OUTEXPRESSION newspaper is a not for profit publication of Gay West Community
Network Inc. (Queer West). (Masthead)
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For the uninitiated, BIXI
is simple to use: it takes a small credit card payment to unlock a bike, which
can be procured for a one-time fee of $5 for 24 hours or $12 for 72 hours (monthly
$41 and yearly subscriptions are also offered at $97). You can ride for an hour
for $4:00 I'm pretty sure pretty sure the latte sippers in far-flung boroughs
like Trinity Bellwoods and Leslieville like to ride bikes, too. The Service
is accessible to the holders of Visa, MasterCard, and AMEX credit cards. Get
a cycling App.
It's fun to visit gay Toronto?
Toronto's gay ghetto moved around in the early 1970s, it was on Spadina Avenue;
later Queen St., east of Spadina, Parliament Street in the early '80s; and Church
& Wellesley by 1992." In fact there is no gay village in Toronto. "There
remained some confusion in 1992 about what to call the gay neighbourhood east
of Yonge Street: Church & Wellesley (accurate if not very snappy); The Village
(favoured by those business types); or simply The Ghetto." wrote
Rick BéboutT The continuing concept that Toronto is one big gay village
Toronto is on the list of growing international cities that claim to having
more than one “gay village”. As most visitors to the city believe, Church and
Wellesley is the hub of gay activity when planning a vacation or stop over.
However, the west end of the city has gradually carved out a place on the map,
known locally as the “Queer West Village,” or Queer West Toronto. There has
been a significant queer presence in this area for several years, but it only
recently it started gaining recognition as a viable gay alternative to the Church
Queer West is more of an attitude than an identity—new and radical with a thriving
underground gay scene. “I like the diversity here,” explains local Tom Riley,
who has lived in the area for 10 years. “This is a fairly tolerant neighbourhood
in terms of ethnicities. As for its attitude toward the gay community…I've had
no adverse reactions.”
There are no purely gay bars in this part of town; instead there are mixed events
and venues that provide a safe and welcoming place to party and be yourself.
As well, there are several funky dining establishments and accommodation options
so you can actually plan a full itinerary in Queer West Toronto.
There are other queer neighbourhoods in Toronto besides Queer West. Church
& Wellesley: The heart of the city's main gay village in downtown Toronto.
(Subway: Wellesley or College) The Danforth also known as Greektown:
A trendy area with lots of gay and lesbian residents as well as gay-owned businesses.
(Subway: Broadview, Chester or Pape) College Street: Little Italy around
Clinton has a decided gay/artsy flair. (Streetcar: College) andLeslieville:
Gay boys and girls in search of affordable homes and starving artists being,
well, starving artists are transforming this gritty neighbourhood with great
restaurants and quirky shops. (Streetcar: Queen east)
Mon, Jan 27, 2014 Global News: A number of businesses have closed or
relocated in advance of World Pride at the end of June 2014. Church Street gay
village Owners say rents are becoming too high. The
video report highlights DuWest Brockton Village, Queer West end of the city
as a more welcome place, to live work and play.
"This is completely depressing to walk up on Church St., can't help but
noticed many stores and restaurants are closed down. Oh boy, this is not a good
picture for World Pride in Toronto. The (Sic: Toronto Gay) village used to be
vibrant and full of actions on a daily basis and especially on the weekend.
The existing businesses provide services to the people who live in the vicinity
and the out-of-towners who come and visit the district. Now, there's hardly
any place to check out for because they're closed down." Dj Quinces said
While the Queer West End of Toronto is not a designated tourist area
like the traditional gay district around the Church and Wellesley neighbourhood..
Safe yes, if you keep in areas mentioned in this article. There hasn't
been gay bashing, in over 26 years, since school teacher and librarian Kenneth
Zeller, was kicked to death in Parkdale's High Park by five youths in 1985.
Which was made into a play called Steel Kiss. While Toronto Parkdale is a working
class gritty part of the city (Some jokingly refer to it as Crackdale) Here
you will find all races, genders and sexualities, old, young, rich and poor
living side by side.
