Thank goodness for PHRF. Otherwise racing would not be possible a lot of the time.
We would benefit though, from throwing our lot in with the one design classes in Montreal. One of the important one design fleets that make up what I call Montreal Sailing is the Star Class. They are mostly out of Club Nautique des Deux-Montagnes (CNDM), though some sail out of RStLYC too. Pictured are a couple of Canada's best, Brian Cramer and Tyler Bjorn shot by Fried Elliott. I have also seen a boat at BYC, and another at HYC.
Finding the boat that is right for any given sailor can be a very individualized passion. I would say it is important to find the right fitting boat, but that should ideally also mean finding a fleet to sail with. Racing is so much more interesting, fair, fun, and competitive in a one design class. Of course, there is also more support from fellow sailors when a collective knowledge of a given class develops. There are quite a variety of boats in Montreal that can be sailed on a one design basis, so finding the right fit isn't impossible within the more popular racing classes. For sure, it usually involves some compromise from the standard of one's dream boat. However, the satisfaction of racing in an fleet of equally competitive boats outweigh the desire for a fast plane downwind, or a bigger cabin. One design fleets exist for bigger cruisers and little-bitty boats. We probably could use more support for certain dinghy and keelboat classes. Those that would satisfy single-handed sailors come to mind.
Laser sailing is still possible though limited to two clubs. Those that would be interested should check out the fine people sailing out of Venture Sailing Club and Hudson Yacht Club. Or hey, help start a new fleet at your club!