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Toronto observes June as a Pride Month with a new heritage property plaque
In image St. Charles Clock Tower./ credit: X/@baycloverhill

Toronto observes June as a Pride Month with a new heritage property plaque

| @indiablooms | 18 Jun 2024, 12:34 am

Toronto/IBNS: Toronto is celebrating June as a Pride Month with a new plaque at St. Charles Clock Tower (1872) Yonge Street Fire Hall Heritage Property.

In the 1920s, the clock tower was originally part of the Yonge Street Fire Hall but later it stood over the St. Charles Tavern, which was a symbol for Toronto’s queer community.

Beginning in the 1960s, patrons at the nearby Red Lion Room, nicknamed the “Pink Pussy” by the gay community, often moved to the St. Charles to eat.

The St. Charles could legally stay open when other bars had to close for dinner.

Soon growing popular with gay men, the tavern held many drag shows, but it was not always a safe space due to the hostility and surveillance by the Police.

With the tradition of Halloween drag beginning in the 1970s, shows began to attract malicious crowds, forcing drag queens to enter in secret.

The upper floors in the 1970s and 1980s, including Maygay, Charly’s, and Y-Not. were used by several discos.

Designated in 1974, the St. Charles closed in 1987 and eventually the clock tower was incorporated into a new housing development.

Clock Tower plaque can be seen at 488A Yonge Street and is popularly known as St. Charles Clock Tower (1872) Yonge Street Fire Hall Heritage Property Plaque.

(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)

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