Tempting Toronto

Author: , October 2nd, 2016


My friend Ming and I had been housemates in London and I was a bit gutted when he decided to move to Toronto. He seemed to settle in quickly to his adopted city, so it didn’t take much persuading from him before I was cashing in my air-miles and making my first visit to Canada.

I’d subconsciously decided not to like Toronto – I was here to remind Ming what he was missing out on in London and, in my own subtle way, encourage him to move back.

I took a taxi from the airport to Ming’s house in the Trinity-Bellwoods neighborhood. After dropping off my luggage, it was straight out to dinner with Ming, his boyfriend Terry, and his friend Moine. It was a short wait for a table at izakaya-style Japanese restaurant Guu but we were soon tucking into tasty sharing plates of chicken, pork, and beef, all washed down with beer. ‘Irasshaimase!’ shouted the happy restaurant staff every time someone arrived – this is a busy, noisy, vibrant place. Undeniably great food.

By Gareth Johnson – Full Story at Gay Star News

Toronto Gay Travel Resources

Out in Montreal

Author: , June 2nd, 2016


Last summer, Montreal’s Gay Village offered its customary seasonal flourish with the return of “Le Projet de Boules Roses,” artist Claude Cromier’s annual stringing of “Pink Balls” above a kilometer-plus long stretch of Sainte-Catherine Street. Part of the annual May to September Aires Libres public art event, the installation featured 200,000 balls this year, up from 170,000.

With Sainte-Catherine Street closed to vehicular traffic between Saint- Hubert to Papineau, the enhanced pink canopy provided its usual ambassadorial welcome to the summer surge of gay tourists enjoying the Village’s clubs, outdoor patios, restaurants, bars, shops, and other establishments. According to Community Marketing Inc.’s 2014 LGBT Tourism & Hospitality Survey, Montreal is an equal favorite alongside Toronto and Vancouver for gay travelers from the US, with Canada heading the list of preferred international destinations.

All would seem swell in the heart of one of the world’s most popular LGBT tourism destinations, n’est-ce pas? Well, not completely. As publicized earlier this year by the Montreal Gazette, the Village has been experiencing off-season blues for some time.
In keeping with the general trend of these technological times, the Internet is reportedly to blame, as Montreal’s younger gay crowd steers toward mobile dating applications instead of hitting the Village’s bars and clubs. As I learned from renowned Montreal journalist Richard “Bugs” Burnett, however, there is more to the story.

By Jeff Heilman – Full Story at Passport

Quebec Gay Travel Resources

Trinity House Inn – Gay 100 Islands Bed & Breakfast

Author: , May 13th, 2016

Trinity House Inn

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay:

It is with great pride and enthusiasm that we welcome you to the Trinity House Inn. Our completely restored Inn offers individually appointed guest accommodations, fine dining, sofa lounge, open air rocking chair porch and sun verandah and award winning Victorian Waterfall gardens.

Trinity House Inn is for those who appreciate old-world charm and hospitality, together with the genuine beauty of surroundings and the quality of comfort it brings.

From the beautiful profusion of summertime flowers gracing the front steps to the distinctive lines of the bronze blue herons poised just inside the vestibule entrance to the exquisitely restored 1859 dwelling, the intrinsic beauty and old-world charm of Gananoque’s Trinity House Inn is readily apparent for all to see.

Today’s look encompasses one of exceptional attention to detail, from the proliferation of wonderful antiques throughout to the silky elegance of the rose on the pillow.

Enjoy a leisurely stroll through our Victorian perennial gardens with ponds, statues and a small waterfall where the chefs harvest herbs and flowers for your dinner.

The Innkeeper gave the suites names like ‘Camelot’, ‘Beau Rivage’, ‘Prince Regent’ and ‘Aubrey’ to commemorate favourites among the Thousand Islands. Each of the eight guest rooms are individually appointed and offer modern amenities for the sophisticated traveller.

See the Trinity House Inn Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Ontario

Le Cartier Bed & Breakfast – Gay Montreal Bed & Breakfast

Author: , April 18th, 2016

Le Cartier B&BPeriodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay:

Situated in Montreal downtown east (Gay Village), Le Cartier Bed & Breakfast is 10-20 min walk to main city attractions: Old Montreal, downtown core, fireworks, Latin Quarter, Formula One Track, Palais du Congres, Summer Festivel (Intl Jazz, Just for Laugh, etc), Bell Centre, China Town, universities, casino, Mount Royal, cycling path, and much more.

