One of my ancestors has been Honored here in Canada !
- This was my Grandmothers Great Great Great Great Great Uncle
I had no idea he also was Gay ! My Grandmothers name was Minnie
Beatrice Wood I am a direct realation !
Toronto Unveils Statue To Gay Colonial Settler
by Jan Prout 365Gay.com Toronto Bureau
Posted: May 29, 2005 12:01 am ET
(Toronto, Ontario) A bronze statue honoring what is believed to be
the first openly gay man in Canada was unveiled Saturday in
Toronto's gay village.
Alexander Wood moved to Upper Canada, now Ontario, in 1793 from
Scotland. He settled in the town of York which became modern day
Toronto. His sexuality was never a secret and even in repressive
colonial times he was a respected merchant.
He was later appointed the growing town's magistrate and in 1826 he
purchased 50 acres of land on the northeast corner of Carlton and
But, Wood was forced to leave Canada after a scandal during a rape
trial he was conducting. The woman who made the charge claimed that
she had left a scratch on her assailant's penis. When Wood
proceeded to inspect the man's organ in the privacy of his office
the townsfolk were outraged.
The forested area around his homestead was dubbed "Molly Wood's
Bush". At the time Molly was a slang expression for a gay man.
Local historians say that despite Wood's hasty departure back to
England there has been at least one gay man living in the area ever
Today that area is Toronto's gay village, the third largest LGBT
community in North America, and three streets are named for Wood -
Wood Street, Alexander Street, and Alexander Place.
A gay pipe band led dignitaries up Church Street to the unveiling of
the statue on the corner of Alexander Street. The memorial cost
$200,000 and was paid for by the community business council and the
City Of Toronto.
The eight-foot solid bronze statue was created by renowned Canadian
sculptor Del Newbigging.
The Alexander Wood statue is one of just a few significant gay-
focused monuments in the world - and is thought to be the only one
dedicated to a specific gay hero.
"Alexander Wood's story is an important part of our city's history
and our gay community's history. The statue is an important symbol
to show our lesbian and gay youth that we have a history. Wood was a
great citizen of Toronto. A great, gay citizen active in politics
and community," stated Mr. O'Connor, chair of the Church Wellesley
Business Improvement Association.