Halloween – a party that drew thousands of people before the pandemic in Toronto’s gay village – is making a comeback in Church-Wellesley this spooky season.
“Halloween is definitely a community event,” said Sofonda, a local drag queen who is back in person this year at Woody’s on Church Street. “Finally, seeing people coming back to bars, like Woody’s, is definitely liberating.”
Sofonda plans to release several costumes at the Halloween show this year and pay homage to classics like Thriller, The Exorcist and Annabelle.
“You can dress however you like and I think that’s one of the perks of Halloween in the village,” said David Kraft, bartender at Woody’s, noting that patrons came to the bar in costume as early as 3pm. hours on Sunday. . “There is more freedom.
Halloween drag shows were also expected at The Drink and Flash – where Kiara from the first season of the Canada Drag Race was scheduled to perform.
With the annual Halloween block party canceled last month for the second year in a row, Kraft believes the crowds planning to come out this spooky season likely headed to local neighborhood bars – wrapping lines of disguised revelers along from Church Street.
Across the road at Storm Crow Manor, a delightfully spellbinding restaurant and bar every day of the year, guests were especially looking forward to this Halloween.
“People were very excited for Halloween this year. Our reservations were sold out centuries in advance, ”said Stella Simeonova, spokesperson for Storm Crow. “It wasn’t much use dressing last year, but people are coming out in force with awesome costumes this year.”
The mansion did not host its usual Halloween party due to COVID, but costume contests and giveaways were still ongoing. They even handcrafted a cocktail especially for the spooky season.
Glad Day Bookshop, Canada’s first queer bookstore, hosted a drag brunch on Halloween, with guests and staff in disguise, according to a spokesperson.
Toronto’s SteamPunkin, an artistic car that features an old-fashioned fairytale trainer, also drove through Church Street this Halloween with its crew dressed as Cruella and the Dalmatians.
Instead of hosting the traditional celebration in person, the neighborhood offered virtual ways to celebrate this year for those planning to stay – including an online Halloween event featuring drag queen Lucinda Miu and Councilor of the Toronto Center Kristyn Wong-Tam.
“Normally we would gather in the thousands on Church Street where we would haunt each other and crawl along the street,” Wong-Tam said in a recent video uploaded by the Church-Wellesley BIA.
“I know it’s going to be different. Some of you will choose to stay indoors and others will choose to go out, whatever.
“What I want you to do is make sure you have a lot of fun.”