and behaviour” located in urban areas “in decline” provided the “pre-conditions” for gay village formation.16 Drawing primarily on the examples of London’s Soho and Manchester’s Canal Street, he summarizes the key features of such sites:

  1. Twilight/marginal area showing extensive physical urban decay
  2. Presence of street-based and/or near off-street (predominantly heterosexual) prostitution
  3. Significant stock of vacant premises
  4. Low property prices/rental values
  5. Typical presence of at least one gay licensed public house17

Collins suggests that it was the liminality of aging bright-lights and dismantled red-light districts that created the “ecological” pre-conditions for the production of queer spaces in the city. However, the links between discourses of urban decline, place-making, and the diversity of sexualities located within such sites remain unexplored.

Beyond their location within the “ecology” of the post-World War II city, the place-making practices of the increasingly visible gay, lesbian, and trans populations in the 1950s and 1960s were intimately wrapped up in the production and representation of the inner city as a place in decline. On the one hand, the outward movement of “respectable” middle-class families produced narratives of decline that stressed the “emptiness” of the inner city, revealing a blindness to the place-making activities of queer and other populations. Bryant Simons’s research on the rise and fall of a gay economy created along Atlantic City’s New York Avenue from the early 1950s onwards attempts to provide a counter-narrative.18 Using the example of the appropriation of bars and hotels by gay white men in this period, Simons argues: “Urban decline is not, and never was, a one way street. While some people were driving out of town, never to come back, others were moving into the houses and apartments they had abandoned. . . . Across the country, people of color and lesbians and gay men moved into devalued, deserted space and made them into new spaces.”19

On the other hand, queer populations sometimes figured as representations of the decline in precisely the same kinds of planning texts that Beauregard analyzed. For example, in his study of lesbian and gay Philadelphia in the post-World War II era, Marc Stein provides a cogent discussion of the representation of gay men in discourses of urban decline using the example of Jane Jacobs’s The Death and Life of Great American Cities.20 Discussing what makes a vibrant urban park, Jacobs celebrated the constant use of Rittenhouse Square by diverse populations and contrasted it with the emptiness and decay of Washington Square, a public space appropriated by gay men. Stein argues that this dichotomy between normative heterosexuality and queer sexualities implicates narratives of urban decline:

Good park, bad park. Mothers, children, shoppers, residents, employees, and young people on dates in Rittenhouse Square, a veritable showcase of the family, heterosexuality, capitalism, and consumer culture. Perverts in Washington Square, a den of depravity. The busy schedule of work and leisure in the West. The history of abandonment, invasion by perverts, and then a vacuum in the East. The “life” and “death” of great American cities. Sexual perversion functions here as a symptom, source and sign of urban disaster.21

Each of these texts ask us to consider interrelated aspects of the moral discourses surrounding urban decline: if no one was in the empty city, it could be disregarded and ignored, only surreptitiously creating the opportunity for “others” to appropriate it; but the representation of queer populations could also be used to reinforce the idea that the city was deserving of abandonment because it was so “perverse.”

While referencesto queerpopulationswere probablyrare in urban planning texts,bythe 1960s they were anything but invisible in more popular discourses emanating from the growing media coverage of the inner city in decline. Over the course of this period, queer populations developed a very particular relationship with the media that has been well-documented by historians.22 Indeed, some of the first comprehensive histories of the making of gay and lesbian communities have stressed the importance of the rejection of negative stereotypes in the press and of police repression in bars as the catalysts for the gay and lesbian social movements.23 In the pages of the press, reports on the changing entertainments of the city at night, the policing of sexual morality, and the inner city’s decline co-existed and overlapped. Drawing on medical and sociological stereotypes, the mainstream and especially the tabloid and entertainment presses, provided exposés on the overlapping worlds of sex work, homosexuality, and transsexuality with the purpose of enticing readers into an “unknown world” that revolved around entertainment districts in the inner city. A source of great “moral” concern about changing gender and sexual norms, the populations that appropriated these spaces were also subject to constant police surveillance, often resulting in raids and mass arrests that were reported in the press and linked to discourses of “civic betterment.”24

When the socio-sexual issues surrounding such policing were debated in the press, they discursively produced what Stein has called “raiding representations”: media reports that legitimized the various political actors involved in urban governance by telling stories of how they were working to rid the empty city of its remaining vices.25 This process produced a complex set of representations of populations and places that could be read in multiple ways: viewed through a normative lens, they were obviously morality tales in which those who transgressed norms were disciplined and exposed; however, interpreted from a queer perspective, they also provided alternative information about the queer social worlds emerging in the declining inner city.26 Queering discourses of urban decline, therefore, not only involves reading alternative— often considered ephemeral—sources, but also critical engagement with the cartographies that can be read through the heteronormative discourses surrounding the social worlds of the declining inner city.

The following analysis, therefore, is an attempt to read these cartographies through a case study of the shifting representations of the Lower Main as an “immoral region” in the post-World War II period. To read these representations, two collections of newspaper clippings were consulted. First, I read the clippings files at the Archives de la Ville de Montréal, which are organized by theme and by street address.27 This collection primarily includes articles from the metropolitan French and English language dailies, but also some articles collected from more minor weekly and entertainment papers. Clippings for the Lower Main were selected from the address files and from thematic collections on policing, morality, prostitution, nightclubs, and entertainment. Secondly, I consulted the Dossiers de Presse, 1880-1984 collection at the Archives gaies du Québec.28 This collection was primarily created from clippings collected by queer newspaper readers in Québec who later donated their collections to the archives. It is a source of both mainstream and alternative publications, with a larger proportion of its clippings coming from tabloid, alternative, and entertainment papers. Articles from this collection were selected when they referenced locations related to the Lower Main during the time period.

Producing the Lower Main’s decline

Over the course of the twentieth century, Boulevard St-Laurent, popularly called “the Main,” played an important role in Montréal’s socio-cultural geography. It served as the city’s primary north-south commercial artery and remains the east-west dividing line for civic addresses. By the early twentieth century, it was imagined as an interstitial space, the borderline between the Anglo-capitalist city in the West and the more working-class French-Catholic parishes of the city’s East End, where populations and activities not easily assigned to either side created commercial and social worlds.29 Occupying this interstitial location, the Main became Montréal’s “corridor of immigration,” signified today by the remaining “ethnic” shops in the area to the north of the Lower Main and the historic “Chinatown” to its south. While the Lower Main was part of these histories, by the early twentieth century it was clearly developing another vocation: surrounded by the city’s growing and well-protected residential red-light district and with a concentration of theaters, small hotels, and licensed establishments, it developed into a bright-lights entertainment district that had a reputation for “vice.”30 By the early 1950s, attempts to dismantle the red-light district, competition from the new entertainments of the downtown core, and urban redevelopment began to transform the Lower Main into place that resembled Collins’s “precursors” to gay village formation: with its suggestive entertainments and overt public prostitution, it was a bright-lights district “in decline.”31

A combination of the outward movement of inner-city, working-class families and urban redevelopment had increasedthe social and sexual marginality of thepopulations and activities of the area by the 1960s. Although in Canada suburbanization in this period was less dramatic, like most other North American metropolitan areas Montréal did experience significant urban expansion, modernization, and redevelopment in these decades.32 Between 1941 and 1961, the population of Greater Montréal grew by seventy percent (from 1,618,000 to 2,757,000).33 This population increase was due initially to the post-war baby boom, but the most rapid growth would come in the 1960s as rural-to-urban migration and immigration intensified.34 Population growth, rising incomes, and a demand for housing contributed to the outward expansion of the city. As elsewhere, the decentralization process repositioned the inner city in important ways.

Those areas directly adjacent to the central business district were now seen as sites for its expansion, empty spaces where the old “blighted” neighborhoods and businesses could be replaced by large high-rise office, government, and modern apartment complexes. It was also central to plans to connect the expanding downtown core to the city’s outer edges through freeway construction and the widening of primary arteries. Built for Expo 67, the new subway system would also require significant space in inner-city areas.