Like a fabulous herd of reindeer gays and lesbians are moving
out to live, work and play in the new queer districts in the city.The best
known of these districts is the newly claimed 'queer arts' neighbourhoods emerging
on Queen Street West (Trinity Bellwoods/Parkdale) and to some extent
on Dundas St. W (Brockton Village) in west central part of old Toronto.
Who coined Queer West?
Contrary to popular belief, the late Toronto artist and night club owner Will
Munro didn't coin the term Queer West. In 2001 The Author of this article approached
thirty venues including the Beaver Cafe (Munro didn't own the Beaver until 2006)
to start new queer community in the west central gaybourhoods. The new district
has now grown to over 70 venues and ever expanding queer neighbourhoods, which
Author called Queer West Village, just for fun, surprisingly the name caught
on though newspaper articles and some tourst sites. Now affectionally known
as just Queer West (Toronto Ontario) Source;History
of Gay Toronto and Birth of Queer West
The City of Toronto in 2009 bolted new signs on all lamposts, officially
designating it the "Art and Design District, " Due to West
Queen West's popularity, condo developers and higher commercial rents are forcing
many smaller gallery owners and clubs to move north a couple of blocks to Dundas
W (between Ossignton and Lansdowne Avenue) . The height limit is only three
stories.(Reference source for height limit: Dundas
More commercial and huge tracts of condo gentrification is happening between
1001 Ossignton and 1214 Dufferin on West Queen Street West (Beaconsfield Village).
The bigger galleries like MOCCA are staying put for now. That part of
the famous artists neighbourhood will disappear in ten years for less for the
hipsters, as the epicentre of gay culture moves West to (Parkdale)
and North to (old Brockton
Village also know as, Little
Portugal) New enclaves are starting West in the Junction.
Margaret On Dundas (2952 Dundas St. W.) (Slowly gaining fame as queer hot
spot). That's the thing about gay Toronto, it's ever changing.
Apartment Hunting, In Queer West Toronto rents (Shared accommodations)
are cheaper (Rooms $450+) Bachelors ($575 - $1145) one bedroom Apartments (
$645 - $2200) for the 20 / 30 somethings living, work and playing in the west
village, lots of parks for cruising, to swap spit and bug spray. A lot of younger
people are now using VIEWIT looking for new digs (Pictures, locations, amenities
and price ranges) http://www.viewit.ca/
T4 for west village neighbourhood
So do yourself a favor: shuck those glossy, brochure vision of soul-sucking
Ma and Pa merriment, and instead embrace the edgy, artsy, booming Queer West
Toronto, that has room for everyone: hot, indie music scenes, celebrity-chic
shopping, all-night dance parties and an über-cool mixed crowd.
You have may noticed I didn't mention LIBERTY VILLAGE in Toronto Parkdale,
an upscale trendy neighbourhood of the West Toronto, where a lot of gentrification
is taking place. Simply because there is no queer activity taking place there.
BLOOR WEST VILLAGE. Very posh and upscale. No gay or queer bars (mixed
crowd). There's never been any LGBT queer events in these neighbourhoods, to
the best of my knowledge. That's not to say, there are not gay and lesbian residents,
there's just no gay bars or queer activity happening in Liberty and Bloor West
"The eclectic and arty West Queen West Art & Design District is one
part of Toronto where you're never more than a few steps from an edgy gallery,
minimalist design shop, fair-trade coffeehouse, or hip lounge. This neighborhood
set along West Queen Street in the city's West End is also sometimes nicknamed
Queer West Village, especially out near the intersection with Gladstone Avenue,
thanks to the pronounced LGBT presence. In this sense, West Queen West counters
the Church Street Gay Village, which is largely a traditional strip of gay clubs
and shops and lacks the former's diversity of style and age, not to mention
the decided pan-sexuality.
