The Church Wellesley Village is Toronto’s largest LGBT neighbourhood. Before the 1970s, the gay community had to endure an underground scene centred around bathhouses and bars that were mainly meant for the male population, however these places were not exclusively gay. The bathhouse raids occured in 1981 and following this event, the community centre on Church Street became the meeting place for LGBT friendly groups. After this, Church Street became the most predominately gay area in the city. Today, the area is a place where everyone can be open and celebrate who they are, and specifically, their sexual orientation.
This area is full of life at all times. There are plenty of restaurants, many of which have patios, bars and clubs. There are a number of hotels in this area as well. There is the 519 Church Street Community Centre, which hosts programs and meetings for everyone. The neighbourhood is also home to the city’s AIDS Memorial, which is located in Cawthra Park. Just east of Jarvis is a large park with the Allan Gardens and greenhouse. There is also a giant Loblaws grocery store at the corner of Church and Carlton, which was home to the former Maple Leaf Gardens. Also in this building is the Mattamy Athletic Centre, for Ryerson students. For all other shopping needs, residents are just steps away from shops of Yonge, and the Eaton Centre.
Church Street Junior Public School
Jarvis Collegiate Institute
Toronto New School
George Brown @ Ryerson
Charles Street to the north
Jarvis Street to the east
Gerrard Street to the south
Yonge Street to the west
Photos from Church Wellesley Village: