First I need to let you know that I am no dating pro. I have dated and it has failed, I have dated and it has succeeded, I'm not the dating guru at all and maybe my ideas for a first date are completely crazy - you decide that for yourself!
On the first date, chances are you don't know that person very well, so you never want to put yourself in a position where you don't have an exit route. However, if you feel comfortable enough to invite that person over for dinner, movie, game, whatever, then do so. A home date is usually a favorite of mine because it's cozy, you don't have to speak loud over other people, you aren't rushed to go anywhere, it's just more relaxing, but not recommended for a first date. Remember - exit routes are necessary the first time around in case your girl/guy turns out to be boring or cuckoo.
Also, dinner on a first date is more or less recommended. I personally don't think that dinner is a bad thing on a first date. If the date is shit, you eat fast, ask for the bill and say you feel sick and that your bed seems like a good place to be. So if you want to go the restaurant route, I think that going to a more or less known place is ideal because if ever the date doesn't really turn out, no one spotted you. Now, you don't have to go to a hole in the wall, but maybe a place off the beaten track. Try a little BYOB in another area than your own like Quartier General in the Plateau, or try a little Portuguese restaurant close to your home that you have always wanted to try. Something yummy, but not too public. I don't suggest Enfants Terribles or anywhere on Bernard or Laurier for that matter (FOR A FIRST DATE, I REMIND YOU!), you can try Parc for some delicious greek food, or Rumi for some middle eastern delights. You can also try really new restaurants (you might see someone you know, so I don't suggest using that type of place for a blind date we'll say) - Kitchen Galerie Poisson or regular Kitchen Galerie on Jean-Talon are TO DIE FOR. It might hit you a little budget wise, but the food is divine. Le Continental, Les Cavistes, Hachoir, Confusion - all on St-Denis are great food spots. You can even have a bite at Continental and then go for a couple drinks at L'Barouf.
But if you aren't into the whole dinner/drinks type first date, and looking for something a little more original, why don't you try some bowling, or pool. Montreal isn't short of activities at all. You can go to one of the many museums, walk down Mont-Royal or St-Denis, grab an ice cream at Bilboquet in the summer, walk through the park, or grab a poutine at La Banquise then you can stroll into la Quincaillerie right next door for a good pint! On a Thursday evening in the summer, head to the Orange Julep or on Sundays in the summer, head to the Mont-Royal Park to watch the tam-tams. Another favorites of mine are jazz bars - Upstairs and House of Jazz are some of my favorite - in the downtown core.
Hope this helps you out! Remember yes these are good ideas for first dates or any dates or even activities with friends! If you have great ideas for first date locations let us know, add to the comments!
As my last words of wisdom, I don't suggest you do see a movie on your first date, make sure to spend some quality time with your date, get to know them! Good luck and happy dating!