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.
ItineraryPLAN YOUR TRIP
Day 1Get Acquainted with Toronto
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.
Day 2The Heart of Toronto’s LGBTQ+ Scene
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.
Day 3Hit Hanlan's Point Beach
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.