Exploring Toronto's LGBTQ Friendly Nightclubs & Bars

Exploring Toronto’s LGBTQ Friendly Nightclubs & Bars

Toronto’s queers aren’t just limited to a handful of options for their night out. In fact, in a city like Toronto, the essence lies in zeroing down on bars and nightclubs to visit. The Pride thrives in Toronto, and you can hop from a dive bar to a cocktail den to a nightclub and speakeasy without ever venturing into a straight fixture.

In a city that has fun spots for everyone, Toronto is also home to several LGBTQ+ bars, each offering its distinct experience. Some of these queer bars are brand new on the block, while others have long been at the forefront of Pride Toronto. Some of them are melting pots of gender, & sexuality, while others cater to specific groups within the gay community. But what they all have in common is that they make the city more vibrant and diversely entertaining.

We have included the top spots in Toronto that are hotspots for the LGBTQ+ community right now.

  • Black Eagle

Black Eagle is surely amongst the most famous queer bars in Toronto. This establishment has a relaxed dress code, as you can get in wearing simple jeans and a T-shirt. It has dark and sultry tones – chiefly what we love about this bar.

There’s a basement dungeon space with slings and a wet area for water play. Black Eagle is well-known for its themed events with quirky names like ‘Oink’ and ‘Kink 101’.

If you’re heading to this bar with your buddies, do check out their outdoor patio area which is a summer relief spot with Sunday afternoon barbeque sessions. You can also channel your inner geek during their gaming nights with 6 stations for the ultimate experience.

Address: 457 Church Street

  • Buddies in Bad Time

Buddies in Bad Time is more than a bar – it’s an institution. Since 1979, this bar has operated as the largest and longest-running queer theater in the world featuring some immersive plays and musicals that give voice to queer communities. Apart from all the ‘fun’ that you can have here, we highly recommend seeing one of these plays.

While plays and musicals reign supreme during the day, Buddies transform into a microcosm for the Pride community during the night.

The weekends feature themed nights like ‘After Werk Star Twerk’ and other quirky names. Their ‘F**k S**t Up: On The Dancefloor’ is a mega-event that includes live DJs, cabaret shows, topless dancers, and drag queens all mingling with each other and creating a bright beehive of gay entertainment.

Address: 12 Alexander Street

  • The Drink

Nestled right by The Black Eagle is ‘The Drink’. While it may sound obviously mundane, this spot is where you can hang out at any time of the day. Whether you want your morning coffee routine with croissants or cocktails later in the day, this restaurant serves the perfect spot for brunch late-night drinks, and everything in between.

Word goes around that anytime you visit The Drink, you’re likely to witness a drag-themed party or show here. From the amazing ‘Drag Battle’ night to its famous Sunday Drag Brunch, if you want to experience Toronto’s trendy Drag culture, this is the place to be.

But it’s not just drag-and-drink parties that go around here. They also host live DJs who turn the establishment into a dance party space that goes deep into the night.

Address: 459 Church Street

  • Farside

Farside is a regular thoroughfare in East Chinatown for queer parties. Where so many gay bars and clubs simply put a drag queen on stage and a queer behind the decks, Farside keeps it effortlessly minimal.

This cute bar is all about chilling and grooving to music. It promotes a light-hearted atmosphere where you can take your date and feel right at home. You can revel in live music, recorded music, or catch a classic flick on their screen.

Address: 600 Gerrard Street East

  • Bambi’s

Bambi’s is nothing less than legendary. This no-bullshit 80-person mini club is the coziest spot one can find (there’s no coat check here). Add world-class sound systems and an impressive roster of locals and international DJs and you can see why Bambi’s has garnered a cult following amongst the pride communities.

Its themed nights like Wishing Well and Tapette and Nunu are all but a delight. Visit Bambi’s during weekends for their upcoming parties and get ready to let loose with your plus one here.

Address: 1265 Dundas Street West

  • Church Street Garage Resto Bar

Styling itself as a ‘home away from home’, Church Street Garage Resto Bar is a family-run establishment that has picked up quite some pace since its inception in 2013. The large open windows outside with the stage in full view make this bar hard to miss. If you’re walking down Church Street, you’re likely to find a drag show at Garage.

Their license plate wall makes every visit feel like a journey into warmth and community. Garage is also one of the few places where you can grab sumptuous meals at any time of the day – breakfast, lunch, dinner, you name it. But the heat truly turns up during the evening drag show.

If you plan to head here, do give their slushies and charcuterie board a try.

Address: 477 Church Street

  • Sweaty Betty’s

Sweaty Betty needs no introduction. It has been a prominent spot in the trendy Ossington strip for more than two decades. Having seen several owners, Sweaty Betty’s is a queer-owned bar now with patios and drinking and dining options. Don’t miss the iconic drag show here that features Canada’s Drag Race queens.

Sweaty Betty’s maintains an inspiring dive bar atmosphere with bar tunes, cocktails, and mismatched furniture. Their weekend party nights like Sunday Caesar are delightful, but you can also head here for after-work drinks and enjoy their seasonal cocktail menu.

Address: 13 Ossington Avenue

  • Pegasus Bar

Pegasus is an iconic name in Toronto, chiefly because it is the oldest gay bar in the village. Pegasus isn’t just an LGBTQ-friendly bar; it is also the perfect place to go on your competitive gaming streak. You can visit during their game nights for pool, ping pong, dart boards, arcade games, and much more.

Pegasus also hosts weekly drag shows known as ‘Thursty Thursdays’ with scintillating performances by local drag queens and their much-covered special cocktail menu.

There are also open mic queer comedy nights and quizzes along with other events like drag bingo at Pegasus. In short, this dive bar is a friendly bar and a buzzing hotspot for the LGBTQ+ community in Toronto’s gay village.

Address: 489B Church Street

  • Storm Crow Manor

Storm Crow Manor is another community hit that needs no introduction. While officially not a gay bar, it has been a friendly spot for the gay community for a long time. It has a geeky atmosphere with its movie and comic books and inspirational decor.

Located at the Church Street Mansion, this geeky bar has an array of secret doors that lead to themed rooms and catacombs. Head to its cyber-themed bar with lip-smacking cocktails, burgers, sandwiches, and cocktails. Storm Crow Manor is easily one of the favorites all year round with its eclectic atmosphere and seasonally changing drinks menu which offers something new to try with every visit.

Address: 580 Church Street

  • Barcode Saturdays

Barcode Saturdays doesn’t need to have an LGBTQ+ friendly atmosphere to hold its place as one of Toronto’s sexiest bars. Singles, straight couples, gay couples – everyone is welcome for a roaring night of luxurious clubbing and exquisite sippers at this celebrity nightclub.

Barcode Saturdays is an independent nightclub that hosts the sexiest and sultriest parties in Toronto. It caters to a diverse mix of clubbing enthusiasts from every gender, race, and orientation. Unlike other clubs and bars in this list, Barcode Saturdays is where you want to woo your plus one with impressive tones in every detail.

We prize on our drinks menu, which goes far beyond standard liquors. We have flavorful cocktails, premium bottles, and house champagnes to elevate your Saturday night to the maximum.

When it comes to entertainment, you are in for a larger-than-life experience with live Hip-hop, R&B, Reggae, Latin, Trap, and Top 40 music pumped by an impressive repertoire of DJs and artists who spin dizzying tracks every weekend.

You can reserve a VIP booth and spend time with your beau privately while hitting the bar and the dancefloor occasionally. Alternatively, sign up on the guestlist and avail their free cover and champagne bottle offer for the ladies.

Address: 423 College Street