Moving on up, to the gay side!
September 5, 2010 11:34 AM   Subscribe

Living in Toronto's gay village, what to pay/expect/experience?

Hey all, if you've seen my previous questions, you know that I'm just out of my first relationship, which lasted 5 and half years. Although Toronto is my home city, I met my ex out of town at school, and don't really have many gay friends aside from some I've known since high school.

I'm alone in the apartment I shared with the ex, and though it's a large, cheap apartment, I don't really have much connection to the neighbourhood, only one friend nearby, and it's quite isolated. The idea of spending the winter here alone is already driving me batty.

I need new people, new experiences, and maybe a new location. I was at a party in the gaybourhood last night and had a great time, met a lot of new people, and was struck by how close everyone lived to each other. I've never defined myself by my gayness, and so have mostly avoided the area aside from the odd night out, but starting to reconsider.

What is there to know about living in the village? What is the social scene like? I'm very not ready to date, and hooking up has never really appealed to me, but just the community of being surrounded by other gay folk is appealing.

How much could I expect to pay in rent? I'm currently paying just under 800 + utilities for a 2 BR, would be looking for a 1BR, hopefully with room to breathe and entertain. Not looking to spend much more, but if utilities are included I could go $100 - 250 higher I guess. Any buildings to check out/avoid?

Finally, what are the hidden gems of the village, ie shops, quiet bars, etc? I like an occasional dance party as much as the next fella, but I am very much not a party boy, just an adorable dork who happens to be gay.
posted by Ceci n'est pas un sockpuppet to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have spent a lot (a lot!) of time in the village over the past 10 years or so but have never lived there and have sort of drifted away lately. I think you'll find a lot of gay folk in any of the apartment buildings around there, for example 100 Wellesley and its neighbours, or the Vaseline Tower on Alexander. I suspect your budget may be tight for a 1BR but I could be wrong. You may want to give some thought to the impact of living more or less right on top of the Pride week celebrations in some of these buildings.

If you are looking for quiet bars, then the secret is to go through the week and avoid weekends. Even Woody's is quiet and casual on a Monday night. Many of the bartenders in the village are pretty friendly and are not averse to some conversation on quieter nights. You might want to think about becoming a 'regular' at one of the karaoke nights -- Crews used to do one on Tuesdays, I think... even if you don't participate it is something to do and you'll start to see familiar faces. Pegasus is another option for a place that is very low-key even when other places are busy, and they have pool tables, etc. if you're into that sort of thing.

Hidden gems... that's a tough one. Most of the restaurants near there are in the average-to-terrible range. There's a chocolatier on Maitland, just east of Church that's generally off the radar and I think they have a little patio in back where they serve coffee etc. The stores aren't too exciting either, although as a 'dork' you might be interested in the comic book shop at Yonge & Maitland. Pusateri's and Reither's both have some interesting foodstuffs.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 1:40 PM on September 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Don't. It is loud, noisy, and filled with drunks. I worked there in the evening hours for a few years, and some nights. Find some place on Isabella, just off the village if you need to--but see if you can find the new queer scene in Bloorsdale.
posted by PinkMoose at 9:53 PM on September 5, 2010

I live in Bloordale and while I love my neighborhood, there really isn't a queer scene here. Certainly lots of interesting places that wouldn't be hostile, but nothing for us specifically.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 2:12 PM on September 6, 2010

Dundas and Landsdowne has quickly become a queer neighbourhood, cheap, friendly, good food--around the henhouse, nacca (is that it's name?), blackdice and the like. but i maybe a hipster

posted by PinkMoose at 10:14 PM on September 6, 2010

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