The Investigaytors

CURRENTLY RECRUITING: Cohort 5.0 (2023-24) 

Are you a gay, bi, trans, queer man or Two-Spirit or non-binary person (GBT2Q) interested in community-based research and improving access to healthcare, sexual pleasure, health and wellness? Are you curious about how homophobia, transphobia, racism and other -isms affect the health of our communities? Are you wondering how the Covid-19 pandemic and social isolation have affected the overall health of our communities?

Investigaytors is a community-based free volunteer training program for young 18- to 29-year-old GBT2Q people in Ontario that will allow you to discover the queer world of gay men’s health research in a cohort of like-minded people. You will develop skills and research experience by doing and thinking about everyday queer health, and it will change the way you view our communities’ health and wellbeing!

Program participants are trained in quantitative and qualitative research skills, social determinants of health, HIV prevention and sexual health, and how research can be used to address health inequities and knowledge gaps.

We are currently recruiting for our fifth cohort (2023-24), and everyone is encouraged to participate – you don’t have to be a student, and no prior academic and research experience is required!

We recognize the history of racism and ablism in health research, and we especially encourage people who identify as Indigenous, Black, or a person of colour, a recent immigrant, a person living with disabilities, HIV+, and/ or a queer guys across the spectrum.

Investigaytors will meet in-person for 1.5 hours every Tuesday evening, from 6 – 7:30pm. Meetings are packed with fun, learning, discussions, exchanging ideas, making friends, and thinking about a better queer future! There will also be games nights, picnics, and coffeeshop meet-ups.

Cohort 4.0 (2020-21) 

Our fourth cohort was our first totally online and Ontario-wide running of the program. Investigaytors from across the province are learned about qualitative and quantitative approaches to research and data analysis, participating in hands-on learning activities, and becoming critical consumers of research. Check out the quantitative stream infographics here [upload and add link?] and the presentation from the qualitative stream here. 

Cohort 3.0 (2019-20) 

Our third cohort focused mostly on learning about quantitative research – creating research questions, learning about statistics and how to use R Studio, and performing and interpreting analyses of 2018 Sex Now Survey data. The Investigaytors explored topics such as community connection, STI testing, party & play, race and discrimination, and more! They finished off the cohort with a Queer Guys Health Research Symposium to showcase these analyses in June of 2020 via Zoom, and you can view the individual videos below [or upload and add link?]. 

Over the course of several sessions, participants also worked on group facilitation skills, building up to the 2019 HPV Vaccine Symposium. There, they facilitated conversations around HPV vaccine uptake, challenges, and public health messaging for reaching young gbMSM. 

Cohort 2.0 (2017-18) 

Our second cohort focused on analyzing and providing feedback on the 2014 version of the Sex Now Survey, and contributing to the development of a new version of the survey. The Investigaytors learned to evaluate the preexisting questions in order to word them more effectively, and they also helped to create new questions. As a culmination of their work, they implemented data collection for the 2018 Sex Now Survey, which they had helped to develop, at Toronto Pride, and they presented at the OHTN 2018 HIV Endgame Conference. 

Cohort 1.0 (2016-17) 

For our first cohort, the Investigaytors took part in the research needed to set up the first periodic health survey for gay men in Ontario. This cohort reviewed the research literature on periodic health surveys of gay men done across the world. They then interviewed the key researchers to ask about best practices for us to consider here in Toronto. Some members of this cohort have gone on to medical school, law school and other graduate programs as well as working in community organizations that address health and wellness among sexual minorities. 

Jermane Hall
Program Coordinator

How long are the sessions?

Each weekly session is 1 hour and 30 minutes.

When are group sessions running?

Tuesday for 1.5 hours from 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM.

Where is it located?


Is it okay if I don’t have any research experience?

Absolutely! That’s part of the reason the Investigaytors program exists! It’s for everyone that is interested in health research and wants to get involved in their community. No formal training or background is required.

Will there be homework and outside time commitments?

Nope, no homework! Everything is done within the weekly sessions.

How much do the group sessions cost?

Nothing! This is a free community research program.

Is it okay if I miss a group session?

Yes, that is totally fine! Any important resources that you miss can be emailed to you.

