The Wayla Bar & Lounge is at 996 Queen St. East in Toronto’s happening Leslieville area, and to some people it may appear like nothing exciting is happening from the outside, but once inside it is rocking! Some people say it’s hard to find, with only a sign saying “Carlaw Carburations” above it, and even that maybe hidden if the awning is up.

Situated just east of Carlaw on the north side, 994 Queen, Wayla Bar isn’t all THAT hard to find after you’ve been there even once. It’s beautiful on the inside, clean with exposed brick and new wood, with a narrow, intimate space that goes back all the way to an umbrella’d patio, where dancing spills out on summer nights.

Wayla is the invention of proprietor Stephan Pouquet, who practices zero-tolerance for any intolerance and opens the Wayla doors to Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, Straight & Bisexual of every age and race to party together in a safe environment. Wayla stands for What Are You Looking At, and is themed somewhat around casual Parisian and New York underground clubs, and there are often a lot of Latin grooves spinning.

There is food served and the food is pretty darn good, with a $6 slider menu, a veggie burger, lemongrass chicken, and a number of items based around the Angus. Wayla offers a full bar, and drinks are reasonably priced, starting at under $6, so go in there and order some food, attend an themed event, check out the Tuesday Karaoke nights, or just drop by for one of the DJ nights with dancing and good vibes. On Thursday’s three new songwriters and/or bands each week, from 8 until 12, and every Friday and Saturday there are rotating DJ’s who spins Hip Hop, Top 40, R&B and Motown, and there’s no cover except for special events.

An upcoming show is called “Diva2Diva, Britney vs Gaga”, on April 16th and apparently the two Divas are “pitted” against one another. Also upcoming is “The Return of DJ Cam Lee” on April 23, and fans of DJ Relentless will find he often spins at Wayla as well!

Also a place for private parties and a local watering hole, check the website before you go! See you there!

About the Author

SK Dyment has been a cartoonist and illustrator for many years and has been published in over two dozen Canadian indy magazines and journals. SK loves sketching passing interpretations of intriguing people in pen-and-ink, and is often seen attending various activist-oriented events around Toronto. He is also available for quick illustrations of all sorts as well as more serious forms of illustration. SK Dyment maintains a website @