The 519 – Church Street Gay and Lesbian Center in Toronto

The 519 is a meeting place and focal point for its diverse downtown communities. Within a supportive environment, it responds to the needs of the local neighbourhood and the broader Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTTQ) communities by supplying resources and opportunities to foster self-determination, civic engagement and community participation.


In 1972 the City of Toronto purchased the building at 519 Church Street and the pieces of land surrounding it to create The 519 Church Street Community Centre and Cawthra Square Park.

The 519 was the first community centre to be funded with a structure that ensures community control of programming. The City of Toronto owns the building and funds the administrative and maintenance expenses. The community, through its volunteer Board of Management, is responsible for programs, fundraising and personnel.

The 519 is truly a home to everyone in the downtown community. Over 300 community groups use our centre every year. It stands as an example of what a neighbourhood can do with basic resources, dedicated volunteers, staff infrastructure, and an activist Board elected from among those who use the Centre.

The Best of Gay Toronto!

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