You'll find a genuinely exciting mix of retail, nightlife, and dining along
West Queen West, which runs for nearly 2 kilometers from about Bathurst Street
to Gladstone Avenue. Also check out Ossington Avenue, which runs north from
West Queen Street to Dundas Street and contains a similar stretch of diverting
shops, bars, and cafes - plus the acclaimed Museum of Contemporary Canadian
Art (MOCCA). Also be sure to check out leafy Trinity Bellwoods Park, a lovely
place to sip coffee or nosh on food you've picked up at one of the area's many
The "queer" presence around here is brightest along the blocks between
Ossington and Gladstone - many of the businesses on this part of Queen Street
West take part in the Queer West Arts and Cultural Festival, held in August.
The gay-popular Gladstone Hotel, with its 37 one-of-a-kind artist-designed guest
rooms, is one of the most interesting lodging options in town, and on-site Gladstone
Cafe and Melody Bar have a decidedly queer following. " Said Andrew Collins
Gay & Lesbian Travel Guide for About.com
The Queer West Toronto has been home to an underground queer scene since
the 1970's. Long before Vazaleen was started by late artist Will
Munro as queer monthly event in Kensignton Market; The Body Politic Collective
a pioneering gay lib rag born in 1971, came to live not in a gay ghetto on Church
St. but an artists' enclave on Queen Street West.www.rbebout.com/divas/dcarole.htm
(In 1975, the Body Politic created its own owner, the Pink
Triangle Press, forerunner of Xtra Gay and Lesbian Newspaper.) Dark raves,
electro-sexual, queercore, goths, punks, hard rock, metal, and fetish nights
are held Velvet Underground 510 Queen St. W., Neu+ral 349A College
St., Bovine Sex Club 542 Queen St.W., Savage Garden is Toronto’s
oldest goth nightclub, 550 Queen St. W. and the Dance Cave 529 Bloor
St. W. El Convento Rico 750 College Street was created 21 years ago as
a humble, very underground club catering to gays, lesbians and trans people.
Once as popular as La Cage aux Folles but now only appeals to straight couples
from the 905 area outside TorontoThere's more than 40 galleries with
the likes of Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects (1086 Queen
West), MOCCA Gallery (952 Queen West) and Gallery TPW (56 Ossington)
(Public transit: subway to Osgoode station. The shopping strip is about 5
km (3 miles) long but the 501
Queen streetcar runs the whole length. A TTC
day pass is handy for hopping on and off streetcars.)
There are no purely gay bars in this part of town; instead there are however
a mixed crowd and venues (LGBT crowd and gay friendly straights together, that
provides a safe and welcoming place to party and be yourself. As well, there
are several funky dining establishments and accommodation options so you can
actually plan a full itinerary in Queer West Village.
Queer West Toronto is more of an attitude than an identity—new and radical
with a thriving underground gay scene. “I like the diversity here,”
explains local Tom Riley, who has lived in the area for 10 years. “This
is a fairly tolerant in terms of ethnicity's. As for its attitude toward the
gay community…I've had no adverse reactions.” Riley said.
"I feel far more welcome and visible on the Queer West scene. I find
that Queer West holds an attitude that’s quite the opposite to Church St’s —
it encourages queers to come as they are, without fear of having to fit in with
the crowd. Probably as a result the west-end scene is a lot more racially mixed
and there’s more room to express yourself both as ethnic and lesbian."
Pandya, a Toronto Writer raised within a Hindu tradition.
The West Queen West strip (sometimes called “Queen West Queer”) suddenly exploded
with the arrival the ever-so-funky venue/hotel The Drake (1150 Queen
W). The boutique concept rooms have been featured in magazines, on television
and most recently on international flights.
The hip and happening migrate here nightly to be seen or to catch the hottest
acts in the city. A cluster of other equally trendy venues soon opened in the
vicinity, including The Beaconsfield (1154 Queen W),and the gay-owned
Beaver Cafe (1192 Queen W) originally owned Megan Whiten, who sold it
to the late Will Munro and his friend Lynn MacNeil (Lee's Palace manager) in
2006, they turned it into a nightclub and restaurant by day.