All of these forces impacted the Lower Main and its surrounding neighborhood (the St- Louis and St-Laurent districts) in the post-war period (Figure 2). Between 1954 and 1955, the widening of a major artery (Dorchester Street) that ran through the middle of the district meant the loss of housing and, directly on the Lower Main, the loss of historic entertainment venues such as the Roxy Theatre. In the late 1960s, land further south was expropriated to build an open- air tunnel for the new Ville Marie Expressway, an underground highway connecting the east and west parts of the modernizing downtown core. These expropriations meant the loss of blocks of adjacent housing and a full block of the commerce on either side of the Lower Main, separating it from the old business district to the south. By the late 1950s, the area to its west had been slated for the eastward expansion of the downtown core. To attract investment eastward, the City began expropriating land to build Place des Arts, a new metropolitan arts complex that opened in 1963. It eliminated blocks of the neighborhood just west of the Lower Main. Close to its intersection with the newly revamped Dorchester Street, Hydro Québec, the provincial electric company, expropriated land in order to begin building its headquarters in 1959. In between, a conglomerate of the cooperative banking movement began expropriations to build a three-hectare office and retail complex, Complexe Desjardins, which began construction in the early 1970s.35

If expanding the downtown core and connecting it to the suburbs with highways was seen as central to making Montréal modern in this period, another component was “decongesting” old inner-city neighborhoods through slum clearance and urban renewal. A 1954 municipal report (Rapport Dozois) detailed the living conditions in the area surrounding the Lower Main, documenting them by taking over 1,300 photographs. Based on this report, the City Council approved a plan to demolish 7.7 hectares of housing to the east of the Lower Main—including much of the housing in the red-light district—to make room for Montréal’s first urban renewal style public housing project, Les Habitations Jeanne-Mance, completed in 1961. Referring to the area, proponents of the project told the press that the city’s worst slums lay at the heart of Montréal and they needed to be rehabilitated in order for the city to progress.36 Shortly after it was built, a National Film Board documentary celebrated the contrast between these facilities (with modern kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms; large open rooms; and open spaces and playgrounds for fresh air) and the congested and unsanitary slums of the past.37 Not only did this civic betterment project give justification to claims that the neighborhoods surrounding the Lower Main were in decline, it also augmented this decline by accelerating population loss: between 1956 and 1971 the population of the district declined by 156 percent (from 21,229 to 8,290).38 Moreover, slum clearance and urban renewal had ultimately enabled officials to finally “put out” the residential red-light district by dismantling what had been its supporting infrastructure since the late nineteenth century.39


Figure 2. Aerial view of the Lower Main area in the Post-World War II era. Adapted from VM97- 3_04_352 (1962), Archives de la Ville de Montréal, Vues aériennes verticales de l’île de Montréal, 1958- 1975, VM97-3_04_352. Available at: http://donnees.ville.montreal.qc.ca/dataset/vues-aeriennes-de- montreal-1958-1975.


Figure 3. Gay, lesbian, and trans spaces in the Lower Main district in the 1950s and 1960s. Sources: Line Chamberland, “Remembering Lesbian Bars: Montreal, 1955-1975,” Journal of Homosexuality, 25, no. 3 (1993): 231-270; Ross Higgins, “A Sense of Belonging: Pre-Liberation Space, Symbolics and Leadership in Gay Montreal” (Ph.D. Dissertation, McGill University, 1997), 410-418; Ross Higgins, “Des lieux d’appartenance: Les bars gais des années 1950,” in Sortir de l’ombre: Histoire des communautés lesbienne et gai de Montréal, eds. Irène Demczuk and Frank W. Remiggi (Montreal: VLB Éditeur, 1998), 107;Namaste,C’étaitdu spectacle!, 122,222-224.

The destruction of the infrastructure of the brothel system also finalized the gradual displacement of sex work onto the streets and into the entertainment establishments along the Lower Main.40 Its taverns, barber shops, and pool halls had long been conduits for the red-light district, but throughout the 1940s and 1950s the cabarets and theaters had been important sites of mainstream heterosexual sociability.41 Popular histories of Montréal in the 1940s and 1950s describe cabarets on the Lower Main, such as the Folies Bergères and Au Faisan Doré, as memorable places that attracted international performers and large socially-mixed audiences.42 As journalist Al Palmer described it, the upper classes, attracted by these first-rate clubs, would come and spend an evening “slumming” on the shady and shoddy atmosphere of the Lower Main.43 Sex work and suggestive entertainments were already an important component of the economy along the Lower Main, but once the cabarets lost their broader audience and the surrounding residential infrastructure was reduced, it became more centrally integrated into the economy of its cabarets. Burlesque and vaudeville entertainments and live bands gave way to more explicit striptease shows and, due to dwindling entertainment budgets, the use of pre-recorded music.44 As the Lower Main “declined,” more “respectable” places of heterosexual sociability were concentrated in the larger and more fashionable entertainment district in the downtown core. Although the downtown had many similar vocations, within Montréal’s entertainment and prostitution geographies, the Lower Main was strongly stigmatized along class lines.45

The process of “emptying” the districts surrounding the Lower Main and the reworking of the social worlds surrounding its entertainment spaces did lead to the appropriation of this site as a resource for the creation of queer public cultures. As oral histories with gays and lesbians and trans and drag performers in Montréal demonstrate, by the 1960s, the mixed working-class spaces of the Lower Main were increasingly occupied by queer cultures. Moreover, these sites were distinct from the more “respectable” queer public cultures emerging in the downtown core (Figure 3).46 For example, Namaste’s research shows that trans and drag performers clearly distinguished between the more upper-class clubs of the downtown and those of the Lower Main. The clubs of the Lower Main were places where they socialized and worked as sex workers, but before 1960, they rarely performed here, especially not those performers who were well- known and capable of attracting a sizable audience.47 Gay geographies also reflect this dichotomy, with forms of more respectable sociability associated with the clubs of the downtown area near the intersection of Peel and Ste-Catherine streets.48 For some, the Lower Main was a place for slumming, but it was primarily an area where working-class Francophone gay men created public cultures. Here, gay men made use of its cinemas and hotels for sexual encounters, appropriated space in its all-male taverns, and frequented some exclusively gay spaces such as Taverne Altesse and Café Monarch.49 Gay, lesbian, and trans populations also created social worlds within the broader working-class nightlife culture. For lesbian subcultures in the 1960s, these mixed sites were especially important: barred from taverns as women until 1971 and without any downtown bars until 1968, lesbian public culture in the 1960s was limited to the mixed spaces of the red-light and the East End.50 At the Blue Sky, the Beret Bleue, and the Rodéo they mixed primarily with gay men. At the Café Canasta and the Casa Loma, their social worlds overlapped with the audiences for the drag shows. In many of these spaces, lesbians were also part of prostitution networks, working both as procurers and as sex workers.51

Regulating the Lower Main

Newspaper representations of the people and activities of the Lower Main proliferated during this period of restructuring. Certainly, this sensationalization of the Lower Main can be attributed to the increased competition for the mainstream dailies from the many entertainment and crime tabloid papers (“journaux jaunes” or sensationalist press) that appeared in Montréal after 1945 when the influence of the Catholic Church on the Québec media began to diminish.52 However, shifts in municipal governance were equally significant. In 1960, Jean Drapeau brought the first organized political party, the Parti Civique (Civic Party), to power at City Hall where he held the Mayor’s seat until 1986. Drapeau had, however, been an influential figure in the municipal arena throughout the 1950s. He had already served as mayor between 1954 and 1957 after gaining political legitimacy as a prosecutor for the Caron Commission, an external inquiry into political corruption at City Hall.53 This Commission substantiated claims that Montréal’s police force—particularly its Morality Squad—had been protecting organized crime and its interests in gambling and prostitution in the red-light district in the 1940s and 1950s.54 Although Drapeau would be known as the mayor who “modernized” Montréal—constructing Place des Arts and the subway system as well as hosting the World Exposition in 1967 (Expo 67) and the 1976 Summer Olympics—in the 1950s he, like many North American mayors, built his reputation on a reform platform concerned with ridding the declining inner city of “vice.” Representing the interests of the ascending suburban Francophone petite bourgeoisie, he strove to “clean up” what was considered a “wide-open” town by finally ensuring that the red-light district was destroyed.55 In the 1960s, his Municipal Administration, in conjunction with the Morality Squad and the Québec Liquor Commission, employed a variety of surveillance techniques to control the area, which intensified as Expo 67 approached.

