(Elska x Executive Underground)
Coming off a long flight, the welcome we received from Richard, the proprietor at Executive Underground, was just what we needed. We found him doing a bit of gardening with his scantily clad husband when we arrived, in front of this charming old wooden-clad three-story house in the heart of Toronto’s Gay Village. Executive Underground is a cross between a serviced apartment and a B&B – you get the ‘home away from home’ experience of an Airbnb but with the added comfort of dedicated service from the hosts next door.
Richard guided us into our spacious living room where we dropped our luggage and basked in the cool air conditioning (Toronto is known for its snowy winters, but summers are surprisingly tropical). We were led to the kitchen, where Richard opened the fridge to show us all the goodies he’d got for us – yoghurt, milk, fresh strawberries, eggs, bacon, and awesome bread from Loblaw’s, Toronto’s premier grocer, which was just a short walk away. I switched the kettle on and went into the next room, which wasn’t just a bedroom but a huge master with another living area and an en suite bathroom. Richard took his exit and before he’d closed the door behind him, my sticky clothes were on a pile on the floor and I was in the shower. Then, with the kettle just boiled, it was time for a quick cup of tea before our first shoot, with Bryan P.
Two days later we welcomed Bojan S into our apartment, and he was so jealous of our digs that he hung around well after the shoot finished. We lounged on the sofa looking at the pics we took, discussed whether or not he should go for the full monty or not (he did), then we took some more pics. Finally I left, taking the five-minute walk to Church & Wellesley to find dinner and a bar showing RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars live. Yes, the apartment had Logo in its cable TV package, but I fancied seeing a public screening. Even with accommodation this lovely, you can’t spend all your time indoors!
EXECUTIVE UNDERGROUND B&B: 41 Homewood Ave, Toronto, ON M4Y 2K1
By the way, you can see more of Bojan S., pictured opposite in front of the painting above the bed, and read his story in Elska Ekstra.