03/22/2015 11:27 EDT | Updated 03/23/2015 03:59 EDT

Strip Clubs An Endangered Species In Canada: Insider

In the age of easily accessible online porn, strip clubs just aren’t the draw they once were, and now an industry insider says the establishments are an endangered species in Canada.

Toronto had 63 strip clubs a decade ago, and is down to just 14, pointed out Tim Lambrinos, director of the Adult Entertainment Association of Canada (AEAC), in an interview with CBC.

“The market demand for adult entertainment clubs is a male around a certain age,” he said. “It seems that young Canadian males are more distracted with other types of interests — Game Boys, plugging in things and so on and it's almost as if the young women are the ones bringing them out to the clubs now.”

It’s not just shrinking demand that is leaving strip clubs an endangered species. As Canada’s cities redevelop their urban cores, the relatively low-rent spaces strip clubs occupy are disappearing one by one, replaced by condos and urban retail.

In some instances, public opposition to new clubs has stopped cities from issuing licenses.

Faced with the prospect of extinction, the industry is pushing for a change to the law that would allow nudie bars to become brothels.

The AEAC last year released a report arguing the decriminalization and regulation of “the market for sexual services” would reduce risk to sex workers and fill government coffers with tax revenue. It estimates sex work to be worth between $870 million and $1.7 billion annually in Canada.

“Adult entertainment clubs are in the best position, out of any other adult business, to ensure the health, safety and protection of consumers,” the AEAC report said.

One crimp in the plan may be exotic dancers themselves: They appear opposed to the change, with 60 per cent of respondents in a poll saying they would not want to become sex workers if strip clubs made the transition.

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