Prejudice To Pride: The History Of The Church-Wellesley Village

The origins of the Village can be traced back to the early 1800s.

Contributor

While Torontonians may know the Church-Wellesley Village as the home of the LGBTQ2+ community, it wasn't always the welcoming and vibrant neighbourhood it is today.

With pride month underway, Toronto historian Morgan Cameron Ross looks back at the popular neighbourhood and how it has changed over the past two centuries.

The roots of the Village can be traced back to the early 1800s and a man sometimes referred to as a "gay pioneer" named Alexander Wood, who would purchase a large chunk of land in the area.

Although there has been a statue honouring Wood at the corner of Alexander St. and Church St. since 2005, there have been recent calls for its removal from the Church-Wellesley Village BIA because of ties to the residential school system.

Since Wood's time, the Village has undergone many changes that have affected the community, but perhaps most notable among them were the 1981 Toronto Bathhouse Raids which saw police officers target the gay community by raiding multiple bathhouses and arresting roughly 300 people.

Following the raids, the community came together with Church St. eventually becoming the heart of the LGBTQ2+ community in Toronto.

More from Narcity

Comments 💬

Our comment section is a place to promote self-expression, freedom of speech and positivity. We encourage discussion and debate, but our pages must remain a safe space where everyone feels comfortable and the environment is respectful.

In order to make this possible, we monitor comments to keep spam, hate speech, violence, and vulgarity off our pages. Comments are moderated according to our Community Guidelines.

Please note that Narcity Media does not endorse the opinions expressed in the comment section of an article. Narcity Media has the right to remove comments, ban or suspend any user without notice, or close a story’s comment section at any time.

First and last names will appear with each comment and the use of pseudonyms is prohibited. By commenting, you acknowledge that Narcity Media has the right to use & distribute your content across our properties.

Loading...