Toronto’s lesbian club scene: looking back

A brief history of the legendary parties that broke ground in our city

Quick: when was the last time you saw a lesbian in the Village at night? If you had to really dig back in your memory banks to answer that question, you’re not alone.

A quick glance at Toronto’s Village might make you believe the city’s LGBT community only consists of gay men. But the truth is, downtown Toronto was once home to bars and clubs that were made exclusively for lesbians. Over time, that number has dwindled, until Slack’s remained as the sole place for women. Toronto, for the first time in years, is now facing a dearth of lesbian bars. Granted, the lesbian party scene is still going strong — but the parties exist as one-offs, and have no permanent place to call home.

But before we dance in the present, it’s important to step back and look at the past.

Rolyn Chambers is a graphic designer and freelance writer. His first book, The Boy Who Brought Down a Bathhouse, was published in 2017.

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Culture, Toronto, Arts, Nightlife

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