The Huffington Post ranks Toronto the third most LGBT-friendly city in the world. Other sources call it the most gay-friendly city on earth. But all seem to agree that Toronto has one of the most open, active, accepted and all-embracing gay, lesbian and transgender communities ever.
So if you’d like to associate, participate, or other otherwise insinuate yourself into Toronto’s LGBT community, you will not have to look far. The city is hopping with gay bars and night clubs. As you seek them out, you’ll probably end up following the rainbow to the Gay Village (often referred to as the Church and Wellesley Village), one of the most gay-friendly and charming neighborhoods in North America, teeming with tolerance, openness and all around good cheer. But several other neighborhoods are also earning reputations for their pro-LGBT vibe, such Parkdale (also called Queer West).
We couldn’t possibly provide an exhaustive list of the gay clubs in Toronto, but here are a few, just to whet your appetite. The Black Eagle on Church Street is one of the better known venues, an must-see destination for those particularly fond of leather and denim. Close by, Crews and Tangos is a hot spot if you’re in the mood for a drag scene. Looking for something with a little more class, head to the Boutique Bar, also on Church Street, for some high-end cocktails. The Beaver Cafe, on the west end, also deserves a mention for its great food and lively atmosphere. Not into the nightlife bar scene? Out and Out, a non-profit social club, has been organizing gay-friendly outdoor sports and activities since 1980.
Parades and festivals take place throughout the year, for those especially keen on the public displays and celebrations of their orientation. Topping that list would be Pride Toronto, a whole month (usually June) dedicating to honoring and recognizing the gay community and its long, hard struggle for acceptance, culminating with a massive Pride Parade around the end of the month. Check out Pride Toronto online for more dates and details. Film Freeway, the LGBT Toronto Film Festival, is another major event, which takes place six times a year and draws more than a million spectators each year.
For more news, listings and events, several publications and online resources are available. Start by visiting Yohomo, Toronto’s online hub for queer culture. Just a cursory glance at this website will reveal the vast array of attractions and diversions going on across the city on any day or night of the week. Also check Toronto Now, the city’s official tourism website, which has an extensive section devoted to all things gay in Toronto, including, bars, restaurants, neighborhoods, parades, theater and more.
Do you have a favourite haunt or event that you think we should have included? Let us know in the comments!
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