Make the Most of a Long Weekend in LGBTQ+ Toronto

Embrace the diverse community of Toronto and support LGBTQ+-owned businesses during a memorable three-day trip.

The rainbow crosswalk in Toronto's Church and Wellesley village neighborhood

The rainbow crosswalk in Toronto’s Church and Wellesley village neighborhood

Courtesy of Destination Toronto

Known as an inclusive, highly diverse city, Toronto welcomes LGBTQ+ travelers with open arms. Canada’s largest city proudly embraces its many different communities, including its thriving LGBTQ+ neighborhoods and queer-owned businesses like stylish boutiques, cozy cafés, and eclectic restaurants celebrating individuality and creativity. Whether reveling in the city’s thrilling nightlife, browsing its shops, or spending a day at the beach, Toronto promises an ideal long weekend escape for LGBTQ+ visitors and those who want to support the local community.


Trip Highlight

Church-Wellesley Village

This bastion of LGBTQ pride is a must-visit destination for those looking to experience Toronto's community and is known for its multitude of queer-owned businesses. While you’re in the area, check out Glad Day Bookshop, the oldest surviving queer bookstore in the world, and pick up a few gourmet treats at Craig’s Cookies.

Trip Designer

Destination Toronto

Experience the best of Canada’s largest and most dynamic city. Wondering what to do first in this diverse metropolis? Destination Toronto can help you discover exciting attractions, live performances, award-winning restaurants, world-class museums, and much more all year round.
Toronto Sign

Toronto Sign

Courtesy of Destination Toronto

Day 1Get Acquainted with Toronto

Begin your getaway at the Gladstone House, a distinctive lodging experience within a historic red brick Victorian hotel that embraces an artistic and bohemian-baroque style. Each individually appointed room is decorated by a Canadian artist.

After settling in, stroll westward along Queen Street to tonight’s dinner destination. Banu serves traditional Persian dishes like barberry rice and chicken or pomegranate beef tenderloin, showcasing flavors and ingredients that reflect the culinary heritage of Iran. Two Iranian siblings, one of them queer activist Samira Mohyeddin, oversee this family-run restaurant. After dinner, enjoy drinks at Sweaty Betty’s, a well-known LGBTQ+-friendly bar with an unpretentious vibe, making it a popular spot for socializing.

Church Street

Courtesy of Destination Toronto

Day 2The Heart of Toronto’s LGBTQ+ Scene

The next morning, fuel up for the day ahead with some quality brew and a pastry at Krave Coffee, another queer-owned business known for its welcoming atmosphere and cozy setting.

The next stop is Church-Wellesley Village, known for its abundance of queer-owned establishments and an essential stop if you’re interested in experiencing Toronto’s LGBTQ+ community. Visit Glad Day Bookshop, billed as the world’s oldest queer bookstore, and grab a few gourmet cookies in inventive flavors like apple pie and chili chocolate at Craig’s Cookies.

Then have a relaxed dinner at Si Lom Thai Bistro, a lively neighborhood restaurant with creative cocktail buckets and flavorful Thai street-food dishes like red curry pineapple shrimp and soft shell crab pad thai.

A sunset view of the Toronto skyline from the Centre Island ferry

Courtesy of Destination Toronto

Day 3Hit Hanlan's Point Beach

Start your day with a tranquil breakfast at Lox & Schmear, a charming eatery known for its delectable bagel-centric dishes. The menu spans classic smoked salmon with cream cheese to unexpected choices like avocado and pickled onions.

Spend a leisurely day at Hanlan’s Point Beach, a clothing-optional spot on the western side of the Toronto Islands with beautiful views of Lake Ontario and the city skyline. It’s a popular destination for those who enjoy a more naturist-friendly beach experience.

Transition from day to night with a visit to La Bartola, another queer-owned establishment, where chef Ivan Castro infuses the vibrancy of México City into the restaurant’s ambiance, even while exclusively featuring meat-free Mexican dishes like black sesame tostadas and purple corn tacos.

For a grand finale, end the evening with a glass of wine (the list is mainly from Portugal and France) at Miss Pippa’s, a combination cafe, bar, flower shop, and boutique.
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