Gay neighbours boost real estate property values. An academic
study of how Ohio neighborhoods voted on a 2004 Gay Marriage Amendment has
linked the result to house prices. Gentrification by gay people has previously
been studied as a boon to property values. This study of home values in and
around Columbus, Ohio concluded that an increase in the number of same-sex couples
by one in 1,000 households is associated with a 1.1 percent price premium in
enclaves that backed gay marriage The same influx in areas that didn’t support
same-sex marriage was linked to a 1 percent discount. It compared average home
prices in neighborhoods after controlling for a number factors, including distance
to the central business district, income, graduate degrees, school quality,
crime rate and house size.
Much has been written by University geography professors of late about queer
Parkdale, it was a hotspot between 2001 and 2008, but very little is happening
in Parkdale now, only monthly event at the Wrongbar. It's teaming with LGBT
residents, but the bubble burst for queer Parkdale in 2010, when the Brockton
Triangle neighbourhood began to become popular with the opening of The Henhouse
November 28, 2008 and the Naco Gallery open in April 2009. Julian Calleros’s
offbeat west-side cantina closed three years later in December 2011, after a
dispute with the landlord. Things on Dundas West have changed after 2012, and
all indications are that they’re going to keep changing. Read: Dundas
West takes off
View from Dundas W at Lansdowne. Looking East towards downtown Toronto.
Brockton Village: The fastest growing queer neighbourhood
In the photograph to the right stands St Helen's (Portuguese Roman Catholic
Church) which sits as beacon on Dundas W, as one nears the bridge over the CN
railway tracks further west. East down the street is a rightwing Pentecostal
Church. It's doubtful either of the churches, know they are sharing the neighbourhood
with the gay community and likely don't care. The gay community certainly spends
big bucks at their annual yard sales.
Toronto gay community is constantly moving. Richard
Florida at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management has consistently
shown that higher concentrations of gay people are linked with economic prosperity,
innovation and creativity within a region.. A new renaissance has started in
old Brockton Village a
romantic peaceful neighbourhood, also know as Little Portugal (Along Dundas
W between Lansdowne Ave and Gladstone Avenue) as it becomes a vibrant alternative
community with recently developed mix of galleries, cafés, restaurants and boutiques
to serve an increasingly visible queer clientele. A cadre of Yuppies are buying
up the row houses from 1887, in the neighbourhood, while prices are still cheap.
Old -school Portuguese families, Chinese or South Asian immigrants, or some
of an ever-growing proportion of artists and young professionals looking for
value or the ‘next’ hip ‘hood. Also see West Queen West’s comment about the
slow emergence of a “Queer West Village.” (Demographics)
Getting around the village; (Public transit: westbound 505
Dundas streetcar from St. Patrick or Dundas station, 63
Ossington bus south from Ossington subway, or 29
Dufferin bus south from Dufferin subway)
Brockton was a genuine village before it was annexed by Toronto in 1884. At
the intersection of Dundas West and Brock Avenue, the former Brockton Town Hall
still stands (as a Scotiabank branch, naturally 1616 Dundas ast. W. ). Way off
in the distance, the skyscrapers of downtown Toronto are visable. A 15 minute
bicycle ride to Yonge and Dundas on a good day.
View of one of many murals, by local Ecuador born artist José
Queer West Arts & Culture Centre live / work offices are located in Brockton
Village (Toronto Ward 18) at the crossroads of Dufferin & Dundas W. As well
as the home to the gay and lesbian newspaper, OUTeXpressions.
Steve Ireson a Church & Wellesley dude, decided Queer West Toronto was
a better location, than the Church Street Gay Village for his new restaurant.
