queer bars toronto

10 bars in Toronto for queer nightlife

Toronto's queer bar scene is back and stronger than ever. We saw lockdowns take staple bars such as Lavender Menace and The Beaver from the city.

But, there still remains a great selection of queer-owned/queer-focused bars the still remain or have newly opened.

If you're looking for bars in Toronto that are centred around and or started by queer folk, here's a selection.

Cry Baby Gallery

This cocktail and oyster bar on Dundas West is in a kind of secret location hidden behind an actual gallery. Either head there with a small group or go solo. The bar's moody space makes you feel like you're at a secret warehouse party. 

Paradise Grapevine

This bar has had a stellar year with its expansion to Geary Ave., but its original location in Bloorcourt remains a hub for queer nightlife. This bar has been the venue for bi-weekly event Queer Wine Nights for some of last year, putting them on the map for for a staple spot for queer nightlife. QWN has not resumed this year as of yet but plans to return soon.

Mama's Liquor and Lounge

The first thing that catches your eye at this Brockton Village bar is their iconic cheetah wall with 'Mama's' branded in red. From drag shows to burlesque, Mama's has a lot going on. The bar is also known for their event Gaydaze, a queer dance party.

The Fountain

This Dundas West bar boasts has a different feel from most bars in the area. It's an an intimate and friendly spot to stop by for live music from DJs across the city, or to catch a cult classic playing on their mini TV while you sip your drink.

Glad Day Bookshop Church

This historic bookstore in the Village is also a bar that regularly hosts events like drag music bingo, karaoke and documentary screenings. 

The Well

This queer-owned bar in the Village has two floors of dance cages, themed nights and affordable cover. If you want to hit Church St. and have a great night without breaking the bank, this might be the spot to be. 

Tammy's Wine Bar & Cafe

A personal favourite to many young queer folk in the city,  this queer-owned Parkdale bar and sibling to Tommy's Wine Bar on Dundas West is known for their Sunday karaoke nights, hosted by a member of the community.

Sweaty Betty's

Few staples remain on Ossington beyond this classic bar. In the summer, they often host drag nights that sometimes spill out to their curbside patio and the street itself.

Peaches Sports Bar

Everything you'd think a sports bar should be this Parkdale bar has it covered. Make sure to check out their Royal Rumble nights.

Woody's and Sailor

With drag performances and DJ sets lining up the weekend, this iconic bar in the Village has been a safe space for many young queer folk entering the scene for the first time. 

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim at Cry Baby

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10 bars in Toronto for queer nightlife

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