beaver toronto

One of Toronto's most fiercely loved queer bars has permanently closed

A popular queer bar has closed in Toronto in one of the harshest blows dealt to the community during COVID-19.

The Beaver took to social media to explain that they "always operated on a fine line of keeping the doors open" and "will not be re-opening at 1192 Queen West."

From all of us at The Beaver, The Beaver has always operated on a fine line of keeping the doors open. There were a lot of headwinds that we’ve weathered pretty well. When we first opened, the bar faced a carwash. Buildings kept shooting up around us, and somehow we dodged it, time and time again. Our rent kept going up though. The people that come through our doors are all stripes of queermos - a demographic that is increasingly being pushed out of a ridiculously priced city, yet the remaining creatures of night kept coming to our little hole in the wall. Then, COVID happened. The short-term financial hit of the place being closed is obvious. The future is harder. We are a small, cramped bar. Some hate it, it’s also what some of us like about it. Now it’s a big hurdle. Folks aren’t going to return to the hip to hip, ass to ass days we once knew. At least for not quite some time. With a heavy heart + butt, The Beaver will not be re-opening at 1192 Queen West. We are looking for future spots that become available. All of the unemployed staff want The Beaver, or something like it, to continue. We hope if that happens, we will still have that magic. We have the staff, the crowd, and access to some funds to make it happen. A building is just a place. Realistically, a new venue is a faint hope for the future. If the right spot becomes available down the line, we will jump on it. In the meanwhile, we hope you can find a new place to keep doing what you do. When the world comes back, we will do a proper send-off to everyone. We miss ya’ll and the lovely community of queermos in Toronto, and we can’t wait till we can see regular makeup-smeared faces again around the city again. We love you very much. - The Beaver Staff Photo by Ramy Arida at The Diet Ghosts: Clown Korporate

A post shared by The Beaver (@beavertoronto) on

The gay bar has been a pillar of the community that has also functioned as a cafe, brunch place, art gallery, drag venue, karaoke spot and so much more, and boasted a legendary back patio.

"The short-term financial hit of the place being closed is obvious. The future is harder. We are a small, cramped bar. Some hate it, it’s also what some of us like about it. Now it’s a big hurdle. Folks aren’t going to return to the hip to hip, ass to ass days we once knew. At least for not quite some time," reads the caption to the post.

However, it's not all bad news. "We are looking for future spots that become available. All of the unemployed staff want The Beaver, or something like it, to continue. We hope if that happens, we will still have that magic. We have the staff, the crowd, and access to some funds to make it happen. A building is just a place."

They keep it realistic, saying "a new venue is a faint hope for the future. If the right spot becomes available down the line, we will jump on it" and saying that they "hope you can find a new place to keep doing what you do. When the world comes back, we will do a proper send-off to everyone."

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez


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