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Old Posted Jan 29, 2014, 7:31 PM
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Gay Life in Canadian Cities

I thought this was probably a good idea for a thread, considering that the gay population is generally quite urban and since a disproportionate amount of gay men are interested in urban development (seemingly, judging by polls taken on SSP). Someone just shared this article with me on Facebook, and it's quite sad, but it gave me the idea for this thread, because even Canada's smaller cities can have thriving gay communities (for instance, I know Nelson BC, at 11 000 people, is probably the most accepting and open community I've ever experienced, with gay couples everywhere! ). However, those communities can also go into decline, such as this news story out of Lethbridge, a city in a metro of 110 000 people...



BORDELLO IS SHUTTERED
But the show will go on...

Quote:
It is with great pain and sadness that Theatre Outré announces the closing of Bordello. Bordello, a performance venue for the registered non-profit theatre society, Theatre Outré, played host to numerous performances, shows and events over the past year in the heart of downtown Lethbridge. Starting modestly in the Whitney Building above the Owl Acoustic Lounge, the venue hosted world class theatrical events, including the world premiere production of Theatre Outré’s critically acclaimed international touring hit UNSEX’d, and the week long Pretty, Witty & Gay Festival that was funded, in part, by the City of Lethbridge through The Heart of the City grant.

After such a successful year, we decided to move our operations to a bigger and better space at 517A 4th Avenue South, in the historic MacFarland Building. This new space, which had previously been a dance studio, was transformed, through many hours of volunteer help, as well as a substantial financial investment by us, into a small black box theatre with a colorful lobby. The end result was a fantastic and exciting venue equipped for future performances by Theatre Outré and other community arts groups and artists.

Unfortunately, in the span of just the past few days, ignorant and homophobic neighbouring tenants in the McFarland Buidling have made it clear in various ways that we are not welcome in their midst. Two hateful, hurtful and defamatory emails were sent to our landlord questioning our integrity based on moral grounds and challenging our co-existing alongside their businesses, including an insurance broker and a music school for children. These emails were sent by Dale Reimer, of Reimer Insurance, and Lydia Collin, from Lydia Collin School of Music. We at Theatre Outré had contemplated the possibility of noise complaints due to our operations but had decided our performance hours, being in direct contrast to the working hours of our neighbors, should not become a major issue.
Full Story: http://www.theatreoutre.ca/about-us/venue/
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  #2  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2014, 7:54 PM
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a couple of fundamentalist churchies ruining everyone's fun.

typical.

i hope their facebook pages are getting slammed.
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2014, 8:20 PM
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I've heard Montreal has the best gay scene in the whole country. I do know that you can find the best after-hours clubs in the gay district though. Epic partying until noon the next day if you're into that sort of thing.
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2014, 8:32 PM
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Toronto has World Pride this summer..
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2014, 8:37 PM
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I've been to every major Canadian city and in my experience, Canada as a whole is VERY accepting of the LGBT community. Even in the smaller cities and towns, acceptance is usually pretty good. You can always find homophobic attitudes anywhere you look, but overall Canada is an awesome country.

If I had to say what big cities are the most accepting (not saying the ones I don't mention aren't) would be Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. Pretty fitting since they are Canada's largest three. But all three cities are great for the LGBT community. The village is by far the nicest in Montreal though IMO. Classy, large, and full of thriving clubs, bars, restaurants, etc. And I love how the city of Montreal shuts down the entire village for cars making it walking only for 4 months in the summer. It really allows you to get intimate with the area and explore.

And World Pride is going to be INSANE!
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2014, 8:57 PM
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How many cities have "villages"?
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  #7  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2014, 9:03 PM
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My favourite thing about the LGBT community in St. John's is how large and integrated it is. There is a stereotypical gay scene, with gay bars, cafes, B&Bs, travel agencies, flower shops, candy stores, and everything else - but the vast majority of LGBT people simply participate in mainstream society.

When we go downtown, it's rare that we go to a gay bar. We just go to George Street. There are friends we never see except during Pride Week at family events such as the Pride Bonfire at Middle Cove Beach and Pride Family Day at Bannerman Park.

Also, whatever the genetic component of being LGBT, we have it in droves. For a city of only 200,000 people, our gay community is absolutely enormous.

Here are a few interesting tidbits. We were one of the first cities in North America to have openly an openly gay-friendly and an officially gay bar:

Quote:
In the early 1960s, there were already gay-friendly establishments in St. John’s where the LGBT community could socialize as openly as felt comfortable for them. One of the first was The Porthole, a bar located on Water Street that is known to have been gay-friendly at least as early as 1966. Another popular hangout, primarily for gay men looking to “socialize” with foreign fishermen and sailors, was The Waterfront Club.

By the 1970s, St. John’s was widely recognized as one of the most gay-friendly cities in North America. This was, in many ways, the golden era of the LGBT nightlife in the city - a time of tremendous excitment, joy, discovery, and, of course, pride.

The extremely popular Admiral’s Keg, located in the old Newfoundland Hotel, was the place to be for most of the first half of the decade, from 1969 to 1974.

“It was named by Time Magazine as one of Canada’s top gay-friendly destinations in the early 1970s,” Fitzpatrick added.

