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My Gay Toronto - Ray's Anatomy

Remington's Men of Steel: The battle over condo erections

by RAYMOND HELKIO - Photo from Remington's Men of Steel facebook page.Street view from Google Maps, 2016


Good looking, warm, inviting and charming and a hot body. These are just a few of the credentials Remington's Men of Steel look for in their dancers. After more than two decades of dishing up beefcake on Yonge Street, the boys are planning a move to a new location in the Queen West neighbourhood, in time to celebrate Pride 2018 at both locations and celebrate their twenty-fifth anniversary at the current historical location. The move is reflective of a larger shift in demographics within our downtown core from what once was a sketchy head shop-laden destination for potheads to a bloated condo developer's wet dream. I spoke with the general manager, Dave Auger to get his take on how the scene has evolved, "When I took over as GM, the club only allowed women in on Sundays. We changed that while still keeping early evening hours for men only, then after 9:00 pm we welcome women, trans and everyone else looking for great entertinment." When Remington's first opened it's doors in June 16, 1993 they did not own the building so when their landlord announced he had sold the building to a condo developer, they found themselves in the middle of a contentious legal battle. As Dave explains, "many businesses were forced to leave as they could not afford to fight the multi-billion dollar developer." After successfully taking both developers to court, the club has managed to hang on as one of the last remaining tenants, literally bringing the project to grinding halt, yet still forcing the club to seek out a new venue. "The biggest challenge of late has been the battle with the developers of the property. The block upon which Remington's Men of Steel is located has changed hands to several developers in the last three years. The first developer unlawfully doubled every tenant's lease (for us almost $50,000/month) for which we had to take them to court; we were successful. Shortly after the developer sold to another developer who in short time issued an early termination notice violating the lease agreement terms."

Every business south of Remington's has been vacated to the end of the developer's property. Looking north, a few are closed but remaining are the Evergreen drop-in centre, a convenience store, VIP Billiards, a shawarma place and a government office. Further complicating the situation is the fact that strip clubs are considered adult entertainment and therefore bound by strict city licensing and zoning bylaws. Professional club dancers, otherwise known as strippers must clear a criminal background check before they are given a valid licence. Despite these challenges, the situation is shifting for Remington's having recently won several awards from Best Bar None in addition to this year's Queer Choice Awards. With Pride month already upon us, expect the usual hot boys, drinks and beats but add to that a 4am last call and possible appearances by some MontrĂ©al's finest imports. Extended hours continue through the Canada 150 celebrations (June 28-July 2).

Remington's Men of Steel open daily Sun-Tue from 6pm and Wed-Sat from 5pm- 379 Yonge Street, Toronto -www.remingtons.com

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