During his first term in office (1954 to 1957) Drapeau had initiated a campaign toenforce the closing hours of the clubs and investigate the health standards of the twenty-five hot-dog stands and quick lunches along the Lower Main. Using existing bylaws, his administration attempted to reduce gambling, nightlife, and entertainment in the area to a minimum.56 Popular histories indicate that this campaign was successful, describing the summer of 1955 as deadly quiet along the Main.57 However, Drapeau’s opposition to the proposed construction of Les Habitations Jeanne-Mance alienated the electorate and it lost him the election in 1957.58 Sarto Fournier’s administration (1957 to 1960) gave organized crime some respite, but in order to maintain legitimacy it staged campaigns to control the Lower Main. In 1958, for example, the police squad was instructed to investigate its nightclubs to ensure that dancers were conforming to the morality code and that minors were not being served alcohol.59 In July 1960, however, an assault of a waiter at the Canasta Café made it clear that organized crime networks still controlled the area.60 This led the Federal Member of Parliament for the riding (Harry Blank of St-Louis) to publically question the security of the Lower Main. He called for a tight clampdown on liquor licensing, arguing that the riding had the most cabaret permits in the Province of Québec.61 By August 1960, journalists reporting on a shooting at the Café Métrocompared the Lower Main to the frontier towns of the “Far West.”62 These events delegitimized Fournier and in November of that year Drapeau made a successful bid for reelection.

Back in the mayoral chair, Drapeau began to perform a clampdown on the street’s clubs and cabarets that would continue until the summer of 1967 when Montréal hosted Expo 67.63 Following a serial newspaper exposé on “vice” in Montréal written by Drapeau’s reform ally Pax Plante in the summer of 1961, Drapeau increased the police presence on the street and, in conjunction with the Juvenile Court, made an unsuccessful proposal to make the Lower Main off- limits for children under sixteen years of age.64 His administration also created the Social Security Squad to specifically clamp down on organized crime in this area. In addition, the clubs of the Lower Main were central to specific campaigns to clamp down on nightlife in Montréal in the early 1960s. For example, in December 1961 a Morality Squad campaign to investigate reservoirs of organized crime identified twenty taverns and nightclubs, twelve of which were located along the Lower Main.65 By 1966, as preparations for Expo 67 approached, the administration developed surveillance strategies that specifically targeted the area. The Morality Squad’s visites de vérification (spontaneous police raids) in preparation for Expo began in July 1966 with the Lower Main. The justification for these raids was given by Police Chief Gilbert who argued that these were “cheap nightclubs catering to cheap people doing cheap things.”66 Then, in October 1966, the Mayor ordered an increase in the police presence along the Lower Main.67 The press reported that the police were patrolling the street “four-by-four” at night. Finally, in April 1967, the district attorney for the City issued instructions to taxi drivers not to bring tourists, who would be in Montréal for Expo 67, to specific clubs on the Lower Main.68

Another method used to suppress the Lower Main was restricting or refusing business, alcohol, and dance floor permits and licenses. Between 1960 and 1966, specific clubs along the Lower Main repeatedly had their applications for license renewals rejected. For example, twenty of Montréal’s forty-two night clubs advised by the Executive Committee of the Municipal Council that their operating permits would not be renewed by the Québec Liquor Board in June 1963 were located in and around this intersection.69 Moreover, these were the same mixed clubs that were frequentedby lesbians and gay men and featured drag, go-go dancer, and striptease shows. The owners of specific clubs of the Lower Main such as the Casbah, the Casa Loma, the Grand National, Le Plateau, Café St-John, and the Rodéo, continually appeared before the Québec Appeals Court throughout this period.70 These were the clubs known to have a large queer clientele. The owners of the Rodéo, Arlequin aux Deux Masques, and Café St-John, for example, were repeatedly refused multiple permits, including their alcohol permits. The justification for these restrictions was revealed during the appeals process and reported in the press. As the Director of Police, Adrien Robert, stated during appeal procedures in 1964: “I must state, Your Honour . . . that this section at the lower end of St-Laurent Street is an areawhere morality constitutes a constant problem and that investigations have been made of all the clubs in this district.”71 That same year, the Café St-John again had its alcohol permit revoked because, as the City’s municipal services director reported, there had recently been “sleazy activities” committed by people who frequent this club.72

A careful reading of the press coverage of thepleas of club owners who were attempting to have their licenses renewed in the 1960s demonstrates that heterosexual female prostitution and violence from organized crime were not the only reasons for the suppression of the Lower Main. Certainly, the area’s most dominant images in the metropolitan press in the early 1960s were long established: its sidewalks and businesses were depicted as sites of violence from organized crime as well as places that posed the “danger” of solicitation by sex workers for heterosexual men. In 1966, six years after the clampdown on the Lower Main had begun, the entertainment weekly Le Cabaret ironically warned the female public of these specific dangers on the Lower Main: “Today, the bad guys and the working girls are still on the Main. . . . There are still fights and gangs there, so ladies, do not go down to the Main alone.”73 Reports of cleanup campaigns, raids, license infractions, and conflicts often led authorities to claim that the Lower Main was an unsuitable place for “ordinary” citizens, suggesting that it was incongruous with a Montréal undergoing modernization and reform. For example, when Drapeau’s administration had returned to power in 1960, he told the press that the Lower Main was the “blackest district in the city,” a place that “fun-seeking suburbanites”—who now supposedly represented Montréal’s “ordinary citizenry”—should avoid.74 However, this dichotomy between the Lower Main as the city’s “immoral region” and its ordinary citizenry in the suburbs would be further reinforced by newspaper reports of its queer subcultures and activities. As we will see, press coverage of its multiple and overlapping queer worlds demonstrated that the Lower Main was yet to be emptied. Quite the contrary: what remained on the Lower Main challenged not only the city’s morality and modernity, but also its heteronormativity.

Urban decline and the nocturnal queer city

If images of shootings, police raids, and overt public prostitution encouraged “fun-seeking suburbanites” to see the Lower Main as a place that was off-limits, images of the inner workings of the area’s queer social worlds significantly challenged post-World War II heteronormativities. The late 1950s and 1960s were not only a time of modernization and moral reform;this was also a time of homosexual panic in both Canada and the United States.75 In Montréal, among the first forms of queer visibility of this era were found in the representations of the Lower Main and the night world of its cabarets. As Namaste has shown, advertisements and reviews for drag performances were very visible in the entertainment papers throughout the 1950s and 1960s.76 Some performers, such as Lana St-Cyr, also ended up in crime reports of the era when the police deemed their shows “indecent.”77 At other times, drag performers and club workers appeared in reports on bar raids and permit restrictions. Gays and lesbians also appeared in such crime reports as an undesirable component of the clientele and in reports regarding raids and arrests. However, media coverage of “the third sex” (gays, lesbians, and trans-identified people) was not limited to crime reporting.78 By the mid-1960s, queer visibility increased when exposés profiled gay and lesbian lifestyles and suggested that these populations were growing in Canada, Québec, and Montréal.79 By the end of the decade, debates regarding Prime Minister Trudeau’s 1969 Omnibus Bill (Bill C-150), which would decriminalize private homosexual acts in Canada, also turned the media spotlight on gays and lesbians and their spaces in the larger cities. In Montréal, preparations for Expo 67 and debates about a new municipal bylaw (By-Law 3416) that would restrict staff-customer relations in cabarets further increased local public awareness of the queer social worlds developing along the Lower Main.

Overall, the discourse of decline surrounding the Lower Main evoked important but multi-layered distinctions between night and day. For example, in 1956 Le Petit Journal published a profile of the area under the headline “The Main wakes up when you go to bed.”80 However, this diurnal aspect of the narrative of the Lower Main’s decline was not as simple as condemning this space by creating a comparison between morally superior, hardworking people who were in bed early at night and the immoral people who spent their nights on the Lower Main. It was something much more vengeful, more akin to Neil Smith’s arguments about the revanchist reform politics of New York’s Mayor Rudy Giuliani in the 1990s: reform interests, supported by the middle classes, wanted to eradicate the Lower Main from the modern city.81 Press portraits also reveal a shift towards a more disciplinary discourse that coincided with urban renewal and slum clearance in the area, a type of scorn for the people of the Lower Main that more closely resembled Beauregard’s moral discourse: if ordinary citizens were turning their backs on the Lower Main, it was no wonder because there was increasing evidence that its people were well-deserving of this treatment.For example, readers of a 1940 MacLean’s Magazine article were encouraged to see the Lower Main as a harmless but “necessary” entertainment strip frequented by young, transient men—sailors, military recruits, and day laborers—in search of dinner for a dime and a good time on a Saturday night.82 However, a 1957 portrait of the Lower Main published in the more sensational Photo-Journal turned the spotlight on the locals of the Lower Main, distinguishing day and night and linking each to its “pleasures and miseries.”83 Eight pages of staged photographs and commentary were used to describe the pleasures of the Saturday night visitors (which included groups of unaccompanied young men drinking beer, eating hot dogs, and shooting targets at arcades, or young heterosexual couples dancing and kissing openly in night clubs) and the miseries of “the people of the Lower Main” (including mafia kings, “night birds” or alcoholics, “slum dwellers,” and women walking the streets wearing tight shirts and jeans) who were still there when the next day dawned. The “pleasures” were clearly reserved for the visiting group, while “misery” was the domain of the locals who were trapped in a night world of poverty, alcoholism, and prostitution.