Then something extraordinary happened.In 1974, the first officially-established gay bar opened. Friends, as it was called, was an instant hit. It’s impossible to over-emphasize how warmly this establishment was received - not only by the LGBT community, but St. John’s as a whole.
http://www.theoutport.com/#!St-Johns...1-87DC0172E9F9

And today we're leading the provinces in LGBT tolerance education:

Quote:
“Newfoundland and Labrador endorsed the results and became the only province in the country to begin a mandatory LGBT Safe School initiative,” Rose said. “The fact it was mandatory was critical. There are school boards across Canada that, to this day, won’t let us in the door. But your province said: in Newfoundland and Labrador, every single principal, vice-principal, administrator, and guidance counsellor will get EGALE’s intense training.

“We want everyone to know there are LGBT youth in our school system, and there are heterosexual children who have LGBT parents. We want to ensure they all feel safe, that they see themselves represented in the curriculum, that they feel they belong. We lose about 600 children to suicide in Canada every year, and 40% of them are LGBT. It’s about saving lives. And Newfoundland and Labrador is really leading the way for Canada.”
http://www.theoutport.com/#!NL-leads...7-87E9DEF2F609

And a little peek at a couple of gay events:

Manila Luzon from Ru Paul's Drag Race:
Video Link


And more:

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Last edited by SignalHillHiker; Jan 29, 2014 at 9:27 PM.
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2014, 9:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.OT13 View Post
How many cities have "villages"?
I think only Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Winnipeg have gay villages. Alberta's cities weren't big enough in the days of oppression to warrant the creation of sizable ghettos. However, Edmonton's downtown core does have a variety of gay venues and businesses in a small geographic area.
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2014, 9:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chadillaccc View Post
I think only Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Winnipeg have gay villages. Alberta's cities weren't big enough in the days of oppression to warrant the creation of sizable ghettos. However, Edmonton's downtown core does have a variety of gay venues and businesses in a small geographic area.
Add Ottawa to that list. Bank Street since 2011.
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2014, 9:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.OT13 View Post
How many cities have "villages"?
Toronto and Montreal are the only cities with a proper gay village that I've personally visited.

St. John's doesn't have one - however, there are just a lot of gay people generally, especially downtown.

On my short, little block there are at least 9 of us. And that's the case in most of the rowhouse districts.

Gay couples with children, though, tend to live in the West End.
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2014, 9:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.OT13 View Post
Add Ottawa to that list. Bank Street since 2011.
Yeah, I guess I would add Jasper Avenue to the list too.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2014, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by chadillaccc View Post
i think only toronto, montreal, vancouver, and winnipeg have gay villages. calgary is still too conservative to warrant the creation of sizable ghettos. However, edmonton's downtown core does have a variety of gay venues and businesses in a small geographic area.
ftfy
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2014, 10:27 PM
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AKA baiting.



So I assume you've never spent any significant amount of time here?

Perhaps next time, don't try to tell a gay person how accepting their city is when you clearly have no significant experience in the matter.
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2014, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leftimage View Post
ftfy

Trolling aside, having attitudes that are intolerant (but not excessively hateful - eg. like anywhere in the Middle East) of gays are exactly the sort of conditions that foster the existence of gay villages.

Not that they wouldn't exist otherwise - after all, there will always be a need for a community focal point like any other, and as with other groups or other types of business, they tend to congregate together - but most gay villages were a whole lot stronger back in the days that they provided the only place where gay businesses could freely operate and the people to live openly.
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2014, 10:50 PM
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Yeah, I guess I would add Jasper Avenue to the list too.
You should also add 94th street in Alberta Avenue

Extremely popular location to buy a little house and settle down
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Really ? You make it sound like it's a bad thing.
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2014, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkeyRonin View Post
Trolling aside, having attitudes that are intolerant (but not excessively hateful - eg. like anywhere in the Middle East) of gays are exactly the sort of conditions that foster the existence of gay villages.

Not that they wouldn't exist otherwise - after all, there will always be a need for a community focal point like any other, and as with other groups or other types of business, they tend to congregate together - but most gay villages were a whole lot stronger back in the days that they provided the only place where gay businesses could freely operate and the people to live openly.
That's a good point.

So what you're saying is in order for cities to have gay villages, the timing has to have been right, and cities like Calgary have simply skipped ahead to a non-segregated form of integration.

I wonder if gays in such cities sometimes long for that segregation i.e. sometimes wish they could be exclusively among gays? (I mean wish they had that option)

From what I can tell, in Montreal the village is for ''noob'' gays and out-of-towners. Then once you're settled in you move elsewhere.
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2014, 10:52 PM
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AKA baiting.



So I assume you've never spent any significant amount of time here?

Perhaps next time, don't try to tell a gay person how accepting their city is when you clearly have no significant experience in the matter.
Yes, baiting for attention ! It worked!
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2014, 10:56 PM
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It should be noted that most gays don't live in the "villages"

Most are living happy productive lives in and amongst their straight counterparts

A very well known gay author and playwright bought a house with his parter, just down from us in the mature 'burbs

Said my sweetie: "look honey, we're not the only gays in the village"

Lol
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2014, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by chadillaccc
i think only toronto, montreal, vancouver, and winnipeg have gay villages. calgary is still too conservative to warrant the creation of sizable ghettos. However, edmonton's downtown core does have a variety of gay venues and businesses in a small geographic area.

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Originally Posted by leftimage View Post
ftfy
How does Chadillaccc's post warrant an ftfy???
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2014, 11:19 PM
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No Tom, he edited my post to say "too conservative" my actual post is the reality of the situation, whereas his "correction" was a cry for unneeded attention, an attempt to cause conflict.
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