I was there in the very late sixties, but if you wanted to see leonard cohen at four in the morning than ben;s deli or the main deli. that's were all the drunks went to sober up.
the working class and immigrant types were on "the main" now lower st Laurent. and over to st denis. rents were dirt cheap, especially over towards st denis and down below st Catherine's. me and a couple of buddies had a scummy two bedroom apartment on rue colonial for $40 a month. hard to believe. we had so many crashers that sometimes I had to go out and beg a couch from friends if I got home late.
the top of the weird hangouts, where French met English alternative types was the café theleme between st denis and st Laurent. it was a café devoted to the works of Alistair Crowley the founder of the oro. bill breeze was one of the guys on the main back then, now he's the caliph of the oto. who knew we should have brownnosed him more?
there was a big occultist scene around st Laurent and st denis ands thereabouts. it was fun until speed replaced pot. then things got crazy. of course as mentioned the yellow door was folk central and McGill was a counterculture area, and George Williams had the great riot. I was too poor for that scene. between working at the docks loading and unloading as a day labourer and then busking I was either beat from work or out an prince Arthur at night trying to sing for a few bucks. the beauty of montreal back then was it was sooooo cheap to live.
we nova scotians did a lot of mouching off the rich kids. we called it "living off the fat of the land". they had so much money they didn't know what to do with it anyway. sometimes we could live for weeks without working, but then that horrible day, up a four am and off to the docks for twenty bucks and a sore back.
you couldn't walk across the park between st denis and st Laurent without being offered hash for sale.