Category Archives: Gay Canada

BEST GAY CITIES – The Commercial Drive – In LGBT Vancouver

Neighbourhood Stroll: Commercial Drive

Locally known as “The Drive,”
this ‘hood has long been popular with lesbians, and plenty of gay men
love it too, particularly as the neighbourhood holds its own Pride
festival each June. Originally the hub of Vancouver’s Italian and
Portuguese communities, on Commercial Drive
you will meet an eclectic bunch: from skater dudes, to trans folk, to hand-holding lesbians to Italian immigrants drinking a cappuccino al fresco. Easily accessible by Skytrain (Vancouver’s light-rail network), the area to explore is the 23 small-ish blocks between Venables Street and 12th Street.

Arts & Culture.
Commercial Drive is home to a large collection of public murals. An often popular LGBT photo-op is the rainbow mural on the side of Joe’s Café. The Vancouver East Cultural Centre (“The Cultch”) plays host to an array of edgy and interesting performing and visual arts.

Foodie goodness—including lots of organic—abounds on The Drive.  Vegetarians have bountiful options—standouts include the clever Mexican cuisine at Bandidas Taqueria; the East Indian cuisine at Sweet Cherubim; and the raw “burgers” at Eternal Abundance. For old-style pizza, the
goods at busy Marcello are outstanding, and nearby newcomer Famoso gets raves for their Neapolitan-style pizzas. Or have a true Vancouver cultural experience and shop for a make-it-yourself-picnic at old-school Santa Barbara Market (be sure to take a number!) and dine on the grass in Grandview Park.

Shops that pop.
Folks who live around The Drive aren’t your big-box types, and the neighbourhood supports a
large number of small, independent shops. As you stroll along, watch for period fashions at Little Miss Vintage, mid-century furnishings at Attic Treasures, irresistible gifts and cards at Urban Empire, upscale consignment clothes at Give & Receive, and vinyl at Highlife World Music. Of special note is the sex toy shop Womyn’s Ware; delving beyond their interesting selections for all genders, ask about their role in improving the industry’s product offerings.

Coffee culture is strong on The Drive. Choose between ultra-hip, local spots like Turk’s Coffee featuring two espressos “on tap”, the fresh lighting of Renzo’s, or the always-bustling Continental. Or hang out and watch soccer on TV with Italian or Portuguese folks at classic coffee houses harkening to a bygone age: Abruzzo Cappuccino Bar and Joe’s Café both fit the genre, and Joe’s not only advertises the best cappuccino in the city but also offers pool tables by-the-hour.



Best Gay City Vancouver celebrates Pride Parade and Festival now thru AUGUST 4th

 The “big day” is Sunday, August 4,
with the parade rolling through city streets and ending at Sunset Beach
where the festival takes place. 

Other events include several movie
nights with outdoor screenings, a Pride pavilion at the Vancouver Public
Library, a Pride Run, and dance parties for everyone including youth
and clean/sober communities. 

  • Vancouver Queer Arts Festival, July 24 – Aug. 9

    Running alongside Pride, the numerous events of the QAF bring out the
    best and queerest in performing and visual arts held at various downtown
    venues. Everyone’s welcome to join in the Vancouver Men’s Chorus’ “Big
    Gay Sing,” view the Pride in Community Art Show, take in the play Bi, Hung, and Fit, and more.

  • Gay Vancouver Bike Tour, July 24 & 31 and Aug. 2 & 3.
    Matt Oliver leads this “easy” cycling tour focused on Vancouver’s LGBT
    scene and history, and strives to answer the question, “how did the
    Davie Village become the gayest and my most favorite place to live in
    the world?” 
  • Vancouver Fetish Weekend, July 26 to 28.
    The weekend before the Pride parade, get your fetish on during this
    three-night extravaganza at a variety of venues. With event names like
    Sin City Confessional and Scarlet Harlot’s Ball, this sexy weekend is
    not for the bashful.
  • Man Up Events, Aug. 2 to 3.
    Held at the indie-popular Cobalt bar on Main Street, this organization
    hosts two back-to-back gender-bender drag king and queer dance party
    events on Pride weekend. 
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    LinkedIn Pulls Ad for Gay Travel Guide

    Canada’s  XTRA  reports, “The professional networking site LinkedIn has pulled an ad for a gay travel guide, claiming it contains “inappropriate content or language.”

    “It’s baffling,” says Robert Christofle at Open Mic Press/Icon Empire Press.

