Exploring Toronto’s LGBTQ+ Family & Community Supports

Fitting in and finding authentic and meaningful relationships is an important facet of leading a healthy and happy life. Whether you are new to town, the country, or a teenager or adult trying to explore who you are and what that means, having the right supports and connections can be the difference between growth and isolation.

Recent research has revealed that loneliness is possibly a bigger health risk than smoking or obesity. While this research is primarily based on studies of the elderly, there are numerous health benefits for all of us when we socialize and find a kinship with others.

As the LGBTQ+ communities spread their wings, there becomes an increased need for unique and specific supports to help a variety of people. The good news is that many of these are already in place all across the city and they continue to grow to meet the needs of their stakeholders.

The 519

The 519 is A City of Toronto agency, that first opened its doors to Toronto's LGBTQ+ community in 1975 as a safe refuge for numerous Canadians who moved to the city. With a commitment to the health, happiness, and full participation of the LGBTQ+ community within the city, it is also considered the "geographic heart" of Pride celebrations.

Located at The Village's 519 Church Street, The 519 provides support, speaks out against injustice, and celebrates progress. Programs and services are dedicated to responding to the evolving needs of the LGBTQ+ community and include everything from newcomer settlement to Mature Men's Book Club, to queer and trans family events. The 519 offers a free, accessible, and accepting space where both individuals and organizations can meet.

519 is more than a venue for LGBTQ groups; it’s an amazing group of staff and volunteers who work hard to provide programs for local minorities. My participation in their programs for Older LGBTQs has led to some new friendships and my exploring diverse interests and activities.
- Lawrence Friesen

It is a place for ALL and it is place about love, not hate.
- Erin Stone

ADDRESS 519 Church Street, Toronto
OPENING HOURS Monday to Friday 8:30 am - 10:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
CONTACT 416 392 6874 |
CONNECT Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

Access Alliance

Access Alliance strives to provide services to improve health outcomes, with a focus on addressing system inequities of the more vulnerable communities in the city. Their programs and service offerings include settlement services for LGBTQ+ newcomers and recognize particular challenges specific within this community.

Services are geared towards supporting clients as they navigate their way in Toronto all while increasing confidence and pride in who they are. There are monthly field trips, healthy cooking workshops, community forums, drop-in sessions, and much more. Monthly program calendars are updated each month online.

ADDRESS Locations for Access Alliance include:
- Downtown at 340 College Street,
- East End at 3079 Danforth Avenue,
- and West End at 761 Jane Street.
OPENING HOURS For opening hours of each locations visit this site.
CONTACT 416 324 8677 |
CONNECT Website | Facebook | Twitter

Toronto PFlag

PFlag is probably one of the most historically famous, volunteer-run, charitable organizations that has been working towards creating a more accepting society for LGBTQ+ individuals, their families, and allies. Toronto's PFlag held the very first meeting of Parents of Lesbians and Gays in a private home in 1986 and moved to a local church just a year later with meetings held into the 1990s.

Toronto's PFlag offers services for LGBTQ+ individuals who are "coming out" as well for the family, friends, or parents of LGBTQ+ children. They run a 24-hour confidential phone line, organize school presentations, offer regular support meetings and much more.

The most lovely group of people I have had the privilege to meet!
- Julie Anne Fox

Connecting with other families to understand you are not alone in supporting a LGBTQ loved one.
- Susan Gapka

ADDRESS 200 Wolverleigh Blvd, Toronto
CONTACT 416 406 6378 |
CONNECT Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Professional Growth

Looking to grow your career and gain support and mentorship professionally, all while connecting with local members of the LGBTQ+ Community? There is an increase in professional networking groups to help you spread your wings and advance your career.

LGBT in Capital Markets offers events and seminars designed to advance LGBTQ+ talent in the capital markets industry and have recently launched a coaching program called Common Grounds.

Organizations like Pride At Work Canada strive to empower employers to create professional cultures that celebrate LGBTQ+ employees as a vital part of the workforce across the country. Check out their event calendar to find great events near you, like a regular local Women Networking events. Colin Druhan, Executive Director, Pride at Work Canada says:

Pride at Work Canada's learning, networking and community events are happening throughout the year in downtown Toronto. They celebrate the most inclusive Canadian employers and provide the opportunity for LGBTQ+ professionals and their allies to connect.

Those looking for a meld of social and professional groups to peruse within the city should browse Meetup where you can connect with a variety of people with a wide range of professional and extracurricular interests.

LGBTQ+ Friendly Churches

Finding the right place to practice your faith can be the difference between feeling like a tourist and finally being able to call a city your home. Toronto has many different spiritual worshipping communities across the city that are proud to open their doors and worship as a part of the LGBTQ+ community. To find a solid fit in your neighbourhood you, contact your local places of worship, or peruse their websites to get a feel for their vibe and if it is the right fit for you.

Not sure where to get started? The Children's Aid Society of Toronto's Out & Proud Program has an excellent resource naming various LGBTQ-Positive Faith Groups and Places of Worship around the city to help people better connect with an appropriate spiritual fit.

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