Toronto once had more than 60 bars with nude dancers, only a dozen remain, the rest have been replaced by condominiums,
restaurants, and housewares stores.
Demand for homes downtown and for the retailers that serve them is driving land prices to records, tempting owners of the clubs, most of which are family-run, to sell at a time when business is slowing. It's a similar story in other North American
cities, where the demand for exotic dancers is cooling amid the rise of free porn and live video chats on the internet.
The latest example in Toronto is Remington's Men of Steel, a male dance club behind a heavy door, which is closing this year, to be replaced by a 98-story condo.
In Toronto, massage parlours have proliferated elsewhere in the city, while arduous rezoning regulations and a rule restricting new strip-club licenses mean that once a joint shutters its doors, it isn't likely to be replaced.
The fading of the strip-club era can be seen in a five-block area along Yonge Street. It was once dubbed Sin Strip for its neon-clad bars, sex shops, and movie theatres. Today, there are about 20 development applications for condos and commercial
buildings on the stretch.
I don't think we'll be around in 10 years' time, according to Bill Greer, general manager and three-decade veteran of the Brass Rail Tavern.