All of our b&b rooms and suites are equipped with A/C, cable TV, audio CD, wood floor, and a high speed wireless internet connection. We also offer kitchenette facilities (microwave, refrigerator, etc) for guests (no cooking). Laundry service is available at extra cost (long term customers only). Continental breakfast is included.

We also offer private furnished apartment (please inquire).

Le Cartier Bed & Breakfast is just 1 minute away from the Montreal subway (Metro Papineau), bus station & Jacques-Cartier Bridge. We’re also close to the train & central bus station.

Le Cartier B&B is one minute from Ste-Catherine street (but away from noise on quiet side street) – a lively Montreal neighborhood surrounded by restaurants, cafes, shopping centers, night clubs, theatres, supermarkets, and more.

The Bed and Breakfast is newly renovated & decorated by local artists, and the 100-year stone house provides warmth and charm. The B&B is cozy, quiet and stylish. Le Cartier B&B has a beautiful front/back yard & balcony, providing ideal relaxing & meeting places for guests.

Fun local host who knows Montreal from A to Z offers great advice in exploring the city.

See the Le Cartier Bed & Breakfast Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Quebec

Spring Valley Guest Ranch – Gay Accommodations in Ravenscrag, Saskatchewan

Author: , January 18th, 2016

Spring Valley Guest Ranch

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Accommodations in 1913 Eatons House or log cabin plus areas for camping for tents, R.V.’s. Heritage breeds of dairy cattle and poultry await your visit.

See the Spring Valley Guest Ranch Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Saskatchewan

Quebec City: Six Reasons to Cuddle Up

Author: , January 7th, 2016

Old Quebec City

There’s nowhere in North America quite as magical as Quebec City – especially at this time of year. Amid mind-bogglingly freezing temperatures – in January 2015, it dropped to -36.7 degrees Celsius, the coldest in 75 years – this predominantly French-speaking town is a warm hug of a destination.

The city, founded in 1608 by French explorer Samuel de Champlain, is one of the oldest European settlements on the continent. It has all modern conveniences of a capital city, but, with a still-petite population of 516,000, feels intimate and special.

Indeed, the city’s rich European charm is present all year round, coming into sharper focus during the winter season – as we discovered during a visit just last week, in the run up to Christmas. So don with us your hats, gloves and sturdy snow boots as we recount eight of our favorite discoveries about this true winter wonderland…

By Jamie Tabberer – Full Story at Gay Star News

Quebec Gay Travel Resources

Gay Vancouver, Canada

Author: , December 17th, 2015


It’s downright hot and sexy to drive a Lamborghini along the mountain-lined sea-to-sky highway, a cinematically gorgeous, coastal stretch connecting Vancouver, B.C. and the resort town of Whistler. Men and women of all ages do double takes as I whiz by. It’s an experience right out of a James Bond movie.

This drive is part of Scenic Rush, which offers drivers and passengers (romantic, platonic, or otherwise) an opportunity to get behind the wheel of four fast-and-furious vehicles to Whistler (7-8 hours/ $1,295 per driver) or the midway point of Squamish (3.5 hours/$495), plus a ride up the year-old Sea-to-Sky Gondola for eye-popping views of glaciers, greenery, and the Howe Sound, plus hiking trails, a Sky Pilot suspension bridge, and alfresco dining. By the time we return to our starting point I’ll also try my hand at a Ferrari F430 Spider, Audi R8, and a Porsche 911 Turbo.

In 2015, Canada celebrates ten years of marriage equality, and I’m in BC driving these insane vehicles, among other activities, in search of amazing things to see, eat, and do for couples getting married, on a honeymoon, or simply visiting this beauteous region. Yes, singles too.

It’s my third year in a row visiting Vancouver, whose tourism numbers set new records lately, while its population also booms thanks to extreme livability. To get started with arrangements, Tourism Vancouver (www.tourismvancouver.com) produces an “Out In Vancouver” newsletter and website with plenty of LGBT-specific information, resources, and links. GayVan.com is also LGBT-focused, while free weekly The Georgia Straight (www.straight.com), website Vancity-buzz.com, and foodie-centric Vancouverfoodster.com are well worth a browse for current what’s ons.