Queer populations did not appear in such portraits of the street in the mainstream press until the 1970s, when queer and trans identities became synonymous with the image of the Lower Main as Montréal’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.”84 However, the parallel universe of the sensationalist press certainly tied queer and trans identities to the night world of the cabarets of the Lower Main. As the sensationalist paper Zéro told the public in 1964, “the third sex” was taking over Lower Main at night, congregating there in the wee hours of the morning.85 Featuring a photograph of young men congregating on the corner of St-Laurent and Ste- Catherine streets (Figure 4), another Zéro article conflated the identities of gay men and male sex workers as well as masculine and feminine gender identities when they described their appearance and behavior: “[The third sex] can be found around St-Laurent Street. They have dyed hair, exaggerated gestures, irritating high-pitched laughs, and a feline walk. They travel in small groups, chattering loudly, calling out to passing cars, smiling at passers-by, often mockingly—these are not girls, these are not guys.”86 The same article also claimed that there were now 90,000 lesbians in Québec. Although they could be found throughout the province, the article suggested that lesbians primarily inhabited a forbidden night world along the Lower Main. Other tabloids included stories about gays and lesbians along the Main who were pathologized with some regularity. For example, Higgins has found evidence of this link as early as 1958 when Ici Montréal would amuse its readers with stories of gay men, such as La tappette Rolande, who had apparently written his phone number in all of the toilets of the taverns of the Main.87 Ici Montréal also regularly chronicled the life of Ramona the Butch, who hung around in Café St-John on the Lower Main throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s.88 Ramona was described in stereotypical terms:tough and territorial, she defended her turf at all costs and, in defending it, she had apparently acquired “more scars than a veteran of the foreign legion.”89


Figure 4. Photograph of the crowd at the corner of Boulevard St-Laurent and Ste-Catherine Street in 1964 used to suggest that gay men were taking over the area. Source: “Montréal aux prise avec un problème sérieux celui de troisième sexe,’ Zéro, Spring, 1964, 3.

Drapeau’s cleanup campaigns in the early 1960s also included the clampdown on gay, lesbian, and trans spaces, using the charge of “indecency” to control the night world surrounding the drag shows and gay sexual spaces such as parks and hotels in ways that made these populations, their activities, and spaces more visible in the pages of the crime reports.90 Such reports suggested that the Lower Main was central to “indecent” night life in the city. For example, when the well- known drag performer Lana St-Cyr was arrested for “indecency” in 1962, the Le Nouveau Journal published a large photograph of her being arrested at the Beaver, a club located a few blocks from the Lower Main (Figure 5).91 In that same year, the public’s awareness of the “deceptive” character of the clubs along the Lower Main increased when the details of a raid at Arlequin aux Deux Masques were published in the press. During the raid, four men were arrested for dancing together and tried for “indecency.” However, the story was more complex: two of the accused were employed as “dancers” by the club and were wearing women’s clothing, high-heeled shoes, wigs, and rhinestone jewelry. One of the clients pled “not guilty” to the charges on the basis that he thought that his dance partner was “a beautiful and real woman.”92


Figure 5. The arrest of Lana St-Cyr at the Beaver in 1962. Source: “Danseuse arrêtée en plein spectacle: Le juge,devra-t-ill’appeler mademoiselle ou monsieur?” LeNouveau Journal, Mar.26, 1962,4.

By 1966, the clampdown on the Lower Main in preparation for Expo 67 further exposed the queerness of the night world of the Lower Main. Permit restrictions and a new bylawrestricting the interactions between employees and customers in Montréal’s night clubs were the primary methods that Drapeau’s regime used to regulate the night world of the Lower Main. In addition to new laws restricting striptease acts, the police proposed By-Law 3416 to City Council in February 1967 in an effort to restrict solicitation in night club spaces.93 Servers and other club staff in the cabarets were often connected to prostitution, and as Expo 67 approached, the newspapers turned the spotlight on clubs where tourists might fall victim to “dangerous women.” The police told the public that they were now declaring “a war on sharpies,” dancers and club employees who earned a commission from the bar tabs of the clients that they entertained.94 To defend the bylaw, the police argued that they had received many complaints from male tourists who had been handed huge bills at the end of an evening, especially in the clubs of the Lower Main. This led them to raid five nightclubs, all of which were located near the intersection of St-Laurent and Ste- Catherine streets (Café St-John, Rodéo Café, Le Cabaret, Pal’s, and Café Casbah).95 Bar employees in these establishments were described by the press as “skillful and dangerous creatures” while the male customers—especially those visiting the big city from rural Québec—were “dupes” who needed police protection.96 However, the bars that were raided and the debate about the bylaw further indicate that the police were hoping to limit the kinds of activities that had occurred at Café Arlequin in 1962: the original proposal was for a bylaw that would prevent all “female” employees from soliciting customers, but when it actually came before the city council for approval, it was suggested that it be extended to apply to all club employees.97 This was primarily because, in bars where the shows were organized for “the third sex,” “dancers, who are in reality men disguised as women, come and solicit the clients.”98

The police also targeted the entertainments of Montréal’s night world in the months before Expo 67. The striptease had become a more central feature of the Lower Main’s night life in the 1950s, primarily due to the decreased budgets of the club owners—caused by the enforcement of closing hours and high legal costs for permit renewals—and the declining role of the area for middle-class, heterosexual sociability.99 In the spring, municipal authorities investigated clubs with topless dancers and tried to persuade owners to change their entertainment format so as to appeal once again to heterosexual “couples” and prevent the problems posed by developing “all-male” audiences. Those clubs that continued to feature topless dancers were raided a few weeks before Expo 67.100 However, the appeals of the club owners demonstrated that authorities were also targeting the social world surrounding drag shows. While numerous convictions for assault, attempted murder, gross indecency, prostitution, and serving minors had occurred in all of the clubs of the Lower Main, those that featured drag shows had the greatest difficulty having their permits renewed.101 The management of the Arlequin aux Deux Masques, for example, went before the court in April 1967 for a variety of infractions, but the provincial liquor squad built their case against the proprietors by emphasizing that “the club’s clientele seemed to be composed largely of homosexuals.”102 Again, concerned by the type of audience that this and other clubs attracted, the municipal authorities also suggested a change in their entertainments to attract a more “respectable” clientele. For example, the owner of the Café Casbah was granted a new license only after agreeing to replace the drag shows with more “respectable” forms of entertainment. This same club was singled out when the district attorney instructed taxi drivers not to take tourists to the Lower Main: it was described as unsuitable for tourists because it was a “cheap and sleazy bar” that featured drag shows.103

Following Expo 67 and during debates about the federal Omnibus Bill, the decline of the Lower Main was increasingly signified by a queer takeover of its spaces. For example, in 1968, Le Nouveau Samedireported on a male prostitution ring and featured a photograph of a doorway to a tourist room near the corner of St-Laurent and Ste-Catherine streets. Building on the fact that fifty-four men had been arrested here, the paper sensationally told the public that “the place that they [female prostitutes] used to occupy on the portion of St-Laurent Street that lies between Sherbrooke and Craig streets, familiarly called the Main, is now occupied almost exclusively by male homosexual prostitutes.”104 Later that year, Le Nouveau Samedi published a photograph of Ste-Catherine Street near the corner of St-Laurent Boulevard, describing the area as “the preferred hangout of homosexuals, prostitutes and pederasts” (Figure 6).105 If gay men were taking over the area’s sex trade, they, along with lesbians, were also taking over its hotels and rooming houses. >As Chamberland has noted, in 1969 Nouvelles et polices judiciaires reported that the Lower Main was no longer “the headquarters of organized crime” but rather “the preferred hangout of lesbians and homosexuals who are congregating in the rooming houses of St-Laurent Boulevard.”106 And, as we saw at the outset of this paper, by the early 1970s the decline of the Lower Main would also be signified by the takeover of the area’s stages by drag performers. In a three-part series on the decline of the Lower Main published in 1974 in La Presse, the city’s major French language daily, the journalist focused the final installment on what had once been the Cafe St-John, now a drag club called Le Saguenay. According to the booking agent, this new club was one of the few clubs of the Lower Main that was still vibrant, attracting a broad clientele of gays, lesbians, and heterosexuals. He argued that since the Omnibus Bill, clubs could be more open about marketing the drag performers. However, he told the journalist: “You want to talk about St-Laurent Street? There isn’t much to say. It’s dead.” The journalist then concluded the series with: “As we have seen throughout this series, there isn’t much happening on the Main, between Vitré and Ste- Catherine. There remains, in all, one attraction: les travestis.”107


Figure 6. Photograph of Ste-Catherine Street at the intersection of Boulevard St-Laurent in 1968. The caption reads “Many of these establishmentson Sainte-Catherine Street near St-Laurent are the preferred meeting places ofhomosexuals,prostitutes,and pederasts.” Author’s Translation. Source: LeNouveau Samedi, Nov.16 to 22,1968, 4.


