All Of The Info On Gay Bars Canada

You're visiting Canada, and you need to know where to go to get your party on! With so many gay bars and clubs all over the country, how can you possibly find the one that suits you best? Look no further than this page. If you want to know everything there is to know about gay bars Canada, then we've got your back! Manplay has all of the info on gay bars in Canada here. See everything that the Canadian gay nightlife has to offer in the gay bars all over the country.

A Brief History Of Gay Bars Canada

This history of Canada's gay bars is long and varied, but the city with the longest running gay bars is Toronto. With the opening of the St. Charles Tavern in the 1960s, gay men and women had, for the first time, their very own space to gather and socialize. The St. Charles Tavern was one of the very first gay bars that operated openly at that time; the bar was a known hot spot for gay men and women for decades from the 60s and into the early 1980s. Other popular spots for gay men to meet were bathhouses and similarly "underground" locations. In February of 1981, Toronto police raided some of the more known bathhouses, and arrested hundreds of gay men. Many of these men weren't publicly out, and had their reputations in the community ruined as a result of their arrests. This major arrest was the last straw for the gay community in Toronto, who banded together to march in protest of the discrimination facing their community. More than 3,000 gay men and women protested at Queen's Park that next night. There were huge positive implications to this protest, one of them being the birth of Toronto Pride. Pride was celebrated the following spring on the Toronto Island. More importantly, the city's gay village was officially established. This area moved from Yonge Street to Church Street, where it's still located and celebrated today. The street is lined with hundreds of gay bars and restaurants where gay people can go and feel safe. This was especially important when these gay bars were first established, back in the 1980s. In 1989, the most popular bar in the city, even today, opened it's doors. Woody's bar is known locally as the "gay man's Cheers"; it was the go-to gay bar for everyone the neighbourhood. Woody's was actually one of the first gay bars to allow straight patrons to come in with their gay friends, which allowed to an atmosphere of even more inclusivity.

The 1980s was a time of change in the gay community and attitudes toward the gay community all across Canada. The majority of gay bars across Canada opened during this time as well. Toronto has the most documented and well-known of these civil uprisings, being Canada's largest and populous city. But cities even out west were having the same issues and reactions that mirrored those happening in Toronto around the same time. This was true of many cities throughout the country. A popular gathering place for gay men in Edmonton was raided in 1981 and 60 men were arrested. Before that, the only gay bar in that city was Club 70, which was an established gay bar since 1969. There were unofficial gatherings and parties for gay men and women as well, but no other official gay bars until after the raids and protests in the 1980s. After that, thousands of gay bars Canada were opened all across the country.

The Most Noteworthy Gay Bars Canada

There are literally thousands of gays bars Canada has to offer, but for the purposes of time we focused on the most popular bars in major cities with larger gay bar populations. You can find gay bars in any city you visit in Canada, but if you're one of these, check out the following most popular gay bars!

In Toronto:

The Beaver

The Beaver is an alternative style gay bar and restaurant that's usually filled with Toronto's artists, musicians, punks, butches, bears, and more. The space was previously an art gallery that's been converted to a bar and restaurant. This gay bar is located in Toronto's Parkdale neighbourhood, in the west end of the city. They serve coffee, booze and comfort food so you'll be happy no matter what you go there for.


Crews&Tangos is Toronto's top drag bar, and for good reason! It's a hugely popular place that has 2 dance floors, karaoke, live performances, and contests along with a full bar. It's located in the centre of the city's gay village on Church Street. There are main stage drag performances every night of the week, and the bar encourages career drag performers in their success by holding annual a pageant in April in a "drag race" in July. It closed briefly in 2009 but reopened under new management less than a year later. This is one place you don't want to miss out on while you're in Toronto.


Woody's is Toronto's most famous and popular gay bar, located in the gay village on Church Street. Open since 1989, this gay bar is still the busiest one in town, especially during Pride. It's a massive building, with 5 bars, DJ shows every night, various fun contests like "best chest" or "best ass", a pool table, and 21 television screens projecting hot and sexy imagery. Woody's was also featured in the popular TV show Queer As Folk, so that helped to solidify it as one of Toronto's most celebrated gay bars.

Church on Church

Church on Church is the most uniquely designed bar you'll ever see. Located in the Church Street Village, an old church has been transformed into a huge and booming gay bar, with live entertainment every night. This bar is open every night of the week, so you can stop in whenever you feel like a drink, a show, or a dance! Some of Toronto's best DJs spin at this location so keep an eye out for those shows if you plan on visiting. It's a popular drag spot; lots of the shows feature these wildly popular shows!

El Convento Rico

This gay bar is a Latin bar with some very sexy clientele. It's a gay bar and dance club that's infused with Latin flair, welcoming people of all kinds. If you're gay, straight, or anything else, you'll be welcome here with open arms and grinding hips! The majority of the dancing happening on this busy dance floor is Samba, but as long as you're moving to the music you'll be fine.


