Canal Street, the centre of the Manchester Gay Village, is a street in Manchester city centre in North West England. The pedestrianised street, which runs along the west side of the Rochdale Canal, is lined with gay bars and restaurants. At night time, and in daytime in the warmer months, the street is filled with visitors, often including gay and lesbian tourists from all over the world. The northern end of the street meets Minshull Street and the southern meets Princess Street; part of the street looks across the Rochdale Canal into Sackville Park.
90's Focus led to several of the pubs on or near Canal Street acquiring a predominantly gay clientele. In 1991, Manto (Manchester Tomorrow) bar opened at no. 46. It was built in 1989 by Benedict Smith Architects. Unlike the other gay bars at that time, Manto had large glass windows, allowing the casual passer-by to view what was going on inside. Previously, many establishments catering for the gay community were often keen to conceal activities from the general public, but the architectural design of Manto was seen as a queer visual statement of "we're here, we're queer – get used to it", and a brick-and-mortar refusal to hide any more, or to remain underground and invisible.
Over the next decade, more numerous and larger bars opened along the canal side, turning Canal Street into the centre of the most successful gay village in Europe. Because of this, the Canal Street street signs are regularly defaced to read "Anal Treet" or "Anal Street". The success was further enhanced by the use of Canal Street and its bars in several television series, including Bob and Rose and Queer as Folk, both written by Russell T Davies. See https://beeinthecitymcr.co.uk/