David J. Brennan
University of Toronto

Abigail Kroch
Ontario HIV Treatment Network

Barry Adam
University of Windsor

Francisco Ibáñez-Carrasco
Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Mohamad Altasseh
Max Ottawa

Lance T. McCready
University of Toronto

Phone Lines

Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youthline // 1.800.268.9688

Kids Help Phone // 1.800.668.6868

Scarborough Sexual Health Clinic // 416.338.7438

Community Information – Toronto

211 Toronto


Pride & Prejudice – Central Toronto Youth Services (CTYS)

David Kelley Lesbian and Gay Community Counselling Program

David Kelley HIV/AIDS Community Counselling Program

Health Care 

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Sherbourne Health Centre

Canadian Rainbow Health Coalition

Canadian Health Network

Central Toronto Community Health Centre

Access Alliance Multi-cultural Community Health Centre

National Eating Disorder Information Centre

SHOUT Clinic 416-927-8553

The House (Planned Parenthood) 416-927-7171

Street Outreach Services (SOS) 416-926-0744

Sexual Health

Hassle Free Clinic

Planned Parenthood of Toronto

Teen Sex Information Program (Planned Parenthood)


AIDS & Sexual Health InfoLine  416.392.2437

The AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT)

Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (Black CAP)

Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention

Asian Community AIDS Services (ACAS)

Toronto People With AIDS Foundation (PWA)

Canadian AIDS Society / Société canadienne du sida

Ontario Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Network

Toronto Hospital HIV/AIDS Clinic

African & Caribbean Council on HIV /AIDS in Ontario (ACCHO)

Substance Use

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Fred Victor Centre – Harm Reduction program

Camps for LGBT kids & youth

Camp Ten Oaks

Camp fYreflY

Community Centres

The 519 Community Centre (Toronto)

Queer DisAbility Resources

Cross-DisAbilities/Genders/Sexualities Working Group:

Bent: A journal of cripgay voices

Deaf Queer Resource Centre 

Ontario Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf 

The 519 Community Centre Community Counselling Program

Education – ESL (English as a second language)

Search for an ESL Program – Toronto District School Board


Fred Victor Centre – Employment

St. Stephen’s Community House – Employment & Training Centre

Skills for Change


Accessible Community Counselling and Employment Services (ACCES)

Job Start

Foodbanks and Meal Programs

The Red Cross 416.929.7848

Scott Mission 416.923.8872

St.John the Compassionate Mission 416.466.1357


Fred Victor Centre – Housing access and support

Casey House for People living with HIV/AIDS

Fife House for People living with HIV/AIDS

Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal

Housing Connections


Homelessness Action Group

Metro Network for Social Justice


Ontario Coalition Against Poverty


LEGIT – The Lesbian & Gay Immigration Task Force – Canada

Legal: Legal Aid

Justice for Children & Youth

Legal Aid Ontario

HIV/AIDS Legal Clinic of Ontario

Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO)

A Legal Resource Centre for People with Disabilities

Pro Bono Law Ontario

Mental Health

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health – Rainbow Services

Across Boundaries Community Mental Health Centre

Children’s Mental Health Ontario

Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division

Griffin Centre

Gerstein Centre 


Settlement – Welcome to Ontario

Culture Link

Shelter – Youth

Covenant House

Turning Point Youth Services

Youth without shelter

Shelter for Refugees

Romero House – 416.763.1303

Sojourn House – 416.864.0515

Matthew House  – 416.203.7848

Social & Financial Assistance

Ontario Works – Social Assistant

Online magazines

Gay Guide Toronto

Other Queer groups

Salaam Canada (Queer Muslim Community)

Kulanu Toronto, a Jewish LGBTQ social group

Avanti – Italian Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals

Trans, Two Spirit, Intersex

Trans Youth Toronto (The 519 Community Centre)

Trans Programmes at the 519

Two Spirited People of the 1st Nations

Intersex Society of North America

Bodies Like Ours (Intersex) 

Information on Name Changes in Ontario


Transsexual Menace


Sylvia Rivera Law Project

Vancouver Transgender Health Program

FTM International

Trans Health


Guelph Queer Equality

OUTline – 519.836.4550


Hamilton AIDS Network


GLBTQ Community Centre Initiative

Housing Help / Aide logement

Housing Help for people with HIV/AIDS

Gay Ottawa

Thunder Bay

AIDS Thunder Bay