Travel

TCAF like a local: Vice edition

2019 is the first year cannabis will be legal in Toronto during TCAF so I thought it would be appropriate to make vice the theme of this year’s localing guide. (I also have an updated food guide and other localing tips (just scroll).) Otherwise, keep reading for the downlo on legal drugs and sex in the big smoke 💨

DRUGS (well, just weed)

IN SHORT

How old you need to be: 19

Where to get it: Ameri @ 20 Cumberland Street or Hunny Pot Cannabis Co @ 202 Queen W; gifts of weed are also legal

Warnings:

  • The legal maximum of weed you can carry on your person is 30g.
  • Do NOT pay with credit card and do NOT permit staff to scan any ID. This is unnecessary and even our Privacy Comish is like, don’t do it because this info gets shared with other countries that may bar you from entering their borders.
  • n.b. the above locations may have wheelchair accessibility issues.

IN DETAIL

Canada legalized cannabis back in 2018 so you do not need a medical license to buy and smoke. Cannabis is the preferred term here instead of marijuana, a term with racist origins. Please note that legalization does not mean anything goes. Edibles are still illegal. CBD isolate is also illegal, even if it is derived from hemp.  (The CBD oil at the Ontario Cannabis Store is not a pure isolate tincture and also has low amounts of THC.) Unlike black market cannabis, CBD isolate on the Canadian black market is incredibly marked up relative to the legal American market. Like, I recently saw a bougie wellness store selling CBD tincture for dogs, yours for only $55 per 0.25g lol.

Generally, you can smoke weed anywhere you can smoke cigarettes but individual establishments can have a special ban on the substance (just like they can have a ban on cigarettes). The only place I would have concerns would be in an Airbnb condo with restrictions on weed that is being rented to you illegally.

At time of writing, the easiest way for you to buy weed is to walk less than five minutes on Cumberland to Ameri, located beside the The Pilot. Before entering the store, you will need to show ID (one photo ID, non-Ontario IDs welcome) and have your purse searched like entering a club. There tends to be a queue at peak times and the retail square footage is quite narrow and small so it gets cramped very easily. For this reason, I’m not confident the space can accommodate a large wheelchair despite claims it is accessible from the back. If privacy is a concern, take note there are security cameras mounted.

You can scope out the “menu” of what the government supplies on the OCS website. Inventory in Ameri seems more limited than OCS but prices should be in that ballpark. You’re looking at an average of around $10-$15/gram, more if pre-rolled. You cannot buy in large quantities so there will be no bulk deals (remember 30g is the max you can carry). There are samples out for you to smell before buying but I’d do my research on OCS before going – the staff’s knowledge of product may be uneven.

Also at time of writing: you will see other brick and mortar stores. These are illegal. Typically there is a cycle of raiding and reopening of such establishments, although raids have been stepping up since legalization. Like other cities with illegal dispensaries, these stores still thrive because the black market is cheaper. It doesn’t help that everyone knows they can also offer superior product to the OCS.

SEX

It is legal to have consensual sex in a private business establishment in Toronto as long as it is not a part of a financial transaction.

Oasis is a lady-oriented bathhouse though it is for all genders and there will likely be lone cismen present, staring and prowling about. It is conveniently located within walking distance from TCAF. There’s changerooms, a hot tub, dance floor and dungeon. Events run on the pan/poly side throughout TCAF weekend. I must also add that Oasis had very messed up policies for trans people some years ago but after some angry feedback their formal policies have gotten in line. Having said that, I’m not sure how close practice adheres to policy though I have not heard of any complaints since then.

The main gay men’s bathhouse is Steamworks although there are others. I haven’t frequented this establishment for obvious reasons so everything I know is second-hand but you know the drill. There is no exclusively lesbian bathhouse to my knowledge.

If your sexual tastes run more kinky, Oasis has a dungeon and you are free to fuck in it.  There’s also the classic leather bar, Black Eagle, in the village. Women can go there, but it’s really for men and I believe there is a men’s only space. Club 120 has a good vibe and hosts queer/leather events mostly for gay men but it’s not set up for public sex. Also, if it’s your first time at a leather event, you are advised to read up a little on leather bar etiquette. If you are looking for leatherdyke or QTBIPOC play parties, I’m afraid to say these scenes are smaller, pretty insular, and take time to get into. You will need someone local in these scenes to vouch for you or even accompany you.


I hope this post helped give you the lay of the land. Please enjoy yourselves responsibly in our city of many pleasures ❤