Posts Tagged ‘glbt issues’
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.
NOW Toronto‘s Natalia Manzocco describes another good reason to go to Glad Day Bookshop: Roncesvalles diner Cardinal Rule is setting up shop in the location’s kitchen. I really like this addition to Glad Day’s business model, not least because the idea of indie businesses collaborating for greater profit for everyone has a lot of appeal for me.
Even with all the cultural clout that comes from 47 years in business, Glad Day Bookshop had to face up to a tough truth last year: It’s tough for a business to survive on book sales alone.
With a move to spacious new digs in the heart of the Church-Wellesley Village (499 Church, at Wellesley, 416-961-4161, gladdaybookshop.com) at the end of 2016, the world’s oldest surviving gay bookstore gained a few new titles – bar, cafe, and multi-use event space.
Its latest sobriquet: restaurant. Before the shelves of books (several of which are on wheels – all the better to make room for dance parties!) were brought in, the ground-floor unit was home to Byzantium, a martini bar and Continental kitchen that served the community for 23 years.
“Byzantium was mostly known as an eating spot. It was a bit of a martini bar in the 90s, but in the last 10 years, most of the people came for the food,” CEO Michael Erickson says. The space was already fully outfitted for cooking and backing, and though meal service was always in the cards for the new space, they weren’t sure if they were up to the task themselves.
“When we talked about what we wanted to do for food, we were like, ‘We want it to be like Cardinal Rule’,” Erickson says. “And then we thought, ‘Why don’t we just ask them?'” Looks like it all worked out. Last week, the beloved queer-owned Roncy diner (co-owners Katie James and chef Marta Kusel are a married couple) debuted its first slate of menu items out of Glad Day.
James Goldie’s Daily Xtra article caught my eye on the trip out, not least because of Cannibis Culture owner Marc Emery’s comparison of the plights of LGBT people and marijuana smokers.
The smoke is beginning to clear following an online firestorm that appears to have spilled into the street — over a marijuana shop in the Church-Wellesley Village, with allegations it’s been attracting a clientele unfriendly to LGBT people.
On Jan 3, 2017, the Cannabis Culture shop on Church Street received a one-star public review on its Facebook page, alleging that some of its customers have routinely been making homophobic and transphobic comments, both in the store and outside, causing some LGBT community members to feel unsafe in the village. Three days later, someone splashed blue paint on the shop’s storefront.
Joey Viola, who organizes FML Mondays each week next door at Flash, wrote the review, kicking off the controversy.
“When I had my patrons coming up to me and confiding in me that when they go outside for cigarettes or whatever they’re being harassed by certain loiterers that are outside next door, that prompted me to take a closer look,” Viola says. “Now I don’t see it to be [Cannabis Culture’s] fault, however, they are bringing in some clientele that are not necessarily down with the LGBT lifestyle.”
[. . . Marc] Emery, who is featured prominently in Albert Nerenberg’s 2005 documentary Escape to Canada, which examines the battles to legalize both gay marriage and marijuana, says he was hurt that LGBT opponents to his store’s presence in the neighbourhood don’t stand in solidarity with the cannabis community, given the persecution both have experienced historically.
“We’re still being arrested every day in Canada. We still haven’t had any equal rights for 50 years, the cannabis community.”