The Village is a welcoming, and open community in Toronto. Toronto’s designated queer neighbourhood, The Village has something for everyone. The main hubs of the Church-Wellesley Village are in Church, Wellesley and Carlton streets. The village spans from Charles Street east to north, Gould Street to the south, Yonge Street to the west, and Jarvis Street to the east and there’s an endless supply of fun things to do and check out when you’re in the area.
Here are just a few places in The Village that are worth checking out.
Canada’s LGBTQ2+ archives were established in 1973 and are the largest independent LGBTQ2+ archive in the world, and currently, the only LGBTQ2+ archive in Canada with a “national scope”. Due to COVID-19, the ArQuives physical exhibition space is closed. However, they do have digital exhibitions, which you can check out here. The ArQuives also is currently hosting online trivia events that are available to participate in across Canada.
The first airsoft stage shooting range, space has practice areas, shooting stages, and obstacles. Safety comes first, and there are always coaches on hand that will help you feel comfortable with your airsoft gun. Like laser tag, archery or axe throwing ranges, Pew Pew is for recreational fun. Due to the ongoing pandemic, Pew Pew is currently closed.
Founded in Vancouver, B.C. as the now-closed Storm Crow Tavern, the Storm Crow Manor opened in 2018, is the geekiest mansion around. What used to be an elegant mansion on Church Street is now an adventure filled with theme rooms, secret doors, catacombs, cyberpunk bars, and Storm Crow’s signature, bubbling cocktails, and tentacles.
Toronto’s #1 drag bar, Crews and Tangos is a one-of-a-kind experience, with a main stage drag event seven days a week. From Thursday to Saturday, the dance floor is open. Thursdays are also karaoke nights. For anyone wanting to get into Drag, Crews and Tangos offers the largest prize amounts in the city and provinces opportunities for career and talent development. Every Summer Crews and Tangos put on the Miss Crews and Tangos Pageant and the Crews and Tangos Drag Race. Their annual Halloween event “Hallomania” is a must-go for any drag or Halloween enthusiast.
The first queer-focused bookstore in Canada, and the oldest queer bookstore in the world, Glad Day Bookshop has been educating and serving the LGBTQ2+ community since 1970. With the widest selection of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two-spirit, and queer literature, Glad Day has their brick-and-mortar store as well as their online shop. Their website includes resources for teachers, allies, and anyone questioning their sexuality.
For anyone who needs resources or assistance, the 519 fought through the AIDS epidemic, has been a community-lead organization for human rights, and offers safe spaces, leadership training, and services such as counselling to those who need it.