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Exciting LGBTQ+ Holidays to Toronto

Toronto is home to the largest LGBTQ+ community in Canada and some of the best LGBTQ+ friendly nightlife in the world. This diverse city is a great choice for anybody looking to holiday somewhere that is not only open and welcoming but also has its own electric vibe to experience. Add to this the fact that Canada has some of the best lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in the world and it’s clear that Toronto should be high on your hit list of places to visit!

Toronto is one of the very few cities in the world that has a number of neighbourhoods that tend to welcome more LGBTQ+ folk than others. The most popular of which is the Church and Wellesley Gay Village that has sensational nightlife, fab restaurants and a thriving community centre. Other up and coming neighbourhoods worth mentioning include the Queer West Village and Old Cabbagetown. Wherever you choose to spend your time in Toronto, be confident in the knowledge that the city as is welcoming as they come, you are truly able to be whoever you want to be whilst living your absolute best lift!

Click here to see LGBT rights in Canada, data sourced from Equaldex.

Activities, Festivals and Nightlife Highlights

Identifying as LGBTQ+ doesn’t mean you only want to visit venues or participate in activities that cater to the LGBTQ+ crowd. There are plenty of fun experiences to enjoy and places to visit in Toronto that are welcoming to everybody, read more about the city here. Below, however, we’ll highlight just some of the specifically LGBTQ+ friendly places of interest as well as festivals and venues (many of which, as mentioned, are centred around the Church and  Wellesley Gay Village) we feel like you’d enjoy.

Places of Interest;

  • If you’re feeling peckish make sure to pay a visit to Fabarnak, a restaurant and social enterprise initiative operated by the 519 LGBT Community Centre to support those LGBTQ+ individuals who may otherwise struggle to find employment.
  • Glad Day Bookshop is the first LGBTQ bookshop in Canada which has now evolved into a bar, coffee shop, restaurant hybrid alongside selling books. The World’s oldest surviving LGBTQ bookstore has an unbelievable collection of notable literature to flick through and stories to digest; well worth the visit.
  • If a day in your birthday suit is required, then head in the direction of Hanlan’s Beach. This clothing-optional beach is a drawer for the LGBTQ+ locals, particularly of the male variety, and is located off the beaten track on Toronto Island.  
  • If you’re looking for LGBTQ+ apparel, pride embossed goodies, sex toys and more then make sure to get lost amongst the aisles of the three-storey department store, Out on the Street.  
  • If you fancy a mimosa or two then there’s nowhere better than O’Grady’s On Church. This fun spot is the ideal place to catch up with friends over their $5 mimosa special (every day 1100-1430) or a spot of breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Festivals;

  • Inside Out Film and Video Festival (May). This sophisticated event brings the community together to celebrate the best in queer film from Canada and around the world.  
  • Green Space (June). This fully-fledged, multi-day queer music festival now hosts world-class DJs, drag queen royalty and house legends. All proceeds from the event go into funding essential programmes at 519, the most prominent LGBTQ+ community centre in Canada.
  • Prism (June). This is one of North America’s largest gay circuit music festivals. Held in conjunction with Toronto Pride, this is one of the most hotly anticipated and talked about parties of the summer.
  • Toronto Pride (June). As well as the pride parade you’ll also find a large Dyke March and Trans March to highlight Canada and Toronto’s forward-thinking attitude and openness to individuality and sexuality.

Nightlife;

  • Woody’s. Somewhat of an icon within the Church and Wellesley Gay Village, Woody’s is popular amongst both tourists and locals. You’ll find an eclectic mix of clientele to party the night away with here.
  • Boutique Bar. Treat yourself to this upscale LGBTQ+ friendly cocktail bar in the heart of the village. Watch the world go by on the patio or keep yourself cosy in the lounge. A night spent here working down the cocktail list is a night well spent.
  • Crews and Tangos. This is where Toronto and drag culture have merged and blossomed. Offering an incredible atmosphere to accompany the sensational drag shows, this is an absolute must for anybody looking for a fun evening out on the tiles.
  • WAYLA.  Or What Are You Looking At has a zero hate policy and welcomes everybody through the front doors. This is very much a fun and safe environment for everybody to be who they want to be.
  • GirlPlay Toronto. Make sure to keep an eye on events by GirlPlay Toronto. These are events for all women, lesbian women, gay women, queer women, trans women, genderqueer/genderfluid, and non-binary individuals along with their allies. Not an event to be missed!

View a selection of our favourite places to stay below

Have you thought about linking your trip to Vancouver with New York or Montréal?

The Drake Hotel 

This small boutique hotel is creative in its design yet low key in its attitude. There's a buzz about the place, despite its size, and this has certainly made formed it into a destination hotel. Enjoy live music in the Underground Lounge, chill out at the rooftop bar or pick up a snack at the award-winning cafe. If you're looking for somewhere unique and memorable to spend your holiday then this hotel is the one. 

Gladstone Hotel 

With an emphasis firmly on culture, art and diversity, this celebrated boutique hotel is sure to provide you with a comfortable base for your stay in Toronto. Amenities include three fitness studios for guest use, in-house bikes, a bistro and bar and an array of art to enjoy. You'll also find a number of queer parties held here throughout the year as well as karaoke nights on the weekly to keep you entertained. 

Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Toronto

Set in a fabulous location, this mainstream hotel is not to be sniffed at. With contemporary well-designed rooms throughout, as well as an on-site spa, beauty shop, food outlets, fitness centre and luxury bedding as standard across all rooms you are sure to feel more than comfortable during a stay here. The fact the centre of Toronto's gay scene is on its doorstep is surely a massive bonus too, right?

Shangri-La Hotel 

Soaring high above the city, the Shangri-Li Hotel is a luxurious escape from the hustle and bustle of the city below. Treat yourself to the 24-hour room service (butlers offered in suites) or pay the Lobby Lounge or restaurant a visit. Rejuvenate with a workout at the fitness centre or a few laps of the pool before heading to Miraj Hammam Spa to truly unwind. A stay in this stunning hotel will ensure that not only are you close to all of the action in the city, but you also have you're own slice of peace above it all too. 

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