Visiting Gay Toronto

Published Date Author: , October 30th, 2014

Toronto, Ontario

I’ve just arrived in Toronto, my first time visiting the much-hyped Canadian city, and I begin walking from my hotel to the University of Toronto where a Human Rights Conference is about to kickoff as part of this year’s World Pride festivities. My hotel, the Four Seasons Toronto (60 Yorkville Ave. Tel: +1-416-964-0411. www.fourseasons.com), is located in Yorkville and my friends and I are surprised by the enormous amount of area establishments that are demonstrating their gay pride. During my walk along Avenue Road, I spot the Church of the Redeemer’s sign “Welcome the World, Happy Pride,” the Royal Ontario Museum’s massive rainbow banner that shows off their sponsorship of the events, HSBC’s rainbow flags, and the national chain Pizza Pizza’s advertisement for “Slice + Coke + Pride Bag” for $5.99. The city’s glass-heavy architecture reflects the street-level life as well as a near-constant ROYGBIV shimmer that glistens to the street, like the rainbow being cast from “The More You Know” star, and I’m beginning to think Toronto itself reflects a spirited, unique diversity.

As the street turns from towering glass to more brick and mortar, we hear a voice shout, “Hey girls.” We see a twinkish boy with a camo backpack equipped with a rainbow flag sticking up. Looking like an overly patriotic, gay-friendly Volkswagen Beetle he asks: “Want to come with me to check out this exhibit?” Our collective look of New York skepticism is obvious. “It’s right here,” he says as he points to The Gardiner Museum (111 Queens Park. Tel: +1-416-586-8080. www.gardinermuseum.on.ca). The large banners advertise the exhibit Camp Fires: The Queer Baroque of Leopold L. Foulem, Paul Matheieu and Richard Milette, but we’re running late and pass up the opportunity and insist to one another that we may have only traveled one hour to get here from New York City, but must have landed on another planet.

We then enter Victoria Park. “Whew, I think my eyes are still seeing rainbows,” my friend laughs as we adjust to the greenscape. “I spoke too soon,” she says while pointing to a rainbow-hued dome creeping above the trees from the University’s quad. “This city really is so gay,” she coos. “I know, I love it,” I utter.

By Joseph Pedro – Full Story at Passport | LOCATION Gay Travel Resources

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