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.

A TTC bus covered in rainbow flags and smiling people, driving though a coulour parade of people in Toronto's Gay Village
Toronto Pride Parade

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 Halloween. Although October 31 is the apex, you can experience the fun and frivolity of this wicked holiday in the days leading up to the big night. Think costumed mayhem, free-flowing cocktails, entertainment and countless cute trick-or-treaters.

But it gets even better. Each year in June, Toronto plays host to Pride Month which culminates in one of the largest pride festivals in the world. This 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, conferences 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.

The fun blue exterior of Crews and Tangos club in Toronto's Gay Village
crews and Tangos

Popular Restaurants and Bars in Church and Wellesley: Hair of the Dog, Sambucas on Church and Storm Crow Manor.

Popular Coffee Shops in Church and Wellesley: Piedmont Coffee Bar, Fuel Plus and Church Street Espresso.

Popular Nightclubs and Nightspots in Church and Wellesley: Crews and Tangos, Woody’s and Club 120.

Popular Shops in Church and Wellesley: Glad Day Bookshop, Out on The Street and Fortune and Strength.

Hotels near Church and Wellesley: Donwtown Home Inn, Wellesley Manor and Courtyard Marriott Toronto Downtown.