The famed “Bunny Ranch” owner wants to open a brothel in Toronto

By: Jennifer Pretty May 01, 2012
Bunny Ranch

Although prostitution has been legal in Canada for several years, until about a month ago, brothels were unlawful. Eagerly waiting for this legislation to pass is one Dennis Hof, owner of five Nevada brothels, all of which are named the Bunny Ranch. Five successful locations in the state known for legalized gambling in tacky casinos and Area 51, Hof has made a killing in the brothel business.

Together with his Canadian girlfriend, he has already identified a site for his sixth location: the downtown area of Toronto. In case you haven’t been following this story, Mr. Hof is careful about opening up his “Northern” Bunny Ranch near houses of religious worship and schools. And he’s not trying to put some gaudy structure that will serve only one purpose, which is to call attention to itself. On the contrary, as he states it, “The place doesn’t have to be overly obvious. A house of prostitution is like a sugar cube in the desert. The ants find it real quick!”

Not without its controversy, both proponents and those opposed have been vocal about the proposition of the Bunny Ranch opening its doors in Toronto. And why not? It’s a touchy subject. Rarely are people on the fence about topics such as prostitution and other hot button issues.

Never one to pass up a good rant or miss an incredible opportunity to weigh in on such a controversial topic, I am going to present the pros and cons and ask you to weigh in. And please don’t be shy – well, keep it civil, please!

The Pros of Legalized Brothels

The oldest profession in the world, prostitution will happen whether it is legal or not. Estimates vary, but there are said to be somewhere north of 500,000 prostitutes in Canada alone. Although the reasons why women get into the profession are not always pleasant and place a spotlight on issues of abuse, subjugation and myriad other similar ones, again, it will happen – legalization and the “whys” behind it aside. That can be debated for years to come.

 Among the pros that come to mind:

  • A building provides a safe environment to conduct business
  • Offering women the opportunity to work for themselves in a regulated environment means there are no pimps to abuse them
  • City and Province regulated, prostitutes are expected to be screened for STDs and see gynecologists regularly
  • Tax revenue – now legal, prostitutes will have to pay taxes, thus resulting in revenue for the country and the city of Toronto
  • Safe and offers discretion for “clients”

The Cons of Legalized Brothels

Toronto is a respectable city. It is home of the Toronto Stock Exchange, high culture – including the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the National Ballet of Canada, etc. – historic neighbourhoods, first class restaurants, international sports and for this and many other reasons, Toronto is one of the most visited and respected cities on earth. Does the city really need a brothel to round out this level of respectability? And apart from that, it was doing just fine without one. Having one will only encourage men to frequent it when they probably weren’t even thinking about it. It will encourage them to cheat on their spouses without fear of being detected. And lastly, prostitution has historically been seen as something to discourage. Do we really need it to be “hip” to visit the famous Bunny Ranch?

What do you think?


Until next time,

Peace, love and vitamin C!


Jennifer Pretty began her career as the director of artist development for a well-known Canadian music label. Branching out on her own, she then started her own PR business “Pretty Media Management” planning and hosting various charity, entertainment and fashion events. As a dance and fitness class enthusiast Jennifer is a firm believer in the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle. She also loves to cook, travel, spend time with family and friends and most importantly living life to the fullest!