A Toronto woman denied a haircut by a men’s barber shop has taken her complaint to the Ontario Human Rights Commission.  

Last June, Faith McGregor, 35, walked into the Terminal Barber Shop in downtown Toronto to get a haircut since her regular barber in Kensington Market was on vacation. She wanted a men’s cut: short on the sides with a trim on the top.  

But Terminal Barber Shop, which have been a fixture at Bay and Dundas streets since 1925, told her the barbers are Muslim and don’t cut women’s hair.

“It was in shock,” McGregor told CityNews. “My initial reaction and what I had said [to them] was I thought it was sexist.”

The owners of Terminal Barber Shop told CityNews they denied McGregor a haircut not because of her gender but because of their faith, which prohibits them from touching a woman who’s not a family member.

McGregor was later directed to the Ontario Human Rights Commission website by a friend, and has since filed a complaint for being discriminated against.

“It’s going to be interesting to see how the human rights tribunal deals with this case,” she said.

One lawyer, Selwyn Pieters, believes McGregor has a good chance of winning.

“This is a case where gender is pitted against religion,” he told CityNews.  “One cannot deny services in Ontario based on religious grounds in the manner in which the barber shop did.”

It’s prohibited in the Charter and in the Ontario human rights code, he said.

Both sides will attend a mediation meeting in February.

What do you think of this gender vs. religion case? Share your thoughts in the comments below.