The 1970s would mark both the apex and the end of the centrality of the Lower Main’s nightlife in most heteronormative discourses. In the early years of this decade, playwright and novelist Michel Tremblay would draw more attention to the Lower Main by using its queer night world as a parable of the oppression of the Québécois people by capitalism, the Catholic Church, and the Canadian Federation. Public attention to his plays (such as Les Belles-Sœurs, Sainte-Carmen de la Main, and Hosanna) and the 1974 film Il était une fois dans l’est (based on Tremblay’s plays), made the queer night world of the Lower Main more central to debates about national identity and Québécois liberation.108 By the mid-1970s, the battle for “gay liberation” in Montréal would largely be fought further west in the downtown core in response to cleanup campaigns for another world event, the 1976 Summer Olympics. And, over the course of the 1980s and 1990s, gays and lesbians would also appropriate space in districts to the north and the east of the Lower Main, developing the Plateau Mont-Royal lesbian enclave and Montréal’s “gay village” in the early 1980s.109 But a heteronormative discourse of decline surrounding the Lower Main persisted. For example, journalist Jack Todd rearticulated this discourse when he described the Lower Main in 1987: “Last night, many of these puffy, bloodshot faces peered up from curbs or traded leers with the prostitutes—male, female or variants thereof—who provide these two blocks of the street with its gritty reputation.”110 The Lower Main would, however, remain central for sex workers, drag performers, and trans populations who continued to work and form community in its clubs. The Café Cléopâtre (the former Canasta Club), a trans performance club since the 1970s, is the only historic club on the Lower Main to survive the recent renovation of the district for the creation of Le Quartier des Spectacles, a redevelopment project that has sought to finally integrate the red- light district with the adjacent Place des Arts complex built in 1963.

The objective of this case study has been to explore the links between the discourses of decline that surrounded the Lower Main in the post-war period and the renewal of heteronormativity that came with the restructuring and modernization of Montréal in this period. Drawing on Beauregard’s arguments regarding the class-based and racial normativities of discourses of decline in American cities in the post-war period, I have argued for additional attention to the heteronormativities embedded in such narratives. The coincidence of rising homosexual panic and evidence of queer place-making in aging entertainment districts in this period suggests that heteronormativity was implicated in discourses that depicted the inner city as deserving of abandonment. In Montréal, these debates revolved primarily around the Lower Main as it was repositioned in relation to a city undergoing modernization as well as political and moral reform. While in the 1950s the Lower Main was increasingly represented as a space of poverty, immorality, and gang violence, in the 1960s police repression placed increased emphasis on the protection of the public from the entertainments, staff, and social worlds that were emerging in the cabarets of the district. Initially, this discourse was more predictable, centering on controlling the striptease and reducing female prostitution. However, as Expo 67 approached, the street’s association with lesbian, gay, and trans identities provided reformers with further evidence of the inner city’s moral “decline.” As in other cities, this process not only gave the city a place in which to locate the “broken dreams” of the post-World War II period; it also provided a location through which to renew heteronormativities in response to a moral panic regarding the increased visibility of the “world of the third sex” and the queering of the city’s red-light district.

Representations of the Lower Main also played a productive role in shaping the city’s social and sexual geography at a time of intensive change. By bringing together class, sexual, and gender identities that were positioned on the city’s social and sexual margins, the images and the debates surrounding the Lower Main were also part of the city’s modernization process. On the one hand, they served the antithesis of the mainstream dream of a modern metropolis, an example of what authorities wanted to eliminate, especially as they prepared to welcome the world to Montréal for Expo 67. On the other hand, they gave expression to non-normative forms of sexuality and sociability that came into the public eye as the post-war metropolis expanded and some districts became available for appropriation. Like the sensationalist press through which it was often represented, the public image of the Lower Main was spectacular, a place of moral decline and corruption. However, for those who were looking carefully, it was also a location for queer and trans worlds in the making. Such images demonstrated that, despite the best efforts of authorities, the Lower Main was not empty: it was a vibrant social world of emerging queer public cultures, especially at night.


1 For a personalized and critical account of the cleansing of non-normative sexualities from inner-city entertainment districts through urban redevelopment see Samuel Delany, Times Square Red, Times Square Blue (New York and London: New York University Press, 1999).

2 Christiane Berthiaume, “Seule attraction de la Main: les travestis,” La Presse, July 18, 1974, C1. Viviane Namaste provides a linguistically and historically contextual discussion of the meaning of the term travesti in Québec in the 1960s and 1970s. The term was used to describe diverse and overlapping gender and performance identities including men who performed in drag but did not identify as women, men who wore women’s clothing, transgendered women, and transgendered women who were also performers. It was not until the late 1960s, when sexual reassignment surgery and hormones became slightly more accessible, that a distinction was made between les travesties and les transsexuels. In the 1950s and 1960s, therefore, it is more accurate to refer to these performers as les travestis and to their shows as drag shows. See Viviane Namaste, C’était du spectacle! L’histoire des artistes transsexuelles à Montréal, 1955-1985 (Montréal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s Press, 2005), 5-6, 153-154. .

3 For discussion of the “immoral” region concept, see Felix Driver, “Moral Geographies, Social Science and the Urban Environment in the Mid-Nineteenth Century,” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 13, no. 3 (1988): 275-287; Phil Hubbard, “Sexuality, Immorality and the City: Red-Light Districts and the Marginalization of Female Street Prostitutes,” Gender, Place and Culture 5, no. 1 (1998): 55-76; Miles Ogborn, “Love-State- Ego: ‘Centres’ and ‘Margins’ in Nineteenth Century Britain,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 10, no. 3 (1992): 287-305; Miles Ogborn and Chris Philo, “Soldiers, Sailor and Moral Locations in Nineteenth Century Portsmouth,” Area 26, no. 3 (1994): 221-231. A recent overview of the role played by “morality” in shaping urban geographies is provided by Stephen Legg and Michael Brown, “Moral Regulation: Historical Geography and Scale,” Journal of Historical Geography 42 (2013): 134-139. For one of the earliest articulations of the argument about creating locations to accommodate sexual transgression, see Judith R. Walkowitz, City of Dreadful Delight: Narratives of Sexual Danger in late Victorian London (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1992). For more recent discussions of this dichotomy see Phil Hubbard, “Desire/Disgust: Mapping the Moral Contours of Heterosexuality,” Progress in Human Geography 24, no. 2 (2000): 191-217; Becki L. Ross, “Sex and (Evacuation from) the Moral and Legal Regulation of Sex Workers in Vancouver’s West End, 1975-1985,” Sexualities 13, no. 2 (2010): 197-218.

4 Phil Hubbard, Sex and the City: Geographies of Prostitution in the Urban West (Farnham: Ashgate, 1999); and “Here, There, and Everywhere: The Ubiquitous Geographies of Heteronormativity,” Geography Compass 2, no. 3 (2009): 640-658.

5 See, for example, Ross, “Sex and (Evacuation from) the Moral and Legal Regulation,” 199.

6 I use “queer” in a very open way here, perhaps close to the way in which it would have been used as a pejorative term in the post-WWII era to describe “the third sex.” This category included all people whose sexual practices and gender identities stood in opposition to heteronormativity at the time, namely gays, lesbians, and transgendered people. Although I would not necessarily describe cis-gendered women involved in heterosexual sex work along the Lower Main as queer, they certainly occupied a distinctly marginal moral location in relation to heteronormativity. Moreover, as working-class lesbians were part of these networks, it is impossible to distinguish and separate these categories in a discrete manner.

