Toronto is a bright and bustling centre of cosmopolitan life in Canada and is also the country’s most populous city. Toronto is repeatedly voted one of the best places in the world to live and is an equally enjoyable destination for gay travelers.
The art and culture scene in Toronto is one of the most promising in the world and is known for its huge population of artists and creatives who are driving the city’s reputation as a hub of innovation and creation. Toronto is also a hive of multiculturalism and diversity, and foodies will enjoy the wide and varied options for dining and eating out, many of which can be found in the downtown area.
Toronto’s gay scene is one of the most diverse and unique in the world and sets a global standard for how gay communities can preserve their culture whilst modernising their identity. The city’s gay village is also one the largest and most popular in North America and features many filming locations from the iconic USA version of the cult TV show ‘Queer as Folk’.
Toronto’s gay village is home to a diverse and lively mix of gay clubs and bars for travelers to enjoy and the area is considered one of the best destinations in North America for gay tourists.
Woody’s bar was immortalised by the USA version of ‘Queer as Folk’ that featured the venue as the favourite venue for the show’s gay characters. This busy multi-level club is known for playing host to world-class drag shows from local and touring queens and also welcomes a diverse crowd in terms of ages, tribes and styles.
Boutique Bar is one of the trendiest spots in Toronto’s gay village and offers great views onto the iconic Church Street. The bar boasts an impressive outdoor terrace which makes it the perfect place for afternoon drinking on a warm summers day. A wide variety of drinks are available at Boutique Bar and are mixed by friendly and attentive bartenders.
Toronto’s gay club scene suffered during the coronavirus crisis of 2021. Some of Toronto’s most popular gay clubs closed down, including Club120 and Fly 2.0 which was also a major filming location for Queer as Folk.
There are a plethora of options for guests wishing to stay in the heart of Toronto’s gay village, of ranging price points and tastes. The Anndore House hotel is located just three minutes from the centre of the city’s gay village. This stylish venue is characterised by its exposed brick walls, stunning city views and elegant decoration. Guests can unwind with the rooms record players and flat-screen TVs. Hotel rooms come with access to an offsite gym that is available 24/7 for hotel guests.
The Hazelton is a 5-star hotel located minutes from Pegasus Bar and Boutique Bar, two of Toronto’s most popular gay bars. Guests can unwind in the modern luxury of The Hazelton, with spa-style baths and in-house fine dining restaurant. The hotel also boasts an impressive beauty centre offering a range of treatments and procedures, as well as a fully-equipped spa.
Located in the city’s downtown area and housed in a sleek glass skyscraper, The Ritz-Carlton Toronto offers refined luxury to its guests who can enjoy the elegant and contemporary interiors and walls lined with art collected from across Canada and the globe. The cherry on the cake that is the Ritz-Carlton is the hotels Clarins Spa, where guests can enjoy a range of therapies and massages from highly-trained therapists.
A short ferry ride away from the main town, you’ll find Hanlan’s Point which is a lovely area full of nature. It also includes Toronto’s nudist beach. Though not strictly only a gay beach in Toronto, the beach does welcome everyone who wants to let it all hang out. Easily accessible by ferry, you’ll want to bring your own food and drink for the day as there is very little around, though the rest of the island does have some kiosks and shops. As the signs read, photography is not permitted!
Explore nature in Toronto
Hanlan’s Point is a great spot for a walk, even if nude sunbathing isn’t your thing. It offers great views of the city as well as Lake Ontario. Toronto is home to over 1,500 green spaces, each boasting a range of trails, beaches, biking routes and wild areas. These spaces offer travelers with a relaxing place to escape from the liveliness of the city.
The Alexander Muir Gardens are a popular destination for weddings and photoshoots and it is no surprise. The gardens feature perfectly manicured flower gardens and ornately sculptured areas. Travelers are encouraged to explore the many trails that snake their way through the grounds.
High Park is the largest green space in Toronto and is known for its varied range of environments and attractions for travelers to enjoy. Visitors can enjoy the parks zoo, lakefront promenade and multiple hiking trails and could easily spend an entire day exploring all that this unique and beautiful space has to offer. The park provides travelers with a quiet space to escape from the noise and action of Toronto’s city centre.
Be immersed in Victorian architecture
The Distillery District is a unique and widely preserved area of Toronto that has been protected by its designation as a National Historic Site of Canada. The district is home to North America’s largest collection of Victorian buildings, many of which have been transformed into charming and authentic local coffee shops and cafes.
The area emerges from autumn as a winter wonderland, and the period architecture provides the perfect backdrop to the multiple Christmas markets and winter festivals that draw thousands of visitors to the area every year. It’s also worth exploring and visiting Casa Loma which has been used as the backdrop for films such as X-Men. Read More: Things To Do In Toronto.
Gay rights in Toronto
LGBT+ rights in Canada are some of the most advanced in the Americas and much of the Canadian LGBT+ population enjoy a full set of protections and rights. In Toronto specifically, the gay population is evident and obvious and gay travelers will notice the many pride flags dotted around the city. Canada was one of the first countries to create a third gender option on official documents for individuals who identify as non-binary.
by George Pizani | On: Gay Toronto