Chez Madame Arthur - Historic Places Days

Chez Madame Arthur

Montréal, Québec
Historic Building
2170 Bishop Street, Montreal, QC, Canada
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In the 1970s, the address of 2170 Bishop Street was the home of the lesbian bar, “Chez Madame Arthur.” The bar was a popular meeting space for queer women and is perhaps most known today as the inspirational setting of Quebecois author Marie Claire Blais’s Nights in the Underground. In her work, Blais provides a vivid description of what this space felt like in the cold Montreal winters of the 70s.  

Today, the address of 2170 Bishop is home to the Simon De Beauvoir Institute, a college of Concordia University and one of the oldest Women’s Studies programs in Canada.   


Chamberland, Line (MA). “Remembering Lesbian Bars: Montreal, 1955-1975″ Journal of Homosexuality, 25: 3, (1993), 231-270. DOI: 10.1300/J082v25n03_02

Podmore, Julie A. “Gone ‘underground’? Lesbian visibility and the consolidation of queer space in Montréal” Social & Cultural Geography, 7: 4 (2006), 595-625. DOI: 10.1080/14649360600825737 

Pidduck, Julianne,  Suzanne Girard, MP Grenier and Lynne Trépanier. After Hours Chez Madame Arthur, July 11, 2019- September 28, 2019, Never Apart, Montreal.

Pidduck, Julianne. “Reading the Multimedia Archive Surrounding Montreal’s Post-War LGBTQ Bars: A Genealogical Return to Madame Arthur and Il Était Une Fois Dans l’Est.” Quebec Studies 60 (2015), 35–66. DOI:10.3828/QS.2015.16.

This listing was created by Christiane-Marie Cantwell, Assistant Archivist at the Archives Gaies du Québec and Audrey Gray, Project Officer at the National Trust for Canada. 

Founded in 1983, the Quebec Gay Archives have a mandate to acquire, conserve and preserve any handwritten, printed, visual or audio material which testify to the history of the LGBTQ+ communities of Quebec. The Quebec Gay Archives play an essential role as a guardian of LGBTQ2S+ history, through its conservation  of archival fonds and collections, its organization of public events and by welcoming researchers and visitors to its reading room. Researchers can consult their collections on weekdays by appointment at”

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2170 Bishop Street, Montreal, QC, Canada
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