"What Are You Looking At Bar", or WAYLA Bar, is a gay bar Canada that's inspired by the underground gay club scene in New York City, and the French nightlife. The goal of this gay bar is to bring everyone together to party in one place - gay, straight, transgender, and everything in between. This gay bar hosts a lot of different parties and events, so each night is likely to be different than the last. This bar has a zero tolerance policy toward discrimination of any kind, so it's a super safe place to let it all hang out and let loose!

In Edmonton:

Evolution Wonderlounge

The most popular gay bar in Edmonton regularly hosts drag shows, events, and live DJs dance parties. Te bar is fully stocked, and the party is wild. The bar opened as a place to be reminiscent of Las Vegas and the Circus, so this is a Canadian gay bar to check out for sure if you're ever in Edmonton.

In Vancouver:

The Fountainhead Pub

The Fountainhead opened in Vancouver in 2000, so it's a relatively new gay bar on the scene. It's a super laid-back and casual place to hang out with friends and have a few drinks, grab a bite to eat, play pool or darts, or whatever! They're open seven days a week, all day long, serving up some lunch, dinner and late night eats with their drinks. It's a great place to go before a night out, or a place to spend the entire evening! It's a very relaxed atmosphere and welcoming to all.

The Pumpjack Pub

The Pumpjack is local gay bar with hosts party nights and live DJs. The venue is also an outside event location, with fetish parties and wild dance nights hosted here. It's worth checking out if you're in the city, with a super friendly clientele and staff and great bar selection.


1811 is a more upscale and sophisticated gay bar, but with a super inclusive vibe. No pretension or exclusion at this gay bar. It's a modern and trendy place with a lounge-style feel and a mixed clientele of all kinds of people. This gay bar is an award-winning lounge, open mid-week through Sunday. There's no food served here, only cocktails and booze so it's great for drinks before a club night, after work or before dinner.

In Montreal:

Bar Le Stud

This gay bar has been open in Montreal since 1995 in the gay village; a place for men to meet other men! It's a low-key place to go to cruise to guys and have some adventures. Some nights at this gay bar are wild parties, some have life music nights. It was originally a popular meeting place for the gay bear community, and it's still true it's initial clientele. This gay bar has lasted decades due to it's ability to change and evolve with it's customers and culture. It's a welcoming environment that's also great to meet a group of friends or just hang out.

Bar Taboo

Taboo is not only a gay bar, but it's a men-only gay strip club. It's the busiest strip club in Montreal's gay village, with $10 table dances and super cheap drinks. The legal age is a little bit younger here, 18 years old, and no dress code required for entry. This gay bar opens at 7pm and stays open until 3am, with largely retro 70s and 80s hits playing on the speakers. This is a place a great and wild time.

L’Aigle Noir (Black Eagle)

Black Eagle is a men-only, fetish leather gay bar. It's a super friendly atmosphere for all men, with a leather and rocker style dress code requirement being the only caveat to entry. It's a dimly-lit place with an abandoned warehouse style decor, making it a unique and cool place to be. You can come here for drinks and hangouts with the guys, or you can come here to cruise. It's multipurpose gay bar for all kinds!

Club Play

Club Play isn't exclusively a gay bar, but it's a place that's known to host a huge gay clientele. It's the top bar for house music and dancing, with live DJs shows and events. It's a huge party atmosphere with friendly patrons, lots of space to dance and great music. There's also a space to relax and hang out with friends, catch your breath, or wind down a bit before heading onto the next place.

Gay Bars Canada: By The City

There are hundreds of thousands of gay bars Canada spots, so we've done you the service of compiling a ton of information on the best ones in all major cities across the country. Plan your trip to these Canadian cities accordingly, and make sure it includes visits to one or more of the gay bars and clubs we mention here!

Edmonton: "You want to know about some gay bars Edmonton spots where you might be able to find cowboys, steers and maybe a few queers? can help you meet people and learn everything there is to know about gay bars in Canada. Gay bars have been known to people..." Read more.

London: "London has one of the biggest schools in the country operating within its city limits which means that there are plenty of gay students and gay anyone looking to have good time in what is considered by many to be the ultimate young person’s party city. That might have a..." Read more.

Montreal: "When we say Montreal style - what do we mean? If anyone thought about your typical Montreal man, they would think cultured, proud and downright sexual. Gay men in Montreal come in all shapes and sizes. When you think Montreal style, you might be thinking of poutine or you might be..." Read more.

Ottawa: "You won’t find yourself scratching your head when it comes to picking a place to go and grab a bite or have a drink after checking out our listings for some of the hottest gay bars in Ottawa. Gay bars and queer friendly bars are a staple of any cosmopolitan..." Read more.

Toronto: "Church Street itself had always been a place for underground cruising and it was where many all male spas were located. For a while, many gay men were on the down low and cruised the area discreetly. Initially Church Street was very run down and had been an area without..." Read more.

Vancouver: "Much of Vancouver’s gay scene was a place that was believed to be a perfect fit for men looking to be gay and essentially be themselves. In the 1950s, there were gay bars that were concentrated mostly in Gastown and Chinatown. Both these parts of town were considered rag tag..." Read more.

For more information on gay bars and gay bars in Canada, check out:

- Gay Bars
- Gay Bars US Guide
- Gay Bars UK Guide
- Gay Bars

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