Blueprints for Change: LGBTQ+ in the Trades




Jul 25

6:00 pm

9:00 pm


Three Dollar Bill

1592 Queen Street West


$11.98 - 22.63

It's time to look at one of our city’s biggest problems — construction — through a new lens. In partnership with Hi-Viz, The Green Line is hosting a panel discussion and social focused on the experiences of Toronto’s LGBTQ+ tradespeople. Attendees will have the chance to listen to the experiences of queer folks who navigate professional careers in construction and other trades, then gather in small groups to generate community-led solutions. Our ticketed event has limited capacity, so please RSVP before spots fill up.

Featuring panellists:

   Elyse Mayo: Elyse Mayo is a third-year apprentice in general carpentry. They started their own business in 2023 as a general contractor specializing in eco-friendly construction, renovations, and landscaping and hardscaping. Elyse was also a permaculture landscaper and gardener for many years launching their business. Elyse identifies as genderqueer/queer, mixed-race (Trinidadian-Chinese and Irish), autistic and ADHD. Their goal is to get their Red Seal in carpentry so they can apprentice other people and make the trades more accessible to those who are marginalized in the industry. Elyse is also interested in how to facilitate building and gardening projects for low-income communities.

   Michael Braithwaite: A tireless advocate for people experiencing homelessness, Michael has over 30 years of experience creating innovative solutions to better support vulnerable people. Michael is CEO of Blue Door, secretary on the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association’s Board, and on the Board of the youth homelessness-focused organization A Way Home Canada. At Blue Door, Michael helped launch Blue Door’s first employment social enterprise called Construct, three supportive housing programs including the first safe space for 2SLGBTQ+ youth in York Region, the national housing and homelessness podcast On The Way Home, and is leading the creation of the first affordable housing land trust in York Region, Housing For All Land Trust.

   Kaitlyn Smith: Kaitlyn Smith is an immigration reporter and freelance data journalist. They report breaking news, analyze new survey data and research, and scour archives for long-form articles. Smith also leads workshops about trauma informed reporting on LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities. Both their investigative data analysis and breaking news about international student tuition fees and accessibility to citizenship in Canada earned nominations in 2023. Smith is a University of Toronto Scarborough journalism program alum, live storytelling enthusiast and skills picker-upper.

   Lenny Olin: Lenny Olin is an electrician who recently created a new cross-trade organizing and social space called Hi-Viz, which welcomes union, non-union and informal workers. Attendees meet once a month in various locations across Toronto, including Three Dollar Bill and Glad Day Bookshop in Church-Wellesley.

We'll have discounted drinks all evening:

   $40 bucket of Sol (6 bottles)
   Rotating Witches Brew (Sangria)

If you have a membership with The Green Line, and this is your first Survive Event, please contact us for free tickets to bring a friend!

   Kennedy members: get one free ticket to bring a friend to your first Survive Event.
   Bloor members: get two free tickets to bring a friend to your first Survive Event.
   Kipling members: get three free tickets to bring a friend to your first Survive Event.

Events are an essential part of our Action Journey. We want to empower Torontonians to take action on the issues they learn about in The Green Line — so what better way to do that than by bringing people together? From community members to industry leaders, anyone in Toronto who’s invested in discussing and solving the problems explored in our features is invited to attend. All ages are welcome unless otherwise indicated. Our only guidelines? Be present. Listen. Be kind and courteous. Respect everyone’s privacy. Hate speech and bullying are absolutely not tolerated. At the end of the day, if you had fun and feel inspired after our events, then The Green Line team will have accomplished what we set out to do. Any questions? Contact Us.