By Lawrence Ferber – Full Story at Passport

Vancouver Gay Travel Resources

Insider’s Guide to Gay Toronto

Author: , September 10th, 2015

Concierge Evan Lacey, Delta Toronto

Evan Lacey is a 22-year-old comedy writer, stand-up comedian, and avid bird-watcher. As a self-described small-town boy who moved to Toronto, Canada to pursue a performance and writing career, Lacey took a job between performance gigs at the brand-new 46-floor, four-star Delta Toronto (75 Lower Simcoe St. Tel: 416-849-1200. www.deltahotels.com). Lacey has always enjoyed working in different facets of the hospitality industry. When he was searching for a new adventure, the Canadian-based Delta’s history of commitment to “above, beyond, and then one step further” customer service, enticed him to apply. Lacey started working in the SOCO Kitchen + Bar in November of 2014, and he enjoys the challenges and joys that working here provides him on a daily basis. Check out his recommendations for what’s hot, hip, new, and fabulous, in always-trendy Toronto.

Where are the coolest places to go for cocktails?

Toronto is definitely a cocktail city. Bar Fancy (1070 Queen St W. Toronto. Tel: 1-416-546-1416. www.barfancy.ca) is the trendy spot in QSW. Look for the entirely gold-plated exterior on Queen St…then follow the neon tiger-head sign down the neighboring laneway and you’ve found one of the city’s cutest new cocktail spots. It’s a snack bar that serves beer and wine but they’ll also make delicious cocktails on request. Geraldine (1564 Queen St W. Tel: 1-647-352-8815. www.geraldinetoronto.com) has guest feeling like they’ve stepped back into 1940’s Paris? Geraldine will take you there. Try the Scarlett Carson with jasmine-infused gin and get transported. Come and Get It (676 Queen St W. Tel: +1-647-344-3416. www.comeandgetit.ca) is a favorite for laid-back cocktails and snacks. There is also chain-link fencing inside, so it’s kind like hanging out in your favorite back alley, sipping liquor…without having to put everything in a brown bag and being outside.

By Paul Summers – Full Story at Passport | Toronto Gay Travel Resources

Jasper, Alberta – Small Town for the Queer Visitor

Author: , August 28th, 2015

Jasper, Alberta - Keph Senett

Of the many ways that Jasper, Alberta, is unique, two particulars stand out and shape this small town’s appeal for the queer visitor. First, Jasper is located inside a national park, which means that every one of its approximately 5,000 inhabitants must meet eligible residency guidelines. Whether through work, school or family, the life of every Jasperite is connected to Jasper National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage site), and this plays out in a packed calendar that celebrates the natural diversity of the region, the community and the people. Second, the town mascot — though admittedly, an unintentional icon of gay culture — is a bear.

Located just four hours west of Edmonton by car, the town comprises a small cluster of streets alongside the Athabasca River in the shadow of Marmot Basin. In the winter, daily shuttles make the trip from town to the ski hill, which has recently enjoyed terrain expansions and infrastructure upgrades — developments that only enhance its existing appeal. Marmot’s base elevation of 1,697 metres is the highest of any ski area in North America.

Initiated in 2009, the inaugural Jasper Pride weekend attracted just a few dozen people, but the event has grown steadily to include more of the local population and visitors from farther-flung places.

By Keph Senett – Full Story at Xtra | Alberta Gay Travel Resources

Keep Calm and Wander – Get Wet at Ontario’s Albion Falls

Author: , August 13th, 2015

Albion Falls

If you’re looking for a day trip outside Toronto, head out to Hamilton where the cascading Albion Falls is waiting for you to get wet. It’s an hour (or less if you take the HOV) drive and you won’t regret it. Bring an extra dry clothes for you to wear later–and don’t litter.

And PLEASE, enjoy the warm water by really taking a dip into the falls! I hated when I was the ONLY one who got wet and “wild”. LOL…. Most of the visitors were just there to take selfies! My god, I didn’t get the memo that Albion Falls is for a selfie adventure!

I can’t imagine myself visiting Albion Falls or any waterfalls and all I have to do there is take pictures. LOL…. Unless, of course, if it’s really prohibited, like Niagara Falls or Angel Falls or Iguazo Falls.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander | Southwestern Ontario Gay Travel Resources