The Hogtown Cure Deli & Cafe opened December 21, 2012 at the northwest
corner of Dufferin & Dundas St. West. They offer great products from
meats and cheeses, to local produce, pantry basics, pastries, breads, prepared
foods, treats and sweets, soups and made to order sandwiches, including some
of the best grilled cheese around. https://www.facebook.com/TheHogtownCureThe Hogtown Cure Deli & Cafe 1484 Dundas Street West, Queer West
Toronto, ON. (416) 994-6235 There is also Salsicharia Pavao (Deli) 1435
Dundas St W is a fixture in Little Portugal and a longtime Toronto source for
imported Portuguese groceries and freshly prepared meats. Review
The popularity of the neighbourhood has caught the eye of Real Estate Developers
in 2012. 1544 Dundas Street West Development plans a mega structure at the
corner of Dundas W. and Sheridan Ave, now a empty lot for past 3 yrs, next door
to popular queer nightclub The Henhouse. The developer is proposing to build
a mid-rise, 8 storey building housing 87 units (20,000 square feet) with retail
space on the ground floor. The development will also include 2 levels of parking
and require further remediation of the site. The height limit currently is 45
The nice thing about Brockton Village is the absence of drunken whooping, booming
bass, honking taxis, and piles of puke one finds on the sidewalks in Parkdale
There are a few small place to dance cheek to cheek; Bambi's The Garrison, Mojo
Lounge, Henhouse and Bar 1602, Restaurant
life on Dundas West Members of the Brockton
Triangle Neighbours(Group) on Facebooik seem happy with village life, with
Many new art galleries are springing up weeds along Dundas W. There's Wil
Kucey, LE Gallery, 1183 Dundas W east of Dufferin. Then there's loop
Gallery, 1273 Dundas St. and Alison Smith Gallery, 1410 Dundas Street
West. Jessica Bradley Art + Projects, 1450 Dundas east of Dufferin Street
aand the art store Art Metropole at 1490 Dundas W.. Ms. Bradley, a former curator
of contemporary art at the Art Gallery of Ontario, was drawn to the Dundas and
Dufferin area three years ago for similar reasons. "I could see what
was going on, down on Queen Street, where the rents were doubling and tripling,
driving the galleries out. ... When I saw this space, I just thought it was
in the right zone." said Bradley West end clothing stores continue
to move north from Queen Street.
Two new restaurants opened up in March 2012 The Federal, 1438 Dundas
St. W., 647-352-9150 Review
and a few doors way is Midfield Wine Bar and Tavern, 1434 Dundas St.
W., 647-375-7005 Review
The Magwood Vintage Shop with a careful selection of vintage apparel.
Magwood’s racks are filled with sophisticated, ladylike separates — many from
the ’40s and ’50 Magwood
1418 Dundas St. W., 416-818-3975,
The best gay friendly store in the village is Sun Milk Convenience Store
1547 Dundas Street West South east corner of Sheridan Avenue, 416-531-8580
Owner Sylvia Jung, has all of your weekly needs from bread and milk to sewing
your ripped pants to a dry cleaning business. A popular item among her gay clients
are Colt Sweet Cigarillos. Opened around 10 am to 11pm https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000263259652
Chef Nathan Isberg at the Atlantic Restaurant 1597 Dundas St. W. Phone
Number: 416-219-3819. Nate left behind more jaded Queen Street West when he
took over this Portuguese tavern. Now it’s affordable, earnest and rich in character
– which pretty much sums up the hood.
TWO BATHHOUSES are in the Queer West Village (Better know as The Tubs) There's
the Central Spa (Bathhouse) -The cleanest bathhouse in the city,populated
by mostly older gay men and some curious closet cases from the portuguese neighbourhood,
out for a quicky) 1610 Dundas St. West 2nd Floor at Brock Ave, two blocks west
of Dufferin northside. 416. 588.6191. 15 rooms, 60 lockers (noon-3am, 7 days/wk),
regular room: $15, locker: $10 Very busy: Sundays noon-8pm. It opened in 1997
and offers several services. Kill the time while cruising with a “Scrub’n’Wash”
from one of the staff. The also have an only queer women's evening. Other services
include pedicures, Vibrasage and body shaving. Services are $25/30 minutes,
$40/hour + $5/half hour for stone treatment. Add 10 minutes for $10.www.centralspa.ca
If your into old world charm. Then take a Shvitz! at the Oak Leaf Steam
Bath, founded n 1941. 216 Bathurst St at Queen W. T: 416-603-3434 The basement
and first floor are used by homeless guys and old heterosexual European men
who are there for the steam and to sleep (Discretion is advised.) Age group:
30 to just under 90. The top (second) floor is exclusively gay by mutual consent.
