A few weeks ago as I was riding the TTC south from Yorkdale to Museum, I noticed a rather curious advertisement. "A club with benefits" read the sleek, black background poster showing pictures of hard bodied men, pools and showers. The ad was for a "gym" called Steamworks. In addition to the "state of the art gym, huge hot tub, steam room, dry sauna, showers and incredible sound system" it touted its "over 70 private rooms" Hello! This ain't no ordinary gym! This was an ad for a men's bathhouse, conveniently located in the heart of Toronto's gay village. Wow! I couldn't believe that the TTC actually allowed it. Not that it bothered me personally, but I was sure the homophobic crowd would totally freak and well publicized controversy would ensue. Of course, Steamworks is a legitimate business with a specific clientele and the TTC seemed like a logical choice for advertising. I just assumed that the TTC would choose not to allow this business to advertise for fear of the backlash from those out there who are too thick to realize that gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual individuals are people too.
I was thrilled to see an article in yesterday's Globe and Mail about the ad. The TTC has received a whopping 3 complaints about the ad. In a city of over 2.5 million people, only 3 complained. So either people don't realize the type of business being advertised or they don't care. I certainly hope it is the later. Steamworks has as much right to advertise publicly as Telus with their adorable animals and Dove with their realistically shaped models. Kudos to both Steamworks and the TTC. And way to go people of Toronto! Hopefully this is a positive sign for the future of humanity!