Toronto’s east end is fast becoming a focal point of gay culture – especially in the neighbourhoods of Leslieville and Greektown.
Centered on Queen Street East between the Don Valley and The Beach, Leslieville is a quaint neighbourhood with a laid-back, gay-friendly vibe. Originally an industrial area, Leslieville underwent a period of gentrification in the new millennium which turned it into a hotspot for the creative class. Buildings that once housed factory houses now contain art galleries, bistros and antique furniture shops. On weekend mornings, Leslieville is the place to go for brunch and window shopping.
While the Village and the west end are the most popular areas of the city for gay nightlife, savvy nightlife seekers know that the east end has many of the same perks without the crowds. The recently opened WAYLA bar is a hotspot that attracts a mixed crowd of all ages. The modern décor blends elements of a lounge, bar and dance club to create a truly unique experience. Drop by for one of its many queer-themed event nights, such as Le Kiff Kiff and Daddy Next Door.
For tasty eats, check out Joy Bistro with its inviting patio, or grab some lighter fare (and a caffeine boost) at the Tango Palace café. Can’t decide whether you want to browse an art gallery, have a tasty meal or enjoy a martini? Experience all three at House of Moments.
Leslieville is conveniently located on the way to The Beaches. Enjoy a healthy brunch, pick out a new outfit, then head down to the waterfront to check out the hot guys and gals along the boardwalk.
Toronto’s Danforth Avenue is known for its significant Greek population and delicious food. Its friendly, European flare has also made it a popular destination for the LGBTQ community. You’ll notice more than a couple restaurants and shops along the Danforth sporting rainbow flags in addition to the blue-and-white Greek flags.
Stroll along sidewalks lined with independently owned stores as you take in the mouth-watering scents emanating from local bakeries, butchers and restaurants. Drop in for souvlaki and Greek salad at one of the neighbourhood’s numerous Mediterranean restaurants, many of which feature large European-style terraces. For late-night drinks and entertainment, swing by The Old Nick – an openly gay-friendly pub with a relaxed vibe and outdoor patio.
The vibrancy of Greektown peaks during the annual Taste of the Danforth festival in August, when thousands of people take to the streets for a weekend-long event filled with live music, entertainment and more souvlaki than you can shake a stick at.
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