No glory holes, no dark rooms, no props. The place has changed little since
it opened in 1941. Facilities: Two large ancient semi-dry saunas, one small
renovated steam room, on 3 floors, 37 rooms. Hours:24 hours, except Tuesday,
when it opens at 5 pm. Best times: Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon.
Rooms: $12 for four hours or $20 for over night. Lockers $12 for 12 hours. Cruisiest
Spots: Top floor. * Wheelchair Accessible: No. No Website.
Ecuador born artist José
Ortega co-founded Lula
Lounge, 1585 Dundas Street West, with Jose Nieves. Over the years, Lula
has hosted Latin jazz and salsa performers, as well as rock, blues, chamber,
Brazilian and African musicians, and alternative musicians like Metric and Feist.
Dundas West in 2002, was a low-rent zone of bakeries, car garages, sheet metal
and plumbing suppliers and a rash of Portuguese sports bars. "Then
ago, the area had this ugly-duckling vibe," Ortega said. "But
... it felt more authentic, more real, a working-class neighbourhood where artists
and bakers and construction workers and store owners come and do their work."
Mr. Ortega has created brightly coloured street banners for Dundas Street West,
which feature a pair of open hands cradling a neighbourhood growing beneath
a golden sun. "That's what I think of the neighbourhood,"
Mr. Ortega says from his art studio on Dundas West. "It is vibrant, on
the cusp of change, but still friendly and unpretentious. Ortega, who was awarded
the 2010 Roy Thomson Hall Award of Recognition for his contribution to Toronto’s
musical life, describes himself as an art monk dedicated to a life of art.
With the opening of the Alison Smith Gallery, 1410 Dundas Street West, was
the latest sign of the once-homely neighbourhood's transformation. Grain,
Curd & Bean, 1414 Dundas Street, a high-end cheese shop, specializes
in three things: bread, cheese and coffee. More specialty store than cafe, this
new spot does have some stools by the front window, but, generally, it's more
of a take out spot than somewhere to meet-up, surf WiFi or otherwise pass the
The village is home to Dundas Street West hotspot OMG Baked Goodness
1561 Dundas St W. (647) 348-5664. The shop will first catch your eye with its
striking pink and brown sign, Elk antlers in the window, and graffiti adorning
its walls Naco Gallery and Cafe 1665 Dundas W. closed on December 17,
2011 (Their three year lease was up, building owner wanted the space for themselves.
pity) Naco's was known for its all-inclusive, queer-friendly environment, never
short of experimental in its offerings from art shows to dance nights.Jason's
Placeopened at 1602 Dundas W opened same day Naco's closed. It's just begining
to hold a few gay events like Ranga and Queer West Fest launch party last August.
The design shop ofLubo
Brezina who hail's from Bratislava, Slovakia (1659 Dundas St W) creates
furniture from recycled and reclaimed wood.And everywhere artists in Bockton
Village, are inhabiting little bits of cheap space, as their studios and lofts
in other parts of town, are turned into condos.
College Street, two blocks west of Dufferin southside. 416.546.7789 Free
Internet (WiFi) - A hidden gem. Unlike other cafes in Queer
West, that discouage loitering over one latte, this place dosen't mind. It attracts
a fairly artsy crowd of LGBT friends, where everyone seems to know everyone
else, many of whom sip lattes while designing web sites on their Macbooks. Wonderful
spot for cruising, if you come alone. Age group is roughly 20s to mid 40's,
the odd local senior citzen, drops in now and again. The Common can sometimes
feel like a west end hipster (including students and baby toting moms). version
of Central Perk, the coffee shop from Friends. That's not a bad thing, what's
not to love about a place where everybody knows your name? There's no menu on
the wall never fear ask the staff, they can make you pretty much anything you
want. Long wooden benches and tables give the room a kind of unavoidably communal
feeling. Since its very popular, you may not get a place to sit.. Still it serves
the best coffee in the city, hands down!. Damn good London Fog and the Cappuccinos
are top notch as well, plus they also use organic milk oh did I mention they
have a tea, from Silk Road. Not Wheelchair Accessible though. Cash only.
