S.O.S. Help Save Lipstick & Dynamite!!!



As everyone is very well aware, Covid-19 has, and is continuing to, drastically change the framework of our society, and the communities that make it up.  Not only through the lack of human interaction, but also in the ways that small, independent businesses are just disappearing. 

 Lipstick & Dynamite is one of the rare spaces I have found where I can truly be comfortable in my own skin. That is a big deal for a person in the queer community. This independent, queer owned and operated dive bar opened seven years ago on Queen St west, here in Toronto. On any given night you will find writers and musicians, artists, and folks from all walks of life playing board games, reading books, having cute dates and important conversations, usually political.  Seemingly in perpetual Halloween, this big, beautiful space with eclectic music, cold drinks, and great people, has come to be a staple for locals, and visitors alike.

Founder and owner of Lipstick & Dynamite Celeste Torpedo, who has been at the mercy of this virus and the government’s by-weekly decisions, has held on to this establishment, in hopes that business can and will return. No one thought we would be here a year later and it is no longer an option for her to pay out of pocket to save this space. The landlord has been patient and understanding during lockdown but also did not foresee the length this has lasted, and everyone involved is tapped out of resources.

 It breaks my heart to see someone who has worked so hard to build up a business and community space, only to have it taken away at no fault of their own. There have always been barriers and obstacles involved in running queer and women owned businesses, and Covid-19 has definitely worsened those obstacles.

 The importance of safe, anti-oppressive spaces is paramount in allowing folks to connect and build strong communities. I have seen first hand how Celeste and the staff at Lipstick & Dynamite have been integral to the well being of this community.

 If this campaign for Lipstick & Dynamite can provide anything, it would be to save a space that is needed and is necessary. Any money raised will be used to alleviate the debt incurred during the past year as well as to give L&D a fighting chance to move forward.

 March 10th is the 7-year anniversary of Lipstick & Dynamite. It has been a huge part of the Queen west community and now needs your help in whatever way possible.  If you have the means, please consider donating.  Any amount is welcome and appreciated. And most importantly, please share this message, because sharing is caring.


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  • Lisa Wagner 
    • $50 
    • 1 d
  • Adrienne Turner 
    • $20 
    • 2 d
  • Linda Weinz 
    • $25 
    • 3 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 3 d
  • Laura C Waters 
    • $50 
    • 3 d
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Ashley Stevens 
Toronto, ON
Celeste Toledo 
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