A 23-year-old ex-dancer identified only as Madeline told the Toronto Star she could make as much as $1,000 per night after she started working in strip clubs four years ago, but gave it up for a clothed bartending job when fewer men would pay $20 for a lap dance.
"Why would a guy go to a club and pay to sit there if he could get it all for free on his computer at home?" she asked.
The newspaper said as many as 10 Toronto strip clubs have closed in the last five years, and the number of licensed "burlesque dancers" has also tumbled -- to 1,254 in 2007 from 2,834 in 1998.
Further hurting the business is the federal Conservative government's decision to scale back on the number of foreign strippers -- the majority from Eastern Europe -- allowed into the country, the Star said.
In 2004, the Liberal government issued 423 temporary visas for foreign exotic dancers, but since the Conservatives won in January 2006, only 17 of the permits have been issued, the report said.