In Montreal, just like other major cities around the world, the gay bathhouse scene came to a screeching halt due to the onslaught of COVID-19. Over the past few months, social media has been abuzz with Montreal patrons expressing how they were eagerly awaiting the reopening of Montreal’s widely-visited saunas. Last week, the people got their wish as the city authorized bathhouses to reopen with guidelines and safe practices in place (how would that work, exactly?).
All was not business as usual, though. Amid the opening week, an unidentified patron was found dead in a bathhouse located in Montreal’s famed ‘Gay Village’ on Tuesday morning.
The story is still developing, but what authorities have reported thus far is that a man fell unconscious at the Sauna G.I. Joe, located on Ste-Catherine Street East and Montcalm Street. According to the Toronto-based news site, TheProvince.com, Montreal police (SPVM) spokesperson Const. Véronique Comtois confirmed a 911 call was placed around 1:10 a.m., alerting authorities of the incident.
The deceased man was relatively young – 40 years old, and at this time, the police are treating the death as “suspicious,” while authorities conduct routine autopsies to determine the cause of death. In my opinion, bathhouse romps in the age of a global pandemic present a plethora of health concerns already, independent of whatever else might have occurred in this instance.
We’ll be following this story at Instinct Magazine and sharing updates as they become available. In the meantime, we urge you to be safe and be mindful as together we navigate through the unprecedented Coronavirus health crisis.