7 Recognizing that there are a variety of approaches and forms of deconstruction involved in the practice of queer geographies, my goal in this paper is close to the classic Foucauldian objective of queer theory as it has been interpreted in geography. Such a perspective is outlined by geographers Kath Browne and Catherine J. Nash in their introduction to Queer Methods and Methodologies: “Queer theory challenges on the normative social ordering of identities and subjectivities along the heterosexual/homosexual binary as well as the privileging of heterosexuality as ‘natural’ and homosexuality as its deviant and abhorrent ‘other.’” Kath Browne and Catherine J. Nash, “Queer Methods and Methodologies: An Introduction,” in Queer Methods and Methodologies: Intersecting Queer Theories and Social Sciences Research, eds. Kath Browne and Catherine J. Nash (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010), 1-23. For other sources that outline a queer epistemological approach in geography see Gavin Brown, Kath Browne, and Jason Lim, “Introduction, Or Why Have a Book on Geographies of Sexualities?,” in Geographies of Sexualities: Theory, Practices and Politics, eds. Kath Browne, Jason Lim, and Gavin Brown (Farnham: Ashgate, 2007), 1-18; Michael Brown and Larry Knopp, “Queer Cultural Geographies – We’reHere! We’reQueer!We’re OverThere, Too,” in Handbook of Cultural Geography, eds. Kay Anderson, Mona Domosh, Steve Pile, and Nigel Thrift (London: Sage, 2003): 313-324; and Natalie Oswin, “Critical Geographies and the Uses of Sexuality: Deconstructing Queer Space,” Progress in Human Geography 32, no. 1 (2008): 89- 103.

8 Robert A. Beauregard, Voices of Decline: The Postwar Fate of US Cities (New York: Blackwell, 1993).

9 Beauregard, Voices of Decline, 9.

10 Mary Louise Adams, The Trouble with Normal: Postwar Youth and the Making of Heterosexuality (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997); John D’Emilio and Estelle B. Freedman, Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America (New York: Harper and Row, 1988). On Canada see Gary Kinsman, The Regulation of Desire: Sexuality in Canada (Montréal: Black Rose Books, 1987); and Gary Kinsman and Patricia Gentile, The Canadian War on Queers: National Security as Sexual Regulation (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2010).

11 D’Emilio and Freedman, Intimate Matters, 293.

12 Many histories of San Francisco demonstrate this. See, for example, Nan Alamilla Boyd, Wide Open Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965 (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2003), 112; Josh Sides, Erotic City: Sexual Revolutions and the Making of Modern San Francisco (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 98. On transsexual urban spaces in this period see Joanne Meyerowitz, How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002), 228.

13 For the regeneration of “discarded” neighborhoods, see Lawrence Knopp, “Some Theoretical Implications of Gay Involvement in an Urban Land Market,” Political Geography Quarterly 9, no. 4 (1990): 337-352; Mickey Lauria and Lawrence Knopp, “Toward an Analysis of the Role of Gay Communities in the Urban Renaissance,” Urban Geography 6, no. 2 (1985): 152-169. Regarding the dearth of analysis in relation to broader urban processes, Nash’s case studies of Toronto are an important exception within geography. However, while she traces the geographies of the city’s gay commercial spaces in the 1960s, her focus is more on how such spaces informed debates about the production of public gay commercial spaces in the 1970s and 1980s. See Catherine J. Nash, “Toronto’s Gay Village (1969-1982): Plotting the Politics of Gay Identity,” The Canadian Geographer/Le géographe canadien 50, no. 1 (2006): 1-16; and “Consuming Sexual Liberation: Gay Business, Politics, and Toronto’s Barracks Bathhouse Raids,” Journal of Canadian Studies/Revue d’études canadiennes 48, no. 1 (2014): 82-105. See also Catherine J. Nash and Andrew Gorman-Murray, “Recovering the Village: A Comparative Historical Geography of Urban Change and Planning in Toronto and Sydney,” Historical Geography 43 (this issue).

14 Jon Binnie, “Trading Places: Consumption, Sexuality and the Production of Queer Space,” in Mapping Desire: Geographies of Sexualities, eds. David Bell and Gill Valentine (London: Routledge, 1995), 182-199; Frank Mort, “Cityscapes: Consumption, Masculinities and the Mapping of London since 1950,” Urban Studies 35: 5-6 (1998): 889-907; Stephen Quilley, “Constructing Manchester’s ‘New Urban Village’: Gay Space in the Entrepreneurial City,” in Queers in Space: Communities, Public Places, Sites of Resistance, eds. Gordon Brent Ingram, Anne-Marie Bouthillette, and Yolanda Retter (Seattle: Bay Press, 1997), 275-292; Michael Sibalis, “Urban Space and Homosexuality: The Example of the Marais, Paris’ ‘Gay Ghetto,’” Urban Studies 41, no. 9 (2004): 1739-1758. For an overview for research on the gayborhood in geography and urban studies see Michael Brown, “Gender and Sexuality II: There Goes the Gayborhood?,” Progress in Human Geography 38, no. 3 (2013): 457-465.

15 Alan Collins, “Sexual Dissidence, Enterprise and Assimilation: Bedfellows in Urban Regeneration,” Urban Studies 41, no. 9 (2004): 1789-1806. For further elaboration on this model see Brad Ruting, “Economic Transformations of Gay Urban Spaces: Revisiting Collins’ Evolutionary Gay District Model,” Australian Geographer 39, no. 3 (2008): 259-269.

16 Collins, “Sexual Dissidence,” 1802.

17 Ibid.

18 Bryant Simon, “New York Avenue: The Life and Death of Gay Spaces in Atlantic City, New Jersey, 1920-1990,” Journal of Urban History 28, no. 3 (2002): 300-327; and Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2004).

19 Simon, “New York Avenue,” 301. It should be noted that Atlantic City was only seen as “empty” by gay men due to the absence of “respectable” white middle-class heterosexual consumers, a perspective that completely disregarded the presence of the African American and Puerto Rican populations that had moved into the area.

20 Marc Stein, City of Sisterly and Brotherly Loves: Lesbian and Gay Philadelphia, 1945-1972 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 84.

21 Ibid., 85.

22 Boyd, Wide Open Town; John D’Emilio, Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities: The Making of a Homosexual Minority in the United States, 1940-1970, 2nd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998); Jeffrey Escoffier, “Homosexuality and the Sociological Imagination: The 1950s and 1960s,” in A Queer World, ed. Martin Duberman (New York: New York University Press, 1997), 248-261. For research specifically on press representations see Kathryn Campbell, “‘Deviance, Inversion and Unnatural Love’: Lesbians in Canadian Media, 1950-1970,” Atlantis 23, no. 1 (1998): 128-136; Fred Fejes and Kevin Petrich, “Invisibility, Homophobia and Heterosexism: Lesbians, Gays and the Media,” Critical Studies in Mass Communications 10, no. 4 (1993): 395-422; Martin Meeker, Contacts Desired: Gay and Lesbian Communications and Community, 1940s and 1970s (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006), 110; Rodger Streitmatter, Unspeakable: The Rise of the Gay and Lesbian Press in America (New York: Faber and Faber, 1995).

23 D’Emilio, Sexual Politics; Escoffier, “Homosexuality and the Sociological Imagination.”

24 There are many possible sources for these claims. Here, I draw primarily on the following works: Christopher Agee, “Gayola: Police Professionalization and the Politics of San Francisco’s Gay Bars, 1950-1968,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 15, no. 3 (2006): 462- 489; Fred Fejes, “Murder, Perversion and Moral Panic: The 1954 Media Campaign against Miami’s Homosexuals and the Discourse of Civic Betterment,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 9, no. 3 (2000): 305-347.

25 Stein, City of Sisterly and Brotherly Loves, 156.

26 On the normativity of rejecting tabloid journalism as an historical source see Henrik Örnebring and Anna Maria Jönsson, “Tabloid Journalism and the Public Sphere: A Historical Perspective on Tabloid Journalism,” Journalism Studies 5, no. 3 (2004): 283-295. For queer histories that make this argument see David S. Churchill, “Mother Goose’s Map: Tabloid Geographies and Gay Male Experience in the 1950s,” Journal of Urban History 30, no. 6 (2004): 826-852; Ross Higgins and Line Chamberland, “‘Mixed Messages’: Gays and Lesbians in the Montreal Yellow Papers in the 1950s,” in The Challenge of Modernity: A Reader on Post- Confederation Canada, ed. Ian McKay (Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1992), 422-431. For an example of the use of such sources in writing queer histories see Elise Chenier, “Rethinking Class in Lesbian Bar Culture: Living ‘the Gay Life’ in Toronto, 1955-1965,” Left History 9, no. 2 (2004): 85-118.

