LGBTQ Toronto Nightlife Guide: Bars & Clubs
There’s so much to see and do in gay Toronto, it can be difficult to decide where to go – especially if you have limited time. To make things easier for you, we put together a list with everything you need to know about 15 of the most popular LGBTQ-friendly bars and clubs in the city. See how many you can cross off during your stay!
- Woody’s: You may recognize Woody’s from Showtime’s award-winning show Queer as Folk. Just like in the show, the bar is a local institution. Known for its laid-back atmosphere, friendly staff and TV monitors featuring racy videos, Woody’s is one of the most popular hangouts in the Village. Be sure to check out the Best Chest Contest on Thursday or the Best Ass Contest on Friday and Saturday.
- Location: 467 Church Street (Church-Wellesley Village)
- Crews and Tangos: Crews and Tangos (often referred to simply as Crews) is a converted Victorian house that is renowned for having some of the best drag shows in the Village. With drag entertainment seven days of the week, karaoke nights, two dance floors and a patio out back, Crews has something for everybody.
- Location: 508 Church Street (Church-Wellesley Village)
- Fly 2.0: Pulsing with energy, Fly 2.0 is the place to be if you’re looking for a party. Complete with go-go dancers, strobe lights, fist-pumping music and plenty of hot shirtless men, Fly is also famous for having been featured on Showtime’s Queer as Folk as the fictional club Babylon. It has been the recipient of countless Best Dance Club in Toronto awards.
- Location: 6 Gloucester Street (Church-Wellesley Village)
- Pegasus: Pegasus calls itself the friendliest bar on Church, and it’s easy to see why. Featuring four pool tables, pinball machines, dart boards, video games, HD-TV and weekly euchre tournaments, Pegasus is an ideal place to hang out and make new friends.
- Location: 489B Church Street (Church-Wellesley Village)
- Black Eagle: Black Eagle is a bar like no other in Toronto. Geared toward leather/denim lovers and bears, the bar has a dungeon-themed decor and a friendly, open-minded atmosphere with regular theme nights. Check out The Backroom for demos and other events of interest to the leather/bondage scene.
- Location: 457 Church Street (Church-Wellesley Village)
- Church on Church: One of the newest additions to the Village’s nightlife scene, Church on Church is a combination bar/dance club that tends to attract a slightly older crowd. Friendly bartenders serve reasonably-priced cocktails, while the DJ blasts out Top 40 and dance hits on weekends.
- Location: 504 Church Street (Church-Wellesley Village)
- Buddies in Bad Times: Simultaneously a bar and the world’s oldest queer theatre company, Buddies offers an experience like no other. Every weekend, Buddies opens its doors for two nights of fun and dancing, with all proceeds going to support its theatre and youth programs. Come on a Saturday night for Tallulah’s Cabaret – a flamboyant octane-fueled party that’s guaranteed to be the most fun you’ve ever had supporting the arts.
- Location: 12 Alexander Street (Church-Wellesley Village)
- O’Grady’s: O’Grady’s is the Village’s most popular patio in the summer – and a prime spot for people-watching. When the weather gets cold, cozy up by one of the indoor fireplaces and dig in to delicious pub food while sharing a few drinks and a few laughs with friends.
- Location: 518 Church Street (Church-Wellesley Village)
- Boutique Bar: Boasting an intimate leafy patio overlooking Church Street, this high-end cocktail bar offers a whole variety of flavours. Cozy up to the bar late-night and chill out to the lounge and nu-disco tunes.
- Location: 506 Church Street (Church-Wellesley Village)
- The Beaver: The Beaver is one of the most well-known and established queer-friendly venues in Toronto’s Queer West Village. A restaurant during the day, The Beaver transforms into a party zone every night of the week, with the DJ playing everything from pop to hip-hop to dancehall to country.
- Location: 1192 Queen Street West (Queer West Village)
- Bovine Sex Club: Don’t let the name throw you off. Bovine Sex Club is one of the coolest bars on Queen West with its junkyard décor, retro vibe and regular live music acts. Metal heads, punk rockers, hipsters and urban professionals of all persuasions rub elbows in this open-minded environment. Make new friends while rocking out to a newly discovered band at the Bovine.
- Location: 542 Queen Street West
- El Convento Rico: El Convento Rico was created as an underground club catering to the Latin LGBTQ community, many of who faced persecution in their home countries. Today, the club attracts a diverse crowd of men and women from across the entire sexual spectrum. The bar’s famous midnight drag shows and sultry Latin music make it a popular choice for stagette and birthday parties.
- Location: 750 College Street
- The Steady: Miami-inspired, you never know what or who you might run into at The Steady. From blazing summer parties to international queer music nights, always check what’s going down at this bustling west end hotspot.
- Location: 1051 Bloor Street West
- WAYLA: While the Village and the west end are the focal points of Toronto’s LGBTQ nightlife scene, there’s plenty going on in the east end as well. If your travels take you east of the Don Valley, you’ll definitely want to check out WAYLA (codename for What Are You Looking At). Located in the quaint Leslieville neighbourhood, WAYLA hosts a variety of LGBTQ-geared events during the week and is known for its sophisticated décor and friendly staff.
- Location: 996 Queen Street East
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