The Henhouse at 1532
Dundas St W. 416-534-5939 (Under new management with owner Bobby Vallen,
former bartender at Gladstone Hotel.) Can be found on north side, just past
Dufferin. Wonderful cozy little bar, where even strangers are friendly. Although
mixed crowd, a disproportionate amount of gays come here. Way more than 10 percent
of the people here are gay. . Henhouse has become one of the most popular up-and-coming
lesbian bars on the Queer West scene. Open 6 PM to 3 AM, every day best to go
Friday or Saturday night, when the 1950 jukebox is jumping with Siouxsie and
the Banshees, Kate Bush, Donna Summer, Blondie. Most played Fleetwood Mac, Dolly
Other places to explore
Eco friendly green space Bike ride along the Martin Goodman (Waterfront) Trail
-Mississauga to Toronto Lakeshore or at the annual Toronto Pride Ride. as a
guest with the 160 member Gay
West Bicycle Club.
Queer West Toronto, Ontario boasts some of the most beautiful parkland and
nature trails in the city.High
Park is Toronto's largest greenspace and a beautiful park, with a pond (Grenadier
Pond), a small zoo, and an outdoor stage which houses an annual summer Shakespeare
production called "Dream in High Park." Celebrate our annual Cherry
Blossom Festival with a visit to High Park and participate in the centuries
old Japanese tradition of Sakura Hanami, roughly translated as “cherry blossom
flower viewing”. The spectacular flowering of the Sakura (Japanese flowering
cherry) trees is not to be missed – plan on spending at least an hour wandering
under the blossoms and appreciating the beauty of High Park in the spring
(Public Transit: 506
College streetcars from downtown, Takes you right into the Park. You can
come another way via 501
Queen streetcars have a stop at the south end of the park, by Grenadier
Pond; from downtown make sure you board a westbound streetcar with a destination
sign of "Long Branch" or "Humber" and get off at Colborne Lodge Drive.)
The best vintage clothing stores are in Queer West Toronto - brimming
with unique finds, some dating back to the late 1800s. From high-end and designer
to cheap-and-cheerful rock tees and poly frocks, the variety is almost endless.
Parkdale, Ossington, Kensington Market, and Dundas West (Brockton Village) are
the major epicenters. Visitors from all over the world come to shop for Vintage
The best gay (sand) bar in Toronto, is located in Queer West End on Hanlan's
Point (One of several recreational island across the Toronto harbour.) n
the balmy summer of 2011, it’s hard to believe anyone ever had any issues with
Hanlan’s Point. On any given day, the clothing-optional beach is arrayed with
all kinds of bodies, some bathing-suited, some not. Hot Saturdays in recent
years have often been shoulder-to-shoulder, with a vibe — at least in the fantasies
of the gay men who still tend to make up the majority of the beach’s frequenters
— not unlike Baillie Walsh’s video for Kylie
Minogue’s “Slow”(which is, consequently, inevitably blaring from a large
proportion of iPod speakers). In essence, Hanlan’s has become sexy. With its
liberal mix of West and East End boys, it may be shaping up to be one of Toronto’s
best gay bars. Getting
There's lots of Festivals going on in the Queer West Toronto during the summer;
Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival (August 1st weekend), Queer West Arts Festival
(early August) Toronto African Dance Festival (mid august); Beer Festival (Fort
York first weekend in August) and Canadian National Exhibition late August early
IF YOU COME
Toronto’s Pearson International Airport has service on nearly every major airline. Toronto is also severed by VIA Rail. As well, it’s within easy driving distance of many eastern Canadian and US centres. Over View of The City of Toronto, Ontario
Beaver Café, 1192 Queen Street West, 416 537-2768 – Serving healthy creations during the day and providing queer entertainment at night. Complete meals for around $10.00. Check local listings for evening events
Easy Restaurant, 1645 Queen Street West, 416 537-4893 – A diner of sorts serving huge mouth watering portions. Their specialty is breakfast and located steps from the lakefront so you can walk it all off afterward. Complete meals for around $15.00. Licensed but not open in the evenings.
