Endearingly referred to as “The Gaybourhood,” this rainbow-hued nabe holds appeal for folks of all stripes.
GET ZEN Designed for women and men seeking the ultimate urban day spa, Elmspa provides a luxurious escape. This offspring of the acclaimed Elmwood Spa offers treatments like sports pedicures and Icelandic mud wraps in a Feng Shui-conscious space. Retreat to the plant-and-pebbled terrace area to take in the view. 557 Church St., 416-964-4500.
HEY MISTER DJ Dancing queens of every kind populate Straight Lounge, where a mixed, gay-positive crowd gets its groove on. This three-storey hot spot—with no visible signage—has established itself as a go-to locale for great music and 200 kinds of martinis. 553 Church St., 416-926-2501.
SHOP THE GAMUT If you can’t find it over three floors at retail emporium Out on the Street, chances are you don’t need it. Find flags, guys’ togs and accessories, sundry novelty products—of both the risqué and tame varieties—plus gifts like cheeky stationery, and irreverent vintage-inspired buttons. 551 Church St., 416-967-2759.
DINE IN STYLE Fuzion Resto-Lounge & Garden boasts the best patio on the block, bar none. Inside a historic mansion, floor-to-ceiling banquettes create a luxe, ultra-comfy setting to chill with friends. Find fabulous mains like pan-seared kona kampachi in an artichoke and kaffir lime broth with gingered scallion and garlic chive curry. 580 Church St., 416-944-9888.
WOMEN ONLY Slack’s Restaurant and Bar is a predominantly lesbian hangout that marries a comfortable mix of refined dining and novel pub fare in a casual atmosphere—think poutine with duck confit and brie-cranberry gravy. Live entertainment and renowned DJs spinning on Fridays and Saturdays after 10 p.m. draw crowds to this loft space. 562 Church St., 416-928-2151.
JUST FOR MEN Known as Toronto’s hottest gay bar, Woody’s is a cavernous tavern of five bars with nightly DJs, a pool table and 21 video monitors showing some of the raciest images around. Immortalized on the popular television series Queer As Folk, this hip urban landmark boasts prime views of the main strip. 465–467 Church St., 416-972-0887.
CATCH A SHOW The most prolific queer theatre in North America, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre regularly produces boundary-pushing shows. Some nights, it’s purely a disco called Tallulah’s Cabaret, with the stage turned into a dance floor. On Saturday nights, prepare to wait in line if you get there late. 12 Alexander St., 416-975-8555.
GRAB A BITE For one of the best hamburgs in the city, order the delicious mushroom-pecan burger at Hair of the Dog. This great date spot has many tables for couples and a nice rooftop patio. An unconventional menu (jambalaya, Mac’s cheese) and quaint ambience offer a cozy respite from the bustle of the Village’s busier establishments. 425 Church St., 416-964-2708.
To get to the Church-Wellesley Village, take the Yonge-University subway line to Wellesley station. From there, board the no. 94 Wellesley bus heading eastbound and get off at Church Street, or walk there in about 5 minutes.
—Endearingly referred to as “The Gaybourhood,” this rainbow-hued nabe holds appeal for folks of all stripes.