Toronto
2 min

Shrink dink

And other Freudian slips on a blustery day

GOOSE BUMPS. What does a cold day do to Ned Hanlan? Credit: Jake Peters

Victoria Day – the day that clothing-optional status was restored to Hanlan’s Point – was overcast, rainy and unseasonably chilly. Sweater weather, or, at the very least, tasteful underwear weather.

Nevertheless, six brave souls from Totally Naked Toronto Men Enjoying Nudity bared all in homage to the historic event. As if to underscore the absolute asexuality of the nudist lifestyle, these six totally naked Toronto men enjoying nudity all had shrivelled and/or misshapen scrotums.

Six shrivelled scrotums: The sixth day of Christmas gift that your true love mercifully forgot to give to thee.

Hanlan’s Point was a nudie beach to begin with: It was only in 1930 that the local government decided that running around bare-assed was no way to cope with the Great Depression. Since then, a buttoned-up Hanlan’s Point has become a hot spot for furtive gay summertime suckie-fuckie.

Peter Simm, lawyer for TNT MEN, in alliance with the Federation Of Canadian Naturists, wrote the brief to council called Enhance Toronto Tourism And Recreation: Restore Clothing Optional Status To Hanlan’s Point Beach. He cut the ribbon to open the nude beach. “[Gay City Councillor] Kyle Rae presented the brief at council level,” said Simm. “Of course, Kyle isn’t here today. Kyle’s afraid of rain.”

In lieu of Rae were perfect power couple Jack Layton and Olivia Chow, under several layers of protective rain gear. When asked if the fact that Hanlan’s Point is a gay cruising spot had been considered in Toronto council’s decision to turn the beach into a naked family place, Olivia stopped smiling.

She didn’t seem to understand the question, or perhaps mistook it as a test of her honorary lesbianhood. “Why is that an issue,” she asked. “You should be able to cruise anywhere! You can cruise at the grocery store, at the doctor’s office, on the street, in the elevator. Why not at the nude beach? It’s not an issue, not an issue at all.”

Truth be told, there were no nude nuclear families present at the ribbon cutting ceremony, just a few totally naked guys, Jack and Olivia, some other related dignitaries – and Geoffrey Pimblett dressed as Queen Victoria.

It would seem, then, that Hanlan’s Point will be as it was before: a gay-friendly (and now, clothing optional) beach by day and a perfect place to beat around the bushes by night.

On the ferry back to the mainland (held up for five minutes so Olivia could do a TV interview) I asked the Chow-Laytons if they planned to partake of the now-legal nude frolic this summer. “Are you kidding?” they replied in unison. “We’d be on the front page of the Sun!”

Besides, with all that cruising – in the grocery store, in the doctor’s office, on the streets, in the elevator – where would they find the time?

Ferries for the Toronto Islands leave from the foot of Bay St.