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Bringing 'impact' to Church St


Bringing 'impact' to Church St

The 2012 budget includes money for new 22-foot rainbow gateway markers to welcome visitors to the Village. IMAGE 1 OF 1
Minor delays as neighbourhood association prepares for WorldPride
The installation of two swirling rainbow gateway markers at either end of Church St has been delayed due to drilling problems, says the spokesperson for the area business association.
David Wootton, of the Church Wellesley Village Business Improvement Area (BIA), says the city's public utilities department has raised concerns about the difficulty of digging under the sidewalk to install the 22-foot signpost markers, which are part of the BIA's Village revitalization plan. 
"What we found out was that there is a Bell conduit line running all the way down Church St from Maitland to Carlton streets,” Wootton says. “We were about six inches away from the depth that we wanted, so it kind of put a hold on everything. It was finally resolved about a month ago.”
At one point, Wootton says, the BIA was considering relocating the south marker.
"So that really threw everything behind schedule," he says. "Our deadline was supposed to be for August, and that would have been the big reveal, but now they are telling us the end of October. So we will try and do the unveiling before the holidays."
The BIA saved money over three years to purchase the markers, and the funds are listed in its 2012 budget summary. The cost for both markers is $87,500.
Looking ahead to WorldPride 2014, Wootton says Church St needs "impact."
Meanwhile, the BIA is teaming up with Steamworks to shut down Church St for a party to raise funds for the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation on July 15. 
The street will be closed south of Wellesley to Alexander for a car wash and a tea dance, which will run from 5pm to 10pm, Wootton says.
"We hope to have patios on the street, a sidewalk sale, DJs playing music all day," he says. "Tea dances were really popular in the '80s and '90s. It's really just a good reason to dance, get drunk and have fun on the street."
On Sept 15, the BIA will partner with the 519 Church St Community Centre and the Lesbian and Gay Chamber of Commerce for a Village Fair.
"They will be hosting a business expo in the park," Wootton says.
The street will close north of Wellesley to Gloucester for extended patios and a sidewalk sale, he says.
The funding for these new events is being taken out of funds that would have gone to the Fetish Fair, which was cancelled earlier this year.
"We hope these new events keep a more visible presence on the street, a place for people to be here and be queer," Wootton says. "So far there's been good response from the businesses on Church St."
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Supporting AIDS Toronto
It is refreshing to see that at least July 15th something was done for those living with AIDS. personally I would rather have seen the money that was earmarked for Fetish Fair go to ACT rather than to a village fair. People come from wide and far for T.O Pride and it would be more suiting to benefit people living with HIV and AIDs.
Another Place for Posters?
I'm all for the new signpost markers to signify our presence on Church Street (in case out-of-towners couldn't figure it out for themselves). However, I wonder how long it will take for these markers to be plastered with posters which seem to be everywhere along Church Street. I hate the way our village looks and it's all because of posters plastered over posters plastered over posters. Let's show some class and keep these markers poster-free and they'll be a proud symbol of where we live, play and love.
Let's decorate, plan more events and advertise.
The Montreal LGBT Village hired a Landscape Architect to revamp the whole Gay area with a single decorative vision. It is beautiful, unique and inviting. They close the main Gay street to cars every summer --pedestrians only. They have a collaborative vision which brings tourists and tourist dollars to the Gay area. Why can't the Toronto LGBT Village --unite-- with summer-long planned events and redecorate the Gay area and turn the Toronto LGBT Village into a pedestrian Mall for the whole summer????? !!!!! We need a committee who would work on planning and revamping our neighbourhood. We could use more tourist dollars. Those may be tourists from the suburbs or from other countries. Let's decorate, plan more events and advertise. Isn't that what Gays do best?
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