Quietly seeking tolerance

Quietly seeking tolerance

Queer West Village home to growing lesbian community

By Tom G. Kernaghan

“I don’t need to be a big urban dyke,” says Stephanie Rogerson, a lesbian artist and writer who lives in the Annex but wants to move to the west end.

For many years, lesbian women, like gay men profiled in this section of last month’s Village Gleaner, have been choosing to live in the west end instead of Church and Wellesley streets, or what is often referred to as the Gay Ghetto.

Somewhere over the rainbow

Somewhere over the rainbow

West end gay community is spreading out

By Tom G. Kernaghan

“In North America, we tend to put people in one spot or another,” says Tom Riley, a local gay man in his 50s. “Sexuality is really a continuum.”

Riley is one of many gay men who have chosen to make Toronto’s west end, sometimes called Queer West Village, their home. For over 15 years, there has been a general shift of the city’s gay population away from Church and Wellesley streets, or what is often referred to as the Gay Ghetto.

Jami Mosque served changing community

Jami Mosque served changing community

Toronto’s oldest mosque welcomes all

By Tom G. Kernaghan

Toronto’s oldest mosque sits on a quiet street just east of High Park.

Jami Mosque has served many Muslim newcomers by offering youth and marriage counselling, funeral services, religious education, and settlement advice since it opened in the late 1960s. Located at 56 Boustead Ave., the mosque has been a spiritual Canadian home to a diverse mix of Muslims from all over the world—Europe, India, Pakistan, the Middle East, Africa, and the West Indies.

More action for Afghan women

More action for Afghan women

AWO tackles a legacy of oppression

By Tom G. Kernaghan

There is an Afghan proverb that reads, “Little talk, more action.”

Here in Toronto, the Afghan Women’s Organization (AWO) is talking and acting in an effort to serve the specific needs of Afghan women. Through its Village area head office on Dundas Street West, and three additional outlets in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), the AWO provides Afghan refugees and immigrants with a wide array of services in the areas of advocacy, settlement, employment, language, training, and education.

Viva Latino

Viva Latino

Latin community expresses itself through art, dance

By Tom G. Kernaghan

Forty-five years ago, the Argentinean poet Jorge Luis Borges wrote that each one of us ultimately discovers the “patient labyrinth” of our life’s work is really a drawing of our own face.

Today, Toronto’s Latin population, estimated by some at around 250,000, has a multitude of faces. This richly expressive community, which hails from more than 20 countries, is comprised of individuals diverse in education, income, national culture, history, and values. But there is a unifying similarity: their desire to move forward together and become part of Canadian society.

Jane Jacobs

Original activist

Neighbourhood pays tribute to Jane Jacobs

By Tom G. Kernaghan

Like all prophets, her name preceded her. And though Annex resident Jane Jacobs passed away on April 25, the words and work of this legendary urban writer and activist live after her in the many books she penned, the initiatives she supported, and the people she inspired.

Lost Rivers

One league under the Annex

Plans afoot to celebrate our buried city

By Tom G. Kernaghan

The last time you took a stroll, you may not have been aware you were walking over history. Maybe you saw some evidence of Toronto’s lost rivers, but didn’t know it: dead end streets, flooded basements, tilting houses, oddly shaped parks, dips in the road.

Wendigo Way

Naturalist’s legacy is close-knit community

A history of life in the valley

By Tom G. Kernaghan

One of the city’s most unique streets lies hidden in a valley in northeast Swansea. Sheltered by Bloor Street, Ellis Park Road, and High Park, Wendigo Way for generations has been treasured for its dramatic topography, deep seclusion, and enchanting sylvan beauty.