[URBAN NOTE] “Toronto building houses the world’s largest independent LGBTQ archive”
blogTO’s Phil Villeneuve describes the CLGA, the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, to his readers.
You might never guess it to walk by, but inside 34 Isabella St., sits the world’s largest independent LGBTQ archive.
Built in 1858, the three-storey house that holds Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives is bursting at the seams with a mind-boggling number of collections. They also house some of their archival materials at Church and Wellesley and lesser-used materials in a larger storage facility outside of the city. But the real juicy stuff is in this downtown home.
“I think that people are kind of unaware of archives in general, not just the CLGA,” says Raegan Swanson, the Archive’s new executive director. “It’s one of those things that until you need to use one, you never realize how much they’re used.”
All those historical images you see in magazines, newspapers articles or online pieces about LGBTQ happenings in Toronto? Yeah, they probably came from this archive.