Toronto’s Crews & Tangos lease extended until ‘at least’ 2023

A beloved Toronto bar with a heritage designation is also the site of an upcoming condo development. Quintin Bignell reports on why the city gave Crews & Tangos the designation, plus what developers say is in store for the building.

By Quintin Bignell

A popular Toronto 2SLGBTQ+ bar has had its lease extended despite a condo development planned in the area.

Graywood Developments confirms to CityNews that the lease for Crews & Tangos has been extended until “at least 2023.”

“We maintain an active, positive relationship with Crews & Tangos, as well as the other businesses on-site, and we’re pleased to announce that the Crews & Tangos’ lease has once again been extended until at least 2023,” the developer said in a statement.

“We are also in discussions with Crews & Tangos, providing the option of a return to their space, once the development is complete.”

The lease extension comes as the city of Toronto considers a development application to build a 14-story condo building at the corner of Church & Maitland streets, the current home of the bar.

Crews & Tangos is known for having drag performances nearly seven days per week in the Church and Wellesley village. The bar opened its doors in 1994 and has been providing a stage to showcase the queer culture and a meeting place for the community ever since.

Crews & Tangos operates out of a pair of former row houses that date back to the mid-1850s. The building has just been given a heritage designation by Toronto City Council, but the designation doesn’t safeguard the business.

The city’s mission statement for the heritage statement says the proposed condo construction would preserve “a portion of the main building at 508-510 Church Street and integrate it with new construction.”

The city says the project also, “explores opportunities for space and placemaking that contributes to the vitality of Church Street’s LGBTQ2S community while conserving the Site’s historical/associative value.”

RELATED: Fight to keep popular Toronto drag bar grows online

In 2020, Graywood Developments released a mockup of its plans for 506 to 515 Church Street, which is also home to a boutique bar, another 2SLGBTQ+ business.

According to Graywood, the plans include a space for Crews & Tangos, as well as other businesses along the first floor of the building.

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