2 min

Bijou boy goes to the Barn

Cop pops by for inspection during Sunday's Naked Dance

BUT JUST IN CASE.... The deal with police brass includes that the following sentence be typed onto tickets: "If nudity offends you, please stay away." They were sent out to members of TNT MEN in advance. Non-members could buy them off-site for $5. Credit: Xtra files

Three plainclothed police officers spent 45 minutes at the Barn during last weekend’s naked men’s party, conducting a thorough late afternoon “routine” liquor licence inspection that resulted in no charges being laid.

The police officer running the operation was Det David Wilson. He also visited The Bijou porn theatre in the run-up to its eventual shut down.

“I’ve been to The Bijou,” Wilson acknowledges in a short interview. “I don’t know [how many times]. More than once.”

Wilson says he is not anti-gay on the job.

“Ha ha ha ha ha. I can assure you, every community gets treated equally. It’s nothing more than a compliance issue.”

Wilson (badge number 1829) is a member of 52 Division’s plainclothes squad, charged with visiting the estimated 3,500 licensed establishments in his area.

He won’t say how many bars he generally visits during a single 10-hour shift. “If there are problems, we will stay as long as is necessary. I have spent hours, I have spent minutes.”

But there were no legal contraventions at the Barn during Saturday’s regular monthly naked night, according to Peter Simm, a lawyer who is a member of the Totally Naked Toronto Men Enjoying Nudity (TNT MEN).

“They went over the place with a fine tooth comb. The two junior officers insisted that they had nailed the Barn for not having food menus available. The owner was soon able to produce some laminated food menus.”

(The kitchen, according to a poster seen on the wall located right next to the menu, does not open until 10 on Saturdays, two hours after the party’s end time.)

Simm was wearing a tan pair of Prodige underwear for an interview (and the usual socks and shoes that all members are asked to wear). This reporter was not allowed into the bar itself during the private party, but stood in the foyer. Simm estimated attendance at 125 men.

An attendee says no-sex signs were posted everywhere inside, and were respected.

The Barn was charged by police with allowing disorderly conduct under the Liquor Licence Act for the last TNT MEN event, on Mar 25, because of the combination of booze and nudity (there were no accusations of sex). But within the next two weeks, a deal had been reached between 52 Division head Aidan Maher and a phalanx of lawyers.

The agreement states that no further charge of this type will be laid until the courts dispose of this one.

“I indicated that the timing of the inspection seemd to be contrary to the spirit of the deal,” says Simm. “They advised… that they had not yet decided whether any charges… would be laid.

“We have been meticulous in upholding our end of the bargain.”

The event is now a private party, with advance tickets sold off-site.

Supt Maher says the police visit checked for compliance. “There were a couple of infractions, fire code, and other areas,” he says.

He confirms no charges were laid. Wilson implied that he had no knowledge of a deal, and forwarded questions to Maher.

As for Det Wilson’s behaviour: “I reviewed the morning report for the division, and he was all over the division” and not specifically targeting gay bars during that shift, Maher insists.