Diverse. Simple yet teeming with interpretations; it’s the perfect descriptive for Church and Wellesley Village, one of Toronto’s most unique communities founded on mutually supportive albeit aberrant cultures.
Abounding with a seemingly endless array of heritage buildings, independent speciality adult boutiques, eateries, local services and green space, Church-Wellesley Village isn’t about bargain-hunting for goods so much as experiences. And for that, it’s as peaceful and enthralling as it is beautifully bountiful.
Bearing one of Hogtown’s oldest parks in Allan Gardens — adored for its leash-free dog zone and botanical garden with rare tropical plants maintained in the inimitable Palm House — at the southern most tip, Church and Wellesley Village proves an unending source of wonder.
Ingesting/exploring The Keg Mansion, a reportedly haunted century home that has become the showpiece for its franchise owners is a luxurious experience while locals proudly sing the praises of miniscule Just Thai for its value, service and expediency.
Proudly fostering unity, Church and Wellesley Village is comparable to few. Although the annual Pride Week celebrations have become world-renowned, it’s their ongoing services that provide the strength and unity crucial to a successful ward. Many residents adamantly praise The 519 Community Centre for its endless roster of recreational activities and welcoming space for groups — social or political — to meet.
As for meeting after hours, this neighbourhood rarely sleeps. The raucous fun of Woody’s bar/nightclub has been enticing for almost quarter-century while a subdued atmosphere at ethnic pubs such as Irish O’Grady’s with its vast side patio/free pool every evening or Hair Of The Dog’s modern styling and wide selection of spirits and wines ensures area nightlife is never wanting. On a more voyeuristic level, Buddies In Bad Times Theatre provides regular dramatic entertainment with a twist, its mission statement being, “the promotion of queer theatrical expression.”
Revered for its embrace of alternative lifestyles, Church and Wellesley Village isn’t just another big city intersection. It’s a vibrant territory where individuality is celebrated as much as it's encouraged.