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Escorts: Love for Sale in Toronto


Prostitution has always been with us. The world’s oldest profession has sometimes been celebrated, other times censured, almost always stigmatized. Even while elite courtesans moved among royalty, less fortunate women scrabbled for a living in the streets.  Today is not much different. But what we know is based largely on hearsay and sensation, bad movies and crime series, with the focus on the most downtrodden. This book is not about those women. Rather, it is the story of the top level of the love-for-sale subculture – the world of high-end escorts. They are the courtesans of our time – discreet, educated, sophisticated and very much in control of their own fates. Who are they? And what are their lives really like? Through exclusive interviews with Toronto escorts and their clients, Star journalist Antonia Zerbisias uncovers this little-known society, painting a vivid portrait of a way of life that operates under the radar in our own city.



Award-winning Toronto Star writer Antonia Zerbisias has been fascinated by the world of elite “call girls” since the age of 14, when, at a birthday dinner at Montreal’s most exclusive hotel restaurant, a gentleman at the next table offered to buy her and her sister a celebratory drink and dessert. The maitre d’ was summoned and said that it was against hotel policy for “unaccompanied women” to accept. That’s when Antonia learned about the shadowy world of “professional party girls” with “little black books” of clients’ names and numbers. Since then, and over a 40 year career as a TV reporter and presenter, columnist and critic, Antonia has encountered many a “working girl” that smash the stigma and the stereotypes. This is why she wanted to tell their stories – and why the ladies in these pages were willing to share theirs.


Star Dispatches ebooks provide readers with exceptional long-form journalism from the Toronto Star newsroom.