By Jonathon Van Maren
Last week I reported that North America’s first “sex doll brothel” was set to arrive in Toronto, and explained why these establishments are dangerous and encourage sexually deviant behavior. The amount of lurid media attention paid to this new establishment, however, has resulted in some very bad news for the doll pimps and some very good news for Torontonians:
The City of Toronto has closed what claimed to be North America’s first known sex doll brothel a week before it was set to open. Aura Dolls planned to open September 8 in a strip mall in the city’s North York area with a choice of six silicone sex dolls for rent 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
But after Councillor John Filion pointed to a bylaw he introduced two decades ago that restricts “adult entertainment parlours” in North York to industrial areas, city officials ruled Aura Dolls was illegal, City News reported.
“Both the business owner and property owner were advised by city staff that the proposed use is illegal and that, if the business opened, they would be charged,” Filion wrote in a letter to residents. “As a result, I am pleased to advise you that city staff were told that the lease has been cancelled.”
“Thanks to all who spoke up for our community,” Filion tweeted Thursday. “I received many emails, and one from a young female student concerned about the objectification of women wrote that such businesses ‘wrongly educate men that women are plastic dolls, rather than human beings who exist for male pleasure.’”
Fillion also tweeted that he hoped the building owner would get rid of two other illegal businesses in the strip mall, a cannabis dispensary store and massage parlour.
Considering the apparently wild popularity of a similar establishment in Italy, which opened yesterday and already claims to be booked solid for weeks, I’m quite relieved that one of these places is not going to be opening up in Toronto, which certainly does not need an additional vice available to Torontonians. For some reason, porn culture has created a scenario in which an activity that would have once constituted a humiliating punchline is now something that attracts widespread interest—each media article quotes brothel owners assuring everyone that everything is thoroughly cleaned before the next customer shows up (“It’ll just be a minute, sir, we’re still pressure-washing your date.”)
It is also a pleasant change to see a politician take decisive action.