    Christofle says he’s been promoting The Gay Travel Guide For Tops And Bottoms on a variety of sites, many of them straight, without incident. But LinkedIn, which has networks ostensibly catering to gay professionals, censored the ad.

    LinkedIn says it pulled the ad due to its sexual content.

    “LinkedIn is a professional networking platform and, as such, there has never been a place on it for ads that feature or promote explicit sexual content or products of any kind,” spokesperson Danielle Restivo told Xtra on Sept 1.

    LinkedIn says it pulled the ad due to its sexual content.

    “LinkedIn is a professional networking platform and, as such, there has never been a place on it for ads that feature or promote explicit sexual content or products of any kind,” spokesperson Danielle Restivo told Xtra.

    Google Ad and Facebook haven’t objected to the ad, Christofle notes. “Out of the three different advertising sites, only LinkedIn has a target gay networking site, and they are the only ones to pull the ad.”

    Read the full article  on  XTRA

    BUY THE BOOK!  The Gay Travel Guide For Tops And Bottoms


    Best Gay City and Best Gay Pride – Toronto

    Imagine a city full of millions of happy people going around wishing everyone  HAPPY  PRIDE  all week! 

    Whether you are  gay or straight, Pride Week in Toronto  always offers fun parties,  music  and merriment for everyone. There are two areas of the city where festivities will be focused – Church Street (the famous Gay Village) and now Queen West is in on the fun with their Queer West Fest.

    There is an estimated 1 million tourists + all of the locals that celebrate the Pride Events!

    Toronto is one of the BEST GAY CITIES in North America and hosts THE BIGGEST  GAY  PRIDE  in North America.

    This year the theme is about “Celebrating 30 years of Pride in Toronto”.  A week long of events will take  place  between  June 25th – July 4th.

    Prism 2010 , North America’s largest circuit party, partners with Pride Toronto to present for the first time ever, “Aqua Pride” on a Pride Toronto stage. AQUA PRIDE 2010 is a water-themed daytime event featuring Michael Viera, Isaac Escalante and Brazilian sweetheart, Ana Paula. Come, get wet and have fun!

    “We’re very excited to be working with Prism Toronto to bring Aqua Pride to the Pride Toronto site. They work year round to contribute culturally to the city and have consistently supported local talent over the years. This is a very natural progression for us both”, says Pride Toronto’s Arts & Entertainment Manager, Mary Zondanos.

    “Be prepared for the biggest party of the weekend as we transform the TD Wellesley Stage, into the most glamorous and wettest Aqua party yet,” says Gairy Brown, Executive Director of Prism Toronto.

    Single event tickets and weekend passes are on-sale now exclusively at PRIAPE   or through Priape retail locations in Toronto and Montreal. Call PRIAPE at 1-800-461-6969 for more details or for a store near you.

    Cyndi Lauper Headlines Pride Toronto’s 30th Anniversary Festival. 

    Cyndi Lauper, one of the world’s most recognized Queer icons, comes to Toronto on Saturday, July 3 2010 for a FREE concert in Queen’s Park.

    An unwavering advocate for LGBTTIQQ2SA* rights, Cyndi Lauper established herself as a household name with the 1983 single “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”, kicking off a long career which includes more than 25 million in record sales and nominations for 13 Grammy awards, 2 Emmy awards, 2 American Music Awards, 7 American Video Awards and 18 MTV awards.

    “It’s an honor to always have the genuine affection of the gay community,” Cyndi says. “They have never turned their back on me and I will never turn my back on them. We’ve had a long and enduring love affair.”

    The Grammy award-winning singer and Emmy award-winning actress is currently working on her newest studio album scheduled for release in June. Lauper is also featured on the new “Celebrity Apprentice” edition on NBC starting March 14 and later this year launches her own reality show.

    Lauper’s performance during Pride Week will be part of a full program of entertainment and activities in Queen’s Park; the newest addition to the ever-expanding Pride Week site which includes eight stages over more than 22 city blocks and an attendance of more than one million. Plans for the new Queen’s Park site include a beverage garden and more Pride Week Streetfair exhibitors.

    “We are happy that Cyndi and her incredible team worked with us to make this happen” said Mary Zondanos, Arts & Entertainment Manager for Pride Toronto. “Her work both as a performer and an activist is an inspiration to us all. There will be tears, and I’m sure some will be mine.”


    *Pride Toronto is in the running to host the 2014  WORLD  PRIDE!