27 Archives de la Ville de Montréal, Fonds du service du Greffe, Dossiers de coupures de presse, 1651-1996, VM6.

28 Archives gaies du Québec, Dossiers de Presse, 1880-1984.

29 Martin Allor, “Locating Cultural Activity: The Main as Chronotope and Heterotopia,” Topia 1(1997): 42-54; Pierre Anctil, Saint-Laurent: La Main de Montréal. (Montréal: Septentrion, 2002); Julie Podmore, “St. Lawrence Boulevard as Third City: Space, Gender and Difference along Montréal’s ‘Main’” (Ph.D. Dissertation, McGill University, 1999).

30 Andrée Lévesque, “Éteindre le Red Light: Les réformateurs et la prostitution à Montréal entre 1865 et 1925,” Urban History Review/Revue d’histoire urbaine 17, no. 3 (1989): 191-201; Tamara Myers, Caught: Montreal’s Modern Girls and The Law, 1869-1945 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006).

31 Collins, “Sexual Dissidence,” 1802.

32 See Annick Germain and Damaris Rose, Montréal: The Quest for a Metropolis (Chichester: John Wiley and Sons, 2000), 104-105.

33 Jean-Claude Marsan, Montréal in Evolution: Historical Analysis of the Development of Montréal’s Architecture and Urban Environment (Montréal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s Press, 1981), 312.

34 Paul-André Linteau, Histoire de Montréal depuis la Confédération (Montréal: Boréal, 1992), 460- 464.

35 For a detailed discussion of the modernization of Montréal’s downtown see Clément Demers, “Le nouveau centre-ville de Montréal,” Cahiers de géographie du Québec 27, no. 71 (1983): 209-235 and Marsan, Montréal in Evolution, 342-364.

36 Lucien Croteau, “Croteau’s view on Dozois Plan,” Montreal Gazette, February 7, 1957, 1.

37 Eugene Boyko, Les Habitations Jeanne-Mance (Montréal: National Film Board, 1964). Available at: https://www.onf.ca/film/habitations_jeanne-mance_les.

38 Canada, Dominion Bureau of Statistics, “Montreal,” Population Characteristics by Census Tracts, Census of Canada, 1956 (Ottawa: Edmond Clouthier, Queen’s Printer/Minister of Trade and Commerce, 1958); Statistics Canada, “Montreal,” Census Tract Bulletin Series A: Population and Housing Characteristics by Census Tracts, 1971 Census of Canada (Ottawa: Minister of Trade and Commerce, 1973).

39 André G. Bourassa and Jean-Marc Larrue, Les nuits de la Main: Cent ans des spectacles sur le boulevard Saint-Laurent, 1891-1991 (Montréal: VLB Éditeur, 1993); Jean-Paul Brodeur, La délinquance de l’ordre: Recherches sur les commissions d’enquête (Lasalle: Hurtubise HMH, 1984); Danielle Lacasse, La prostitution féminine à Montréal, 1945-1970 (Montréal: Boréal, 1994); Daniel Proulx, Le Red-Light de Montréal (Montréal: VLB Éditeur, 1997).

40 Lacasse, La prostitution féminine, 116.

41 John Gilmore, Swinging in Paradise: The Story of Jazz in Montréal (Montréal: Véhicule Press, 1988).

42 Al Palmer, Montreal Confidential (Montréal: Véhicule Press, 2009 [1950]); William Weintraub, City Unique: Montreal Days and Nights in the 1940s and 50s (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1996).

43 Palmer, Montreal Confidential, 80.

44 Bourassa and Larrue, Les nuits de la Main, 150.

45 Lacasse, La prostitution féminine, 63; Namaste, C’était du spectacle!, 54-57.

46 Line Chamberland, “Remembering Lesbian Bars: Montreal, 1955-1975,” Journal of Homosexuality, 25, no. 3 (1993): 231-270; Ross Higgins, “A Sense of Belonging: Pre-Liberation Space, Symbolics and Leadership in Gay Montreal(Ph.D. Dissertation, McGill University, 1997), 410-418; Ross Higgins, “Des lieux d’appartenance: Les bars gais des années 1950,” in Sortir de l’ombre: Histoires des communautés lesbienne et gaie de Montréal, eds. Irène Demczuk and Frank W. Remiggi (Montréal: VLB Éditeur, 1998), 103-128; Namaste, C’était du spectacle!, 122, 222-224.

47 Namaste, C’était du spectacle!, 12-23.

48 Higgins, “Des lieux d’appartenance.”

49 Higgins, “A Sense of Belonging,” 254-302; “Des lieux d’appartenance,” 109-111.

50 Chamberland, “Remembering Lesbian Bars,” 235.,

51 Ibid., 236.

52 Linteau, Histoire de Montréal, 525; Ross Higgins, De la clandestinité à l’affirmation: Pour une histoire de la communauté gaie montréalaise (Montréal: Comeau et Nadeau, 1999), 41.

53 Brodeur, La délinquance de l’ordre; Brian McKenna and Susan Purcell, Drapeau (Toronto and Vancouver: Clark, Irwin and Co., 1980).

54 Brodeur, La délinquance de l’ordre; McKenna and Purcell, Drapeau.

55 Linteau, Histoire de Montréal, 531; McKenna and Purcell, Drapeau.

56 Bourassa and Larrue, Les nuits de la Main, 151.

57 Weintraub, City Unique, 87.

58 Given that there was a severe housing crisis in Montréal in the 1950s and that the funds had already been secured for the project, Drapeau’s opposition to the construction of Les Habitations Jeanne-Mance angered and even baffled many political factions. As McKenna and Purcell argue, the project became part of a political struggle between Drapeau and the provincial Premier, Maurice Duplessis. See McKenna and Purcell, Drapeau, 109. As Germain and Rose note, Drapeau’s opposition to Les Habitations Jeanne-Mance was also related to his broader vision for modernizing Montréal. See Germain and Rose, Montréal, 82. Drapeau intended to extend the downtown core eastward by replacing the housing in the area with a radio and television complex that would be linked to Place des Arts.

59 Al Palmer, “Shadow Squad Checks Night Club Attractions,” Montreal Gazette, January 10, 1958; “Une escouade surveillera la tenue des spectacles et la vente de boissons aux mineurs,” Le Devoir, January 11, 1958.

60 Robert Gilliece, “Bail Refused in Night Club Assault,” Montreal Gazette, July 9, 1960.

61 “Nettoyer la jungle montréalaise des indésirables qui l’habitent,” Montréal-Matin, July 15, 1960.

62 “La Main à l’heure du Far West,” La Presse, August 10, 1960.

63 “Après le Chez Parée, l’El Morocco et le Casa Loma devaient y passer,” La Presse, November 23, 1960; Roger Champoux, “Un nettoyage de grand style,” La Presse, November 16, 1961; “Director Promises Police Clamp-Down on Turbulent Main,” Montreal Star, November 15, 1961; Al Palmer, “Focal Point – The Lower Main,” Montreal Gazette, November 26, 1961.

64 For Plante’s newspaper expose, see Pax Plante with David MacDonald, “The Shame of My City,” Star Weekly, June 24, 1961, 2-6. For Drapeau’s unsuccessful attempt to prohibit >children from the Lower Main see, “La Main, zone interdite au moins de 16 ans?,” La Presse, August 16, 1961.

65 Champoux, “Un nettoyage de grand style”; “Director Promises Police Clamp-Down”; Palmer, “Focal Point.”

66 Claude Asselin, “Gilbert s’explique,” Montréal-Matin, August 16, 1966; Tim Burke, “Police Launch Night Club War,” Montreal Star, July 26, 1966.

67 “L’histoire de la Main,” Le Cabaret, October 1, 1966.

68 Bernard Morrier, “La Casbah donne du fil à retordre aux policiers,” La Presse, April 15, 1967, 6.

69 “Le Café Rialto riposte et poursuit la ville,” La Presse, June 1, 1963; “Le Rodéo est maintenant fermé,” Montréal-Matin, June 20, 1963; “Protestation (légale) d’un propriétaire de cabaret,” Dimanche-Matin, June 2, 1963.

70 “Le Café Rialto riposte . . .”; “Nettoyage sur la Main,” Montréal-Matin, May 11, 1963; “Protestation (légale) d’un propriétaire . . .”; “Le Rodéo est maintenant fermé.”

71 Author’s translation. “Le Chef Adrien Robert témoigne,” Dimanche-Matin, October 11, 1964.

72 Ibid.

73 Author’s translation. “L’histoire de la Main.”

74 Palmer, “Focal Point”; “Le ‘point de mire’. . . La ‘Main,’” Dimanche-Matin, November 27, 1960.

75 Kinsman, The Regulation of Desire; Kinsman and Gentile, The Canadian War on Queers.

76 Namaste, C’était du Spectacle!, 166.

77 “Danseuse arrêtée en plein spectacle: Le juge, devra-t-il l’appeler mademoiselle ou monsieur?” Le Nouveau Journal, March 26, 1962, 4.

