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The Barracks, Toronto's oldest steambath at 56 Widmer Street has been open since 1974. They had the great privilege of watching the gay community grow and mature. They saw gay Toronto come from the days of raids, arrests, fear and oppression. We now live in a community of general acceptance, of being able to celebrate who we are without fear... but without the historic Barracks.

After over 30 years of service to the gay leather community, The Barracks (in Toronto) closed it's doors forever last Friday. I've spent many a night there and I will miss it terribly... This is a serious blow to the Leather Community of Toronto, following the closing of The Toolbox, just under a year ago...

In the mean time, I will go to Steamworks Toronto instead... :-(


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 9th, 2005 10:37 pm (UTC)
I blame my curse
It seems my curse has an additional aspect. Usually it manifests as the closing down of any pub or restaurant that I spontaneously say I like whislt inside. Thus far I've killed 6 pubs and three restaurants, including but not limited to, the best gay pub ever, TRAX here in Calgary.

However, it seems I also have that effect on places in TO that have long queer history that I WANT to go to... Last year I did one. And this year, it's The Barracks. Um, sorry guys. :(


Will I see you at ROUND UP, despite my curse?
Aug. 9th, 2005 10:44 pm (UTC)
Re: I blame my curse

Of course I'll be at Spearhead's Round Up! I'm already confirmed!


See you there!

\/ Chaz

Aug. 9th, 2005 11:47 pm (UTC)
Re: I blame my curse
Damn. I have got to know sooner when you are doing Spearhead. Then I can plan on being there. :)
Aug. 9th, 2005 11:07 pm (UTC)
Toolbox and Barracks
Any idea on "why" they closed? Pressure? Lack of patronage?
Aug. 10th, 2005 03:01 am (UTC)
Re: Toolbox and Barracks
The owners of the Toolbox simply wanted to retire, and therefore tried on several occasions to sell to someone who would keep it as a going concern, but everyone who tried couldn't get financing from the banks, I'm told. The banks were only willing to finance that site for housing because they can make more money that way. However, I'm also told they have yet to demolish the building because it has historical significance, which means they may have to keep at least the facade intact. Serves 'em right, greedy bastards.

I know nothing about the reasons the Barracks closed, however.
Aug. 10th, 2005 03:03 am (UTC)
Re: Toolbox and Barracks
It closed due to the owner passing away, the estate not being setttled and the excutors saying it wasn't making enough money. It started declining over the past year or two.
Aug. 10th, 2005 12:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Toolbox and Barracks
ah...thank you!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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