Neighbourhood: The Gay Village

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Location: Area surrounding Church and Wellesley Streets. Transit: Wellesley Station, then walk east.

Toronto is home to Canada’s largest gay community and welcomes visitors from all walks of life. The Gay Village, or “The Village” as the locals call it, is a predominantly gay neighbourhood nestled within Toronto’s downtown core. Centred at the intersection of Church and Wellesley Streets, the area is packed with cafés, restaurants, gay-oriented shops and a vast array of hot bars and nightspots.

Despite the many shops, people-watching remains one of the most popular Village pastimes. On any given day, hot boys and hot girls fill Church Street with energy, passion and opportunity. For even sweeter eye-candy, come out and see the costumed revellers dressed to shock for Halloweek in October. Experience the fun and frivolity of this wicked week-long October celebration. Think costumed mayhem, free-flowing cocktails, fashion, entertainment and countless cute trick-or-treaters.

But it gets even better. Each year at the end of June, Toronto plays host to Pride Week (and in 2016 Pride Month!), one of the largest pride festivals in the world. This ten-day queer celebration turns streets into parades and parking lots into parties and draws a crowd of over a million supporters from around the globe. With concerts, galas and cultural events throughout, the festival climaxes on its last day with the famous Pride Parade that takes over Toronto’s Yonge Street and fills it with all the colours of the rainbow.