78 The term “the third sex” was a pseudoscientific term used to describe any subject position outside of a normative sex/gender binary prescribed by heteronormativity, regardless of gender identity. It emerged with the development of sexology in the nineteenth century and was widely used to pathologize gay, lesbian, trans, and intersex populations by aggregating and conflating gender and sexual orientation. See George Chauncey Jr., “From Sexual Inversion to Homosexuality: Medicine and the Changing Conception of Female Deviance,” Salamagundi, 58/59 (1983): 114-146. In Montréal in the 1950s and 1960s, the term was widely used in both the mainstream and tabloid press to describe lesbians, gays and trans populations. Higgins, De la clandestinité à l’affirmation, 53.

79 Jean Côté, “L’homosexualité: les polices de Montréal face à un problème agrandissant,” Le Nouveau Samedi, March 20-26, 1, 14-17; “Le nombre des homosexuels augmente de façon alarmante, particulièrement à Montréal,” Dimanche-Matin, February 7, 1965; Sidney Katz and James Bâber, “Les ‘homos’: Au Canada, ils sont plus d’un million . . . ,” Magazine MacLean, April 7, 1964, 32, 60-65; “12,000 homos,” Le Petit Journal, September 1, 1968, 12; Norm Williams, “Says Homosexuals on Increase Here: Judge’s Observation,” Montreal Star, February 6, 1965, 59.

80 Author’s translation. Jean Cadieux, “La Main s’éveille quand vous vous mettez au lit: Carrefour de la misère, la déchéance et des affaires louches,” Le Petit Journal, December 23, 1956, 46.

81 Neil Smith, “Giuliani Time: The Revanchist 1990s,” Social Text 57 (1998): 1-20.

82 Blair Gilmour, “St. Lawrence-Main,” MacLean’s Magazine, September 15, 1940, 19, 34.

83 Author’s translation. “La rue St-Laurent: ‘Plaisirs’ et misères . . . ,” Photo-Journal, September 15-21, 1957, 1-6, 23-25.

84 Journalist Daniel Proulx’s history of the red-light district uses this phrase to describe the Main in the 1970s. The final chapter, “Grandeur and Decadence of the Main,” is introduced with a photograph captioned with the following phrase: “In the 1970s, the red-light was but a memory; the Main had become a ‘boulevard of broken dreams’” (author’s translation). See Proulx, Le Red-Light de Montréal, 70. It is likely drawn from the title of the song, written in the 1930s by Al Dubin and Harry Warren and made popular by Tony Bennett in 1950, which ridicules the “gigolos and gigilettes” of another red-light district, Place Pigalle in Paris.

85 “Le monde interdit des lesbiennes,” Zéro, Summer, 1964, 18-20.

86 Author’s translation. “Montréal aux prises avec un problème sérieux celui de troisième sexe,” Zéro, Spring, 1964, 3.

87 Higgins, “Les lieux d’appartenance,” 110.

88 Line Chamberland, “Image des lesbiennes dans les journaux jaunes,” Treize: Revue Lesbien, 5, no. 5 (1989): 5-8.

89 Higgins and Chamberland, “Mixed Messages,” 427.

90 There were a variety of charges that the police could use to criminalize gays, lesbians, and trans populations in night clubs and cabarets during this period. Drag performers could be arrested for indecency and were subject to police harassment on the street and in cabarets. See Namaste, C’était du spectacle!, 45-47, 125. Lesbians were rarely arrested for indecency, but as Chamberland argues they were subject to police repression due to their association with the red-light district and as women who walked the streets at night. Usually their arrests were for other charges such as “underage drinking, vagrancy or disorderly conduct.” See Chamberland, “Remembering lesbian bars,” 237. Gay men were entrapped in public spaces, subject to bar and bathhouse raids and arrested in nightclubs when dancing together. See Higgins, “A Sense of Belonging,” 182-189. However, in the 1970s, the Montréal police began to systematically use the charge of “gross indecency” to raid gay bars and bathhouses. See Ross Higgins, “La régulation sociale de l’homosexualité,” in La régulation sociale des minorités sexuelles: L’inquiétude de la différence, eds. Patrice Corriveau and Valérie Daoust (Quebec City: Presses de l’Université du Québec, 2011), 82–120. For an overview of the legal regulation of homosexuals in Montréal in this period see Patrice Corriveau, Judging Homosexuals: A History of Gay Persecution in Quebec and France (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2011).

91 “Danseuse arrêtée en plein spectacle,” 4.

92 “Quatre homosexuels, arrêtés au Café Arlequin, sont condamnés,” Le Nouveau Journal, March 20, 1962.

93 Florian Bernard, “Montréal adopte des règlements sévères contre la prostitution dans les cabarets,” La Presse, March 10, 1967; “New By-Law Cracks Down on Bar Girl Mingling,” Montreal Star, March 10, 1967.

94 Burke, “Police Launch Night Club War.” For a detailed discussion of this bylaw and the use of “phoneys” in Montréal’s nightclubs in the 1960s see Namaste, C’était du spectacle!, 29-33, 62-65. As in other North American cities, b-girls were hired to increase bar tabs in nightclubs by sitting and drinking with clients. While the client consumed alcohol, the b-girls drank “phoneys,” watered-down drinks for which the client was charged full price. See also Amanda H. Littauer, “The B-girl Evil: Bureaucracy, Sexuality, and the Menace of Barroom Vice in Postwar California.” Journal of the History of Sexuality 12, no. 2 (2003): 171-204.

95 Asselin, “Gilbert s’explique.”

96 Jean-Claude Trait, “On se passera des billets doux mais il y aura moins de ‘poissons’ qui paieront un coup,” Le Petit Journal, February 19, 1967, 5.

97 Bernard, “Montréal adopte des règlements sévères”; “New By-Law Cracks Down on Bar Girl Mingling”; “Règlements sévères visant à protéger les touristes contre certains ‘appâts dangereux,’” Journal de Montréal, March 23, 1967.

98 Author’s translation. Bernard, “Montréal adopte des réglementes sévères.”

99 Al Palmer, “The Lower Main – Is it on the Way Back?,” Montreal Gazette, January 26, 1963, 13.

100“Il n’y aura pas de seins nus à Montréal, durant l’Expo,” Dimanche-Matin, April 2, 1967; “Pendant qu’on traque les ‘topless’, les ‘grosses légumes’ font des orgies,” Le Monde du Spectacle, April 10-16, 1967.

101 Morrier, “La Casbah donne du fil à retordre,” 6; John Yorston, “Club Charges Discrimination: Liquor Permit Hearing,” Montreal Star, April 22, 1967, 21.

102 Yorston, “Club Charges Discrimination,” 21.

103 Morrier, “La Casbah donne du fil à retordre,” 6.

104 Author’s translation. “Arrestation de 54 homosexuels par la moralité,” Nouveau Samedi, November 16, 1968, 2-3.

105 Le Nouveau Samedi, November 16 to 22, 1968, 4.

106 Chamberland, “Remembering Lesbian Bars,” 264, n. 14. See also Robert France, “La Main est devenue le repaire des homos,” Flirt et Potins, August 2, 1969, 3.

107 Author’s translation. Berthiaume, “Seule attraction de la Main,” C1. See also, Christiane Berthiaume, “Albert Gagnon raconte l’époque joyeuse de la rue Saint-Laurent,” La Presse, July 15, 1974, A1-A6; and “La Main est bien morte,” La Presse, July 13, 1974, A1, A2.

108 André Brassard and Michel Tremblay, Il était une fois dans l’est (Montréal: L’Aurore, 1974); Michel Tremblay, Les belles-sœurs (Montréal: Leméac, 1968); Hosanna: suivi de La duchesse de Langeais (Montréal: Leméac, 1973); and Sainte-Carmen de la Main (Montréal: Leméac, 1976).

109 Julie Podmore, “Gone ‘Underground’? Lesbian Visibility and the Consolidation of Queer Space in Montréal,” Social and Cultural Geography 7, no. 4 (2006): 595-625; Frank W. Remiggi, “Homosexualité et espace urbain: Une analyse critique du cas de Montréal, Téoros: Revue de Recherche en Tourisme 19, no. 2 (2000): 28-35.

110 Jack Todd, “On the Lower Main, Where the Side Show is always Free,” Montreal Gazette, August 1, 1987, J1.

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