Arts & Entertainment
3 min

Readers pick Xtra Best of 2008

The results are in!

We asked you, Xtra readers, how you best like to spend your free time and hard-earned money. This Xtra Best of Toronto supplement profiles your top picks for favourite people, places and things of 2008.

Gay and lesbian customers and taxpayers like you make a huge contribution to Toronto’s social and economic climate. Without you Toronto would not be among the world’s most attractive cities to gay and lesbian people. Without you the victories of sexual minorities have enjoyed over the last generation simply would not have been achieved.

When you support businesses that display Xtra Best plaques and window stickers, know that you’re supporting businesses that are operated by friends, allies and members of Toronto’s gay and lesbian communities.

Xtra would like to take this opportunity to thank our readers and advertisers for their ongoing support. To all those winners and runners-up for this year’s Xtra Best awards: congratulations and thank you for your dedication to excellence. The contributions you make to Toronto’s gay, lesbian and trans communities are critical to our prosperity.

 

Best behind-the-scenes champion

Harvey Brownstone
Todd Klinck

 

Best club event for women

The S Word at Slack’s
Cherry Bomb

 

Best strip club for women

Brass Rail
Remington’s

 

Best local musician/band

People You Know
Dance Yourself to Death

 

Best local DJ

DJ Delicious
Shane Percy

 

Best gym

GoodLife Fitness

 

Best spa to be spoiled at

Elmwood Spa (read more about it here)
Southern Comfort

 

Best restaurant for a romantic dinner

Fuzion
Il Fornello

         

Best restaurant for a first date

Zelda’s
Hair of the Dog

         

Best restaurant to make a scene in

Zelda’s
Byzantium

         

Best restaurant for a big gay party

Zelda’s
Slack’s

         

Best patio for people watching

O’Grady’s
Zelda’s

               

Best brunch

Zelda’s
Hair of the Dog

          

Best coffeehouse

Starbucks
Timothy’s

 

Best caterer

Daniel et Daniel
Lisa Shamai Cuisinére

 

Best bathhouse

Steamworks
Spa Excess

 

Best cruising website

Squirt
Gay.com

 

Best sex shop

Priape
Come as You Are

 

Best public place for a quickie

Queen’s Park
Cherry Beach

 

Best condom brand

Trojan
Lifestyles

 

Best lube brand

Wet
K-Y

 

Best escort service

Empire Men
Men4RentNow.com

 

Best place for a new hairdo

House of Lords
Ho’s Place

 

Best cosmetic clinic (facial, hair removal, injection, surgery, etc)

Southern Comfort
Yorkville Cosmetic Clinic

 

Best dentist

Dr Allan Harris & Associates
Dr Martin Sterling

 

Best doctor

Dr Fred Crouzat
Dr Steven Cord

 

Best holistic practitioner

Dr Masina Wright
Dr Brian Dower

 

Best health/ supplement store

GNC
Noah’s Natural Foods

 

Best walk-in clinic

Hassle Free Clinic
Sherbourne Health Centre

 

Best daycare

The 519 Community Centre
Church Street School Daycare

 

Best veterinarian

Blue Cross Animal Hospital
Downtown Animal Hospital

 

Best outlet/ chain clothing store

H&M
Winners

 

Best place to buy accessories (sunglasses, bags, jewellery, etc)

H&M
Holt Renfrew

 

Best leather

NorthBound Leather
Priape

 

Best shoes

Aldo
Browns Shoes

 

Best vintage/antiques

St Lawrence Antique Market    
Kensington Market

 

Best shopping neighbourhood

Queen West
Yorkville

 

Best car brand

BMW
Toyota

 

Best car dealer

Downtown BMW
Downtown Mercedes

 

Best bank

TD Canada Trust
CIBC

 

Best investment advisor/firm

TD Waterhouse
CIBC

 

Best accountant

Barry Benigson
Charles Lyall

 

Best lawyer

Bruce Walker
Cynthia Warren

 

Best real estate agent

Anushki Bodhinayake
Ellie Burns

 

Best credit card

Visa
Mastercard

 

Best neighbourhood for a home

Cabbagetown
Riverdale

 

Best mover

Avenue Moving
El Cheapo Movers

 

Best contractor/renovator

Luis Fernandez
Mike Holmes

 

Best home accessories/furniture

IKEA
EQ3

 

Best computer store

Apple Store (Eaton Centre)
Future Shop

 

Best tech support

Apple Store (Eaton Centre)
Future Shop – Geek Squad

 

Best internet service provider

Rogers
Bell Sympatico

 

Best cell phone brand

Motorola    
Nokia

 

Best phone service provider

Rogers
Bell Canada

 

Best bar for men

Woody’s
Straight

 

Best bar for women

Slack’s
Crews & Tango

 

Best bar for trans folks

Goodhandy’s
Crews & Tango

 

Best mixed bar

Crews & Tango
Goodhandy’s

 

Best club event for men

Grapefruit at Fly
Woody’s

 

Best club event for trans folks

Goodhandy’s
Degenderit

 

Best community event

Pride

 

Best dance club

Fly
Circa

 

Best spot for a quiet drink

Hair of the Dog
Slack’s

 

Best theatrical production

We Will Rock You
Dirty Dancing

 

Best music venue

Massey Hall
Air Canada Centre

 

Best movie theatre

Scotiabank Theatre
Varsity Cinema

 

Best independent bookstore

This Ain’t the Rosedale Library
Glad Day Bookshop

 

Best independent art gallery

O’Connor Gallery
Edward Day Gallery

 

Best strip club for men

Remington’s
Brass Rail

 

Best destination for a dirty weekend

Montreal
New York City

 

Best destination for a romantic retreat

Niagara-on-the-lake
Montreal

         

Best queer-friendly getaway

Montreal
Provincetown    

 

Best queer travel-planning resource (agent, on-line, etc)

Conxity
Flight Centre

 

Best overall travel destination

New York City
Montreal

 

Best bartender

Derrick at Straight
Adrienne at Slack’s

 

Best restaurant server

Chad Elliot
Justine Touch

 

Best local artist/photographer

Natasha Bailey
Tanjya Tiziana Burdi

 

Best tattoo artist

Lizzie at Passage Tattoo
Jay at Passage Tattoo

 

Best piercing artist

Exotix Tattoos & Body Piercing
Blair at Passage Tattoo

        

Best drag performer

Donnarama
Sofonda Cox

 

Best community organization

The 519 Community Centre
AIDS Committee of Toronto

 

Best activist

Elle Flanders
Helen Kennedy