TSA Walking Tour: Church and Wellesley Village

Toronto’s Church and Wellesley Village has long been a central gathering place for the city’s 2SLGBTQIA+ community—with nightclubs, bars, community spaces and stores created for and by members of the queer community. But how did this unique neighbourhood come to be and what exactly does it mean for a space to be queer?

Join us on a walk as we explore the evolution of queer spaces in the city through the buildings, landscapes and art of the Church and Wellesley Village. We’ll share some of the many stories behind the Village’s built environment and the forces that shaped it, while also speaking to the history and increased visibility of queer spaces in the city. Along the way, we’ll see how buildings—from old Victorian homes to mechanic shops—have been transformed into safe spaces for the queer community and explain the meaning behind the signifiers used to identify them. We’ll also see some examples of purpose built queer spaces and how they incorporate symbolism to provide visibility within the built environment. And no tour of the Village would be complete without also delving into some of the questions facing the neighbourhood today, from the relationship between built vs. intangible heritage, to development pressures and inclusion.

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