The recession has struck gay neighborhoods in cites around the world. San Francisco, Chicago, Washington DC, Miami and even Toronto. And at the root of the evil for most of these cities is greed and high rent. Greed and high rent and a sky-high housing market has helped put us to where we are all at today.
It has forced many business owners to look elsewhere to set up shop. Also though, times have changed. 30 years ago, that’s all we had, was our one gay neighborhood. One gay street. As times change and acceptance grows, gays are moving out and blending in to other neighborhoods. Plus, now we have the Internet. The internet has flattend the world, removing barriers and walls, allowing us to connect with others, shop at home and much more.
At a time when queers are increasingly looking beyond the borders of the gaybourhood, the Church Wellesley Village Business Improvement Association is spending money to more clearly define those borders in the original gay village of Toronto. Like other big cities, even though the gay neighborhoods have expanded beyond the original borders, it’s important to mark and celebrate the original gay neighborhoods.
Next summer 2011, two 22-foot illuminated structures will be installed on Church to mark the north and south ends of the village. Chicago did something similar on their North Halsted Street to celebrate the borders of Boystown .
Church Street and the area around it has been familiar to the Toronto gay community for many decades. Prior to the 1970s there had been an underground gay scene centered around various bathhouses and bars around the city that were not exclusively gay establishments and were mostly catered to the male population.
The Church Wellesley Village is one of Canada’s most vibrant communities. An international destination known around the world for its electrifying street events, shops, bars and services but mostly for the many different types of people that attend it streets.