5 reasons to visit Toronto’s old-school gay village, where you may never want to leave


We love the gay scene in Toronto.

It is not only one of the largest in North America, in June it is host to one the world’s best Pride festivals in the world, with over 1 million people attending.

The majority of the best hangouts in Toronto can be found in the gay village, located in the city’s downtown area at the intersection of Church and Wellesley Streets.

These are 5 of our favorite places to hang out…

1. Rainbow crossing

Gay village of Toronto rainbow crossing

Toronto has several permanent pedestrian rainbow crossings, which are a must to visit for your first selfie in the city (watch out for traffic!).

They were first installed in 2014 when Toronto was hosting World Pride. They can be found at the intersection of Church and Alexander Streets and a second where Church and Isabella Streets meet.

We always love a little song and dance in any rainbow we encounter, so this was a pretty sweet introduction to Toronto.

2. Woody’s Bar

Woody’s is an institution here. It has been around since 1989, making it the first gay bar in the village. It is the staple bar where everyone starts the night. There’s always a fun crowd at Woody’s.

We love the drag shows here as well as the “best” competitions on the weekends – “best chest,” “best ass” etc, where contestants parade on stage and are judged by how loud the applause from the audience is – the loudest winning.

Woody’s is famous as the main gay hangout for the boys in the series Queer As Folk.

3. Fly

Fly is arguably one of the best gay clubs in Toronto. It’s one of the largest with 4 rooms split over 3 floors with around 800 revelers. It’s open on Saturday evenings and is a must on the gay scene.

Like Woody’s, Fly is another famous location because this was featured as the main gay club in Queer As Folk.

4. Buddies in Bad Times

Buddies is a unique must in Toronto. By day it’s a queer theatre, by night on Saturdays it’s another popular gay club.

It runs a mix of excellent shows with LGBTQ content, including musicals. It’s famous for being the largest and longest-running queer theatre in the world.

The club side of Buddies is a fun, more chilled alternative to Fly on a Saturday night, with cabaret shows, drag queens mingling with the crowds and live DJs. The crowd here is more mixed than at Fly, which is mainly (topless) men.

5. Black Eagle

Buddies gay club in Toronto

Black Eagle is one of the most famous cruising bars in the Toronto gay village, with dark room, dungeon, cages and live porn playing on the TV screens.

They also have themed daytime events like “Spanking Social” and “Regal Beagle Bingo”.

We love Black Eagle because, during the summer months, it has a BBQ every Sunday afternoon from 3-9pm on its outdoor patio, which is definitely worth checking out.

Watch our vlog to see more about the gay scene of Toronto:

The Nomadic Boys are gay couple Stefan and Sebastien, who have been traveling the world since they left their lives in London in 2014. They spent a large proportion of the last year traveling through Canada. See more from the boys on their gay travel blog.