Gay Nightlife in Toronto: Best Bars, Clubs, & More

Toronto at night

 Junko Chiba / Getty Images

One of the great centers of arts and culture in North America, Toronto is also one of the world's foremost gay destinations, The city hosts a famously large Gay Pride celebration each summer and cultivating a lively scene in neighborhoods like Church Street Village, Queen Street West, and Leslieville. Indeed, in this guide to Toronto gay nightlife, you'll find not only the usual Church Street dance clubs and video bars but also a medley of restaurants, cafés, and mixed bars elsewhere in the city.

Bars

Woody's exterior
Andrew Collins

Toronto's eclectic hangouts have always been—and continue to be—popular for drag shows and known for drawing a diverse mix of all ages.

  • Crews & Tango: This attractively furnished bar occupies a vintage townhouse in the Gay Village and also has a restaurant that serves light casual fare and a pretty back patio.
  • Reposado Tequila Bar: This bustling storefront space carries Toronto's biggest selection of fine tequilas and also turns out small plates for noshing.
  • Woody's and Sailor: If there's a single bar in Toronto that's visited by more gay guys, tourists, and locals alike, it's Woody's and its adjoining "brother" bar Sailor, a multi-level complex comprising of five different bars.
  • Pegasus: On Church Street, this is a casual hang-out bar with games like billiards and darts, as well as pinball and arcade machines.
  • Black Eagle: This is a cruisey dungeon-themed bar with a western twist that caters to the leather and BDSM crowd. There's no dress code anymore, so feel free to come as you are.

Clubs

In Toronto, there's no shortage of dedicated nightclubs. But if you're just looking for any old party, the city also has a lot of establishments that put on regular dance nights for the LGBT community.

  • Fly 2.0 Nightclub: Fly is Toronto's true warehouse-style dance club. It hosts huge parties throughout the year and is always packed on weekends, with some of the world's top DJs frequently guest-spinning.
  • The Beaver: A restaurant by day, The Beaver puts on a lot of different nightly events including DJ dance parties, plus comedy and trivia nights.
  • The Gladstone Hotel: Not a club per se, but this LGBT-friendly hotel hosts queer parties and karaoke events every week.

Late-Night Eats

No matter how late it gets, you won't go hungry in Toronto. There are plenty of places to start your night out on a classy foot or end it knee-deep in poutine.

  • Hair of the Dog: When you're ready for cheese curds and french fries, and maybe another drink, this neighborhood pub and restaurant has got you covered until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
  • Mengrai Gourmet Thai Restaurant: For seriously amazing Thai food before you go out, it's worth venturing to Mengrai Gourmet Thai. The rambling restaurant occupies a vintage beer warehouse with wood floors and exposed-brick walls.
  • Sneaky Dee's: This quintessential Toronto Tex-Mex bar stays open until 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
  • 416 Snack Bar: Open until 2 a.m. every night of the week, this is a great place to if be you're craving something to pick on, but maybe not a whole meal.
  • Adam's Schwarma: Near all the gay bars in the village, you can count on filling up on falafel at this neighborhood favorite.

Tips for Going Out in Toronto

  • Toronto's gay village is located at the intersection of Church and Wellesley Streets.
  • You'll find quite a few diverting galleries, design shops, cafés, and bars up and down Ossington, between Queen Street and Dundas Street (the latter puts you squarely into Toronto's Little Portugal neighborhood).
  • There's not really a bad night of the week to drop by Woody's and Sailor but the "best" contest nights are particularly popular.
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