    Girlfriends Getaway Special – Ottawa Canada

    So much of Gay Travel seems  geared towards men. Well, this one’s for the girls!

    Calling all girlfriends to retreat to Canada’s Capital – a city bursting with vibrant culture and surrounded by an oasis of natural beauty. This special package caters to all types and budgets by providing the ability to pick and choose.

    Spend a couple days shopping, visiting museums and galleries, dining, indulge in a spa treatment or take in a show! Don’t forget to check out the funky ByWard Market district, where there’s always something happening. It’s the perfect scene for a night out on the town with your friends.

    Ottawa is an open, friendly and welcoming destination for gay and lesbian travelers. Canada’s Capital has an LGBT pedigree that extends back to the first-ever gay and lesbian public demonstration in Canada (1971), and that in recent years included perhaps the most public gay marriage of all time between two gay stars of the TV program The Amazing Race.

    The centre of gay and lesbian life is the area around Bank Street and Somerset in the downtown core. The growing gaybourhood has shops and bars and is the home base for local institutions serving the LGBT community.
    Explore it by day—or by night. But don’t feel you have to limit yourself to one neighbourhood. There are things happening all over. On Sunday evenings, for example, there’s a lesbian coffee club in suburban Barrhaven. You’ll find gays and lesbians all over the city, doing the active things Ottawans do. Check publications such as Capital Xtra for listings and up-to-date information.

    And best of all ladies – right now, with the GIRLFRIENDS GETAWAY, you get special pricing and discounts.

    Check it out!


    Ottawa Canada – Mr Leather Weekend

    We had the good fortune of spending time in Ottawa Canada this past August for their Gay Pride Weekend!   What a great city!  So much cultuture, beauty and lots to see and do!

    Next Month, is  Mr Leather Ottawa. This year’s MLO theme is DRIVE – a mix of parties, workshops and seminars with  The Mr. Leather Ottawa competition taking  place November 14 – including a new “Full Fetish” segment.

    Each year is a little different – a celebration of our core value as a community.  Diversity, respect, integrity, vision, equality.  Find out for yourself what we are all about, what we stand for, and who we are.

    MLO is a “be yourself event” – everyone is welcome, from leather VIPs to hardcore fetishists to those who are curious or just want to attend a hot party.  What sets MLO appart?  Our weekend is designed to welcome all, to bring the “leather family” together, and provide opportunities for learning, meeting new friends, and getting to know people. 

    St. Brigid’s Centre
    November 13-15, 2009
    MLO Events and Ticket information.

    Other things of interest in Ottawa…

    Camouflage – From the Battlefield to the Catwalk

    Canadian War Museum    Now   thru  January 3, 2010

    This innovative exhibition traces the colourful history of military camouflage over the last century, from the simple concealment of soldiers and objects to the use of camouflage-inspired designs in a wide range of commercial and artistic products.

    The art of camouflage has evolved into a phenomenon of popular culture, now as likely to adorn children or fashion models as it is to mask soldiers or jet aircraft. The exhibition uses clothing, art, models, military equipment and other objects to tell the history of this deceptive art, which still makes soldiers disappear, but designer jeans stand out!

    The War Museum is a  very cool building. It’s is an unusual structure, low-lying with jagged edges and angular, trapezoidal lines.

    Fun Facts!  Every November 11, at 11 am, and only on this day and at this hour, the sun shines through the window of the Museum’s Memorial Hall and illuminates the only artifact in this space: the headstone of Canada’s Unknown Soldier.

    ALSO – The War Museum is home to a machine called an “electro-psychometer” (similar to a lie detector) was employed to determine the sexual orientation of civil servants. In this very conservative era homosexuality was a taboo and it was assumed knowledge of that fact could be used against an individual and force this person to collaborate with the enemy. The government intended to protect itself and subjected hundreds of civil servants to tests on this notoriously unreliable device, also referred to as the “fruit machine”.

    Canada’s Capital and the country’s fourth largest metropolis, Ottawa is located in Eastern Ontario at the junction of three majestic waterways and just across the Ottawa River from Gatineau, Quebec. A cosmopolitan yet surprisingly intimate G8 capital, Ottawa is a place where you can immerse yourself in Canadiana and culture, embrace and enjoy the great outdoors, even in the heart of the city, join the celebration at year-round festivals and events, and shop and dine in a relaxed urban setting of distinctive neighbourhoods and districts. Whatever the season, come see for yourself!

    Best  Gay  Cities


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