History of the Village
The Church Wellesley Village is located on land once owned by Alexander Wood, a Scottish immigrant who arrived in Canada in the late 1800’s who was known for his charitable works.
Rumours persist to this day that Wood was driven into exile to his native Scotland because of his sexual orientation. He resided in Scotland from 1810 to 1826 and returned to York where he purchased 50 acres on the land which is now in the area of Yonge Street and Carlton Street.
Wood’s unorthodox lifestyle made this area a legend at the time of his occupancy and still creates a mystique which envelops the activities of the queer population which lives there now. “Molly Woods Bush” as the area was known back in Wood’s time, later became the heart of what we now call the Church Wellesley Village.
Today our internationally known village is home to a vast population of gays and lesbians and those who support them. Outrageous and fabulous, Toronto’s Gay Village is full of passion, energy and the sweetest eye-candy around.
A hotspot night and day, the Village hosts some of the city’s biggest events of the year and offers an array of dance clubs, cafés, restaurants, community centres, and many other gay-owned businesses catering to the gay community and tourists.
Toronto is the Mecca for Canadian Gays, so needless to say, the Gay Village is pretty big - one of the biggest in the world. All people who support the values of this area are encouraged to visit our shops, restaurants, bars, clubs and community services that line the streets and define the village.
Same Sex Marriage
Will you marry me? Why yes, we will.
Canada has become the third country to grant equal marriage rights to same-sex couples, so couples are flocking to Toronto to say "I do!" With every amenity at your fingertips, Toronto is the perfect place to tie the knot and to have the ceremony of your dreams.
Tie the knot in Toronto. Getting married is just one of the fabulous reasons why many same sex couples choose to visit Toronto. The Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto married the first same-sex couple in Canada and is a favourite spot to tie the knot. But like everything else in Toronto, you have lots of options.
The Basics: Obtain a marriage license; have two witnesses join you for the ceremony and obtain a marriage certificate after the ceremony.
Click for more details Gay Marriage Toronto
Out on the Town
Check out live theatre at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre or take a self-guided tour of Queer as Folk landmarks – Toronto masqueraded as Pittsburgh for the series. Toronto is home to Canada's largest gay community and welcomes visitors from all walks of life.
The Gay Village is a predominantly gay neighbourhood nestled amidst Toronto’s downtown core. Centered 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. Each year at the end of June, Toronto plays host to Pride Week, one of the largest pride festivals in the world. This ten-day festival turns streets into parades, parking lots into parties and draws crowds of over a million supporters across the globe.
With concerts, galas, and cultural events throughout, the festival climaxes on the last day with the famous Pride Parade that takes over Toronto’s Yonge Street and fills it with all the colours of the rainbow. If you can’t make it to Pride, there are literally hundreds of other cultural events throughout the year - including Inside Out, Canada's largest lesbian and gay film and video festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, Taste of the Danforth, Fringe Festival, Word on the Street, Folsom Fair North and the always busy Yonge/Dundas SQ across from the Eaton Centre.. Places to go? People to see?
The Gay Village is forever changing. There have been many recent changes to shops and services on Wellesley and Church Streets. and surrounding areas, new things to see and do. In addition there is a Queer West Village on Queen St. West, that is growing everyday, with many new shops and services. There are also many other areas in the City with growing Gay and Gay positive shops and services. Your entertainment choices are endless and are City Wide with to many to list. Ask around you will be surprised where you might end up.
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