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The Dangers Of Cruising In Toronto’s Moist Bush

The Dangers Of Cruising In Toronto’s Moist Bush

BY: Jeremy Willard

As a Torontonian, I can tell you that in spite of the popularity of dating apps, public cruising is still a thing in Toronto.


As I reported in a May 2017 event digest for Daily Xtra, a Canadian queer news publication, a local organization even held a ribbon cutting to open cruising season in Toronto for 2017.



The event, a sunny afternoon affair, took place in Queen’s Park, a popular and long-time cruising spot located right next to Ontario’s legislature in Toronto.

Queers Crash the Beat, the organization that held the event, formed in the wake of a police sting related to cruising in Toronto’s Marie Curtis park. The sting took place in fall 2016.

So, while cruising is still very much a thing, there are clearly dangers involved. But not all of them wear uniforms and carry guns. While you’re sucking someone in a park in Toronto this summer, you might want to ask yourself: is someTHING sucking me too?

Think: ticks!

Anyone who follows local Toronto news as I do will know that the city is experiencing a kind of tickmageddon. The blacklegged tick, a particularly icky type of tick, has suddenly become abundant in the city, increasing the risk of lyme disease.

And they like to hang out in humid, brush-filled areas — just the sorts of areas guys tend to cruise.

So, how can you protect yourself when you’re out in the park? One of the main precautions being touted in the local news is to wear all light coloured clothing (so that you can see the ticks on you better) and tuck your shirt into your pants and your pants into your socks (so that it’s harder for the ticks to get to your skin).

Stylish, no? Maybe you’ll stumble across a hot young twink with a bee keeper fetish.

Beyond the obvious fashion faux pas, the problem with that recommendation is that park cruising typically takes place at night, when it’s hard to see what’s on you even if you’re wearing all white. But an all-white outfit will certainly increase your chances of being seen by innocent passersby or the police.

Toronto guys, you’re going to need to be cautious and creative to keep those awful little arachnids off of you this summer.

I don’t have the solution. Keep your cruising on pavement and in malls? Find a particularly dry and well-maintained soccer field? Hang out on a rocky (and hopefully not too eroded and crumbling) bluff?

But one thing is clear: you need to avoid that nasty moist bush.

Thanks Jeremy for the fun story!

Jeremy Willard is a Toronto-based freelance writer and editor.

He's written for Fab Magazine, Daily Xtra and the Torontoist.

He generally writes about the arts, local news and queer history (in History Boys, the Daily Xtra column that he shares with Michael Lyons).