Mapping queer Toronto

0 Posted by - July 4, 2011 - Blog, Design, Visual art

From a 1981 newspaper after Operation Soap, a police raid on Toronto bathhouses

A new mapping project by Julia Hoecke,Fran Schechter and Susan G. Cole (at Now Magazine) has compiled a fascinating collection of cultural, political, and social spots relevant to the LBGT present and past in the Toronto area.

Maps can transform and, in their own way, create knowledge — new juxtapositions, new proximities, new inclusions and exclusions.  They are as much art as science, and Mapping Queer Toronto renders visible a vibrant LBGT community in spatial terms and in time.  From the website:

The LGBT community’s roots run deep into the city’s history. We’ve charted the sites where essential events took place and the locations of key organizations that still thrive. This is not a survey of queer bars and clubs. Not every gay organization is here – we couldn’t include those without a permanent address, for example – and it doesn’t record every moment that changed the landscape. But it does represent the power of Toronto’s LGBT history and the strength and influence of present-day queerdom.

Sites include restaurants, clubs, community centers, medical clinics, bookstores, film festivals, theater companies, stores and services, churches, community services and locations of commemorative importance like the Alexander Wood statue at the corner of Church and Alexander (a prominent and gay man scandalized in the early 1800s; his nickname, Molly Wood, apparently became colloquial slang for a time for queer men) and The Barracks at 56 Widmer, one of a number of steambaths raided in 1981 resulting in over 300 arrests and the impetus for the first Pride parade in Toronto.

Visit Now Magazine‘s website or download the map here.


Check out the map!  So far,

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