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Fashion & Style

Photos of the Church Street Fetish Fair

Posted by Staff / August 15, 2011

Church Street Fetish FairThe Church Street Fetish Fair took over six blocks in the Village yesterday to celebrate all things leather, lace, fetish and fantasy. While there was much talk ahead of the weekend about how this year's fair was going to be dialed down a few notches, it still seemed crowds were excited to come out and strut their stuff. It's true, though, that the fair seemed like something of a shadow of its former self and nothing like what a fetish fair should be (see the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco for the model for this type of thing).

The rock climbing wall, ferris wheel, mechanical bull ride and even the roast corn booth seemed like force fits for the event and didn't see much action while I was there. The real excitement this year seemed to be off of the main street and inside the bars and clubs and on the overflowing patios at places like Boutique Bar, Steamworks and Flash. Sure, there were plenty who dressed up for the occasion in their best leather, military, cop attire and superhero outfits but it was too bad that the best leather was confined to the patio of Zipperz, a couple blocks south of the official event zone.

Check out more photos of the event below and stay tuned later in the day for a special street style post from the Church Street Fetish Fair.

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k / August 15, 2011 at 12:02 pm
1. They replaced 'Fetish' with 'Village' in the name, so what is the fair even about now?
2. There were more rides and games than anything fetish-related, so what sets this fair apart from any other?
3. Toronto Leather Pride was the same weekend, but little cross-promotion was done, so the fair was never going reach Up Your Alley levels of attendance, never mind Folsom.

Toronto has a large and lively fetish and leather community but consistently fails to pull it together for events like this.
es replying to a comment from k / August 15, 2011 at 02:26 pm
The Fetish/Leather community was upset by this move. The Church Street BIA wanted to make the event more "Family Friendly" and renamed it from the Fetish Fair to the Church Village Fair. The Leather/Fetish events basically got shafted and moved to the parking lot at Zippers.

There are enough 'Family Friendly' events in Toronto that happen almost every weekend during the summer, that I am baffled to why they did this. The BIA tried to sanitize the event to make it family friendly, but it seemed like they failed to attract 'family' while ostracizing the fetish community at the same time.

I was looking forward to this event until the BIA decided to drop the fetish from it, so I opted to go out of town this weekend instead. When I got back in town, I decided to do a walk-through, and it just seemed rather lame. Way to go BIA!
Niklas / August 15, 2011 at 02:51 pm
I think most families avoid the village on a regular tuesday so why they think families would show up for a fair is ridiculous
k replying to a comment from es / August 15, 2011 at 04:36 pm
The BIA needs to learn that fetish people, especially leathermen, will travel great distances for events and contests -- regionally and internationally. I can go to a generic family-sanitized street fair anytime (Bloorcourt had one on Saturday!) but big kink events aren't that frequent in North America.
Taylor / August 15, 2011 at 05:58 pm
You know you're in an ultra-conservative city, when fetish festivals are turning family friendly. It seems laughable. What's the BIA? It's not some "pray the gay away" foundation I hope.
Bill replying to a comment from Taylor / August 15, 2011 at 07:05 pm
BIA = Business Improvement Association

A thought for the BIA: if you take the sex out of the street fair, all you've got is a collection of regular grocery shops, fast food outlets, neighbourhood appletini bars, and headshops. Indispensable if you live in the neighbourhood, of course, but why would anyone travel from even a few miles away to visit it?
steve / August 16, 2011 at 07:14 am
The CW BIA has never been comfortable with 'gay'. A number of years back a taste of church Wellesly was tried but they refused to use the word gay. The original banners were swirling pastels colours. They will not add benches. They erected a statue based on myth.
Any wonder why the area has poor shopping and eating establishments. Why locate there when you pay extra for nothing
Bill G / August 27, 2011 at 03:19 am
I can handle almost any fetish but the leather stuff is disgusting. Yeah tear the skin off of an animal (with any luck it's unconscious and dead before that) then immerse the skin in carcinogenic chemicals so it won't rot, then wear it on your naughty bits or get whipped with it.

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