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Watch Take a Walk on the Wildside on YouTube

At Toronto’s oldest cross-dressing store, Paddy offers more than wigs and heels — she creates a safe haven for transformation.

“On the first day I opened, I had three customers booked. They each spent maybe 10 minutes shopping and the rest was talking. The last one stayed for five hours. He just needed to talk about it. They all did. And still do.”

In 1987, Patricia Aldridge opened Wildside, Toronto’s first cross-dressing store. For the past 30 years, she’s offered full male-to-female transformation through hair, clothing and makeup. But Wildside is much more than a store, and Paddy much more than a storeowner: Wildside has become a safe and important space for its clientele.

Take a Walk on the Wildside takes us through a day in the life of Paddy and her store. We see the private, intimate moments that can only happen here and learn what Wildside means to the people who visit the store. Ralph, in his 80s, comes in to pick up pink heels he left to be glittered and to hem a matching dress for a special event. Enza, a model for the store, struts her stuff and shows off the merchandise, but also the confidence she’s gained at Wildside. Sabrina comes in to replace her wig and leaves with a smile on her face. Alexis — a long-term customer — comes in for his monthly male-to-female transformation. Each customer comes in to change their outward appearance, but every interaction with Paddy shows how Wildside has changed them on the inside, too.

In an age where any item can be delivered to your door and there are tens of thousands of make-up tutorials online, Take a Walk on the Wildside shows viewers why places like Wildside remain a safe-haven for customers, even three decades after opening.

Credits (Click to expand)

Writer/Producer/Director:

Lisa Rideout

Producer:

Sasha Fisher

Cinematographer:

Jack Weisman

Editors:

Avril Jacobson

Lawrence Jackman

Music by:

Ben Fox

Excecutive Producer:

Lauren Grant

Featuring (in order of appearance):

Patricia Aldridge

Ralph Hartley

Enza Anderson

Sabrina Anne Hogan

Alexis

Production Manager/Researcher:

Natalie Novak

Sound Recordists:

Paolo Di Teodoro

David Guerra

Gaffer/Camera Assistant:

Kay Grospe

Production Assistant:

Adrianna Mendoza Dykins

Assistant Editor:

Kevin Shak

Post-Picture Producer:

Linda Johnston

Title & Graphics Design:

Karin Culliton

VFX Editor: 

Maria Cusimano

Post Picture Facility:

Red Lab

Legal Services:

Brenda Blake

Colourist:

AJ McLauchlin

Insurance:

Front Row Insurance

Kirk Thompson

Post Production Sound:

Paolo Di Teodoro

Special Thanks:

Iman, Rejh, Mark, Beaconsfield Group, Cinecycle, Sony ATV Music Publishing, Janet Baker, Mishelle Pack, Derek Rambeau