For starters, it’s where the U.S. version of Queer As Folk was filmed.
Toronto, like all of Canada, has legalized gay marriage.
The city is host to World Pride in 2014.
And perhaps most importantly, the strippers here get completely naked. (Or so somebody told us.)
But it’s very likely none of Toronto’s vibrant gay scene would’ve been possible without one Alexander Wood, a magistrate who, like many gay men after him, created quite the scandal back in 1810. When a woman reported a rape to Wood and that she had scratched her rapist, he immediately began an investigation. One that involved men coming into his office and undressing so that he could inspect them up-close-and-personal. You know, for scratches.
He fled to Scotland to wait for the scandal to die down. Upon returning a few years later, however, he remained the object of ridicule for being a “Molly.” Today, his statue is in the heart of the Gay Village. And on the back of the base is what has to be the best sculpture we’ve ever seen on a public piece: A half-naked man being inspected by Wood.
Today, the gayborhood is home to dozens of bars, restaurants, bath houses, and various gay businesses.We were treated to a neighborhood tour by Liz Devine, president of Rainbow Travel, Canada’s largest retailer of gay and lesbian travel. She knows her stuff and is a great resource for booking travel anywhere in the world.
For a complete listing of hundreds of Toronto’s gay establishments, click here.
Photos courtesy of Rodrigo Orta