Mitzi’s Café and Mitzi’s Sister – the cozy Café in picture (100 Sorauren Avenue - 416 588-1234) is a haven for weekend brunch. Complete meals for around $15.00. The bigger Sister (1554 Queen Street West - 416 532-2570) offers an assortment of meals and is a hotbed for local evening entertainment. Serves upscale pub-grub with complete meals including beverage for around $20.00. There’s never a cover charge and both gay owned.
There are now over 70, safe friendlyBars,
Cafes and Restaurants, where owners, welcome all orientations. There have
been no reports of gay bashings since 1978, in the QWT. For travel visitors,
there are now over
200 events in theatres,cinemas, galleries, bars, cafes, Restaurants and
the community every day of the week, in Queer West Toronto, Ontario.
It's official! At 6:09 pm on Wednesday, July 20, 2005, the Equal Marriage Bill was proclaimed into law in Canada, making it legal for same-sex couples to exchange vows from coast to coast. Two years previously, the Province of Ontario, announced the legalization of same-sex marriage on July 12, 2002, and as a result hundreds of couples from around the world have come to Ontario and other regions of our province to legally exchange vows.
Marriage requirement for the Province of Ontario: Marriage licenses, valid anywhere in Ontario for three months from the date of issue, cost about $83 and are available from any municipal office in Ontario. Both parties must sign an application form and submit it in person, along with a passport or birth certificate and one other photo I.D. There are no residency or citizenship requirements, and a blood test is not required.
St. John's Anglican Church
- 288 Humberside Avenue, Toronto, Ontario. Telephone: 416-763-2393 The parish
of St. John's serves the neighbourhoods of historic West Toronto (Parkdale-High
Park) including the Bloor West Village. St John's, is a church that welcomes
and affirms gays and lesbians.
Day’s Inn Toronto West Lakeshore, 14 Roncesvalles Ave, 416 532 9900, Rates from $74.00 to $169.00 depending on season. A five-minute walk to Sunnyside Beach at Lake Ontario, and includes breakfast. daysinn.ca
Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St W, 416 531 5042, 19 rooms. Chosen by Travel and Leisure Magazine is one of the world's top 500 hotels in 2006. Rates from $179.00 to $289.00 for individually artist designed rooms. Choose based on your mood swings at check-in time. thedrakehotel.ca
The Old Mill Inn & Spa, 21 Old Mill Road, 416 236 2641. In 1793
the Kings Mill - the forerunner to Today's Old Mill - was built in order to
process lumber for the first homes in Toronto. Rates from $219.00 to $659.00
depending on season. A classic addition to the historic Old Mill Restaurant,
Meeting and Conference facility. On the banks of the Humber River. Right on
the Bloor Subway line. This exclusive Boutique Inn incorporates, 59 beautifully
appointed rooms and suites, together with a pampering Spa. oldmilltoronto.com
and Breakfast - 38 Beaconsfield Avenue (at Queen Street West), (416)
535-3338. Gay friendly. Hosts: Bernie and Katya McLoughlin. Trinity Bellwoods,
Art & Design District. Queer West Village Toronto, Ontario.
Toronto Townhouse- 384 Clinton Street. Toll Free in North America (except Toronto) 1.877.500.0466
Local & outside north America 416.323.8898 Gay friendly. Proud
winners of a Toronto Tourism Award in 1999 and 2000. Your Hosts: Frank &
Tan. Email us at email@example.com
This is one of two Townhouses we own, and located in The Annex neighbourhood.Queer
West Toronto, Ontario.
Toronto Downtown West- 621 King Street West (at Bathurst
Street) Toll free: 1-800-578-7878. This hotel is a true gem!
The staff is personable and friendly, the rooms are comfortable. And a free
breakfast to boot. Fashion District, Queer West Village Toronto, Ontario.