Queerstory

Explore the sites and sounds of Toronto’s vibrant and storied queer history with Queerstory, a free locative app. This walking tour app will lead you to more than 30 points of interest where significant events occurred. Navigate through intriguing sites and uncover the political, cultural and social history of Toronto’s queer community. Experience 47 unique mini-docs with rare archival footage and interviews that span over a century of queer history! http://www.queerstory.ca/queerstory-app/
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The home of one of Toronto’s longest running and largest queer Christian congregations, the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) is where Reverend Brent Hawkes denied the violence and the protestors, used the reading of the Banns and performed two same sex wedding ceremonies –acknowledged as the world’s first legal gay marriage.

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The home of the Empress Ball, Club Manatee was a favourite stage of Drag queen extraordinaire Craig Russell, star of seminal Queer film ‘Outrageous.’ Outrageous was the first queer film to have a wide spread North American theatrical release.

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Canada’s only LGBTQ high school, the Triangle Program is a safe harbour for a group of talented young students who strive to achieve academic excellence in an accepting and supportive environment.

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Housed in a former synagogue, CHAT was the hub of Toronto’s gay community in the early 1970s and a point of departure for Toronto’s first Pride March in 1972. An activist caucus, Toronto Gay Action, emerged from CHAT and launched the first large-scale gay rights demonstration in Canada.

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The CLGA is the largest independent LGBTQ archives in the world; the CLGA has been keeping our stories alive since 1973. More than a library, more than stacks of vertical files, the CLGA is the repository of all things Queer – tiaras, t-shirts, buttons, posters, matchbook covers, personal notes on the back of napkins and typewritten drafts complete with marginalia. This place is a treasure trove that maintains and breathes memory back into the community

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Tim McCaskell recounts the demonstrations at 52 Division to protest the violence and homophobia expressed by police at the 1981 Toronto bathhouse raids. The crowds demanded police accountability to gay and other minority communities facing police harassment.

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Inspired by LGBTQ pins from the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives holdings, Will Craddock’s Pin Button Project mural infuses a colourful blend of history, queer activism, and community on the alley wall.

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On a quiet night and on a street that was off the beaten track, members of the Toronto Police Services entered and raided The Barracks. This would be the beginning of a series of raids that would rock the city.

The storied and elegant King Edward Hotel was a magnet for Hollywood stars and a discreet queer clientele. In the 1950s and 60s, the fashionable set of lesbians and gay men – passing as straight couples – would enter the mezzanine floor and go their separate ways.

How a single gesture – the simple act of walking in a parade – can show how the office of the mayor can in fact represent all communities and engage them in the struggle for a civil society.

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