LGBTQ movies

The 10 best LGBTQ+ movies and TV shows made in Toronto of all time

For decades Toronto has been home to thousands of film and TV productions, serving either to tell local stories or masking our own local identity to portray both urban and rural locales from all over the world.

Many of these films and shows here have focused on LGBTQ+ stories and characters, and that's not even counting the countless storytellers and technicians behind the scenes who are part of this diverse and vibrant community.

Here are some of the best LGBTQ+ stories and shows that have been made right here in Toronto.

Zero Patience

Jon Greyson's raucous, rebelious, remarkable 1993 musical almost single handedly disabused all notions of Canadian cinematic politeness, crafting a brash and often brilliant ode to both those who suffered from the scourge of HIV/AIDS while defiantly excoriating those that traffic in scientific falsehoods for the sake of their own phobias.

What We Do In The Shadows

In this paean to pansexuality, this positively brilliant TV adaptation from Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement's 2014 film is just about as close to a comic masterpiece as has ever been shot in this city, and certainly the most lascivious and bloodthirsty.

Schitt's Creek

What many people consider "simply the best" of our local talent, this award winning family comedy from the minds of Eugene and Dan Levy brought the lives of the Rose family to the world, finding along the way means to both entertain, encourage empathy and be emotionally involved in equal measure.

Queer as Folk

Despite purporting to take place in Pittsburgh, the show, based on a British show of the same name, was actually shot in and around Toronto. Numerous local directors such as Bruce McDonald, Jeremy Podeswa, Kelly Makin and Zero Patience-helmer Greyson directed many of the episodes.

Winter Kept Us Warm

This groundbreaking 1965 romance began as a Hart House student project and went on to screen as part of the Semaine de la critique at the Cannes Film Festival. Shot in documentary style, while navigating contemporary mores, a half century later the story of Doug and Peter continues to resonate.

I've Heard the Mermaids Singing

Written while Patricia Rozema worked as an assistant director to David Cronenberg on The Fly, this startling feature debut, with Sheila McCarthy's iconic quirky and comedic take, and was the first English language film to ever win an award at Cannes, earning the director the prestigious Prix de la Jeunesse.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

John Cameron Mitchell's rocking, raucous, riveting musical about the genderqueer titular character may be set in East Germany, but the film was in fact shot right here in this city. The inclusion in the cast of Andrea Martin who long called the city home makes for another deep connection to Toronto.

Kids in the Hall

Through numerous sketches the Toronto comedy troupe took on topics that acerbically exposed the fatuousness of homophobia, and along the way took comedy to levels that were previously thought far out of the mainstream. Years later, the show remains as groundbreaking and hilarious as ever.

Umbrella Academy

Netflix's show about a billionaire that buys superpowered children to raise them to save the world (!) fully integrates its LGBTQ+ content into the experiences of its characters. Canada's beloved Eliott Page is helping take the character of Vanya, along with the rest of the cast, to even greater heights when Season 3 lands next year.

Below Her Mouth

April Mullen's steamy romantic drama opened at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival and got plenty of international attention for its two leads, Natalie Krill and Erika Linder, as well as for Stephanie Fabrizi's complex and provocative script.

Lead photo by

Hedwig and the Angry Inch


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Film

90s kids TV icon visits Toronto vaccine clinic but children might not recognize him

A $200 million film studio is coming to Toronto but it's not where you think

One of the stars of Harry Potter was just spotted at a bakery in Toronto

Toronto gets the 1940s treatment in new Nightmare Alley movie trailer

Disney and Pixar reveal their animated version of Toronto in new trailer for Turning Red

Toronto film industry expected to break $2.2 billion record in productions next year

Ryan Reynolds tells Americans to stop threatening to move to Canada

Massive state-of-the-art film and television production hub revealed for Toronto