June is Pride Month in Toronto: a time to come together to celebrate the courage, history, and diversity of the LGBTQ community.
It’s also the official kickoff to the summer social season in The Six. But let’s be honest, being social can be stressful. And with so many Pride events scheduled throughout the month, it might feel like you need a social secretary to help you keep track.
Not to worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are five not-to-be-missed events during Pride Month in one of the best cities in the world to celebrate being or supporting the LGBTQ community.
Whether you’re a local or a visitor to the city, these are the places to see and be seen in your true colours…
‘Til Sunrise – A Toronto Island Party: Sunday, June 17
Who doesn’t love an all-day dance party on the beach? This new addition to Pride Toronto’s event lineup pays homage to the city’s very first Pride-style celebrations that took place on the island in 1971. The daytime celebration at Gibraltar Point will feature DJs Phil Villeneuve, John Caffery, Phillippe, and DJ Djon, specialty cocktails courtesy of Sauza Tequila, and custom art installations. Upon arrival via the Hanlan’s Point Ferry, a Pride Toronto shuttle will transport guests directly to the party. So bring your bathing suit, grab the sunscreen, and get on island time. Tickets: $20
Green Space Festival: Wednesday, June 20, to Sunday, June 24
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Green Space Festival is a multi-day music festival featuring world-class DJs, drag queen royalty, and so much more. Five legendary parties will take place over the span of five days at Barbara Hall Park: Starry Night (June 20), Disco Disco (June 21), One World (June 22), Lipstick Jungle (June 23), and TreeHouse Party (June 24). Performers include DJs Horse Meat Disco, Carl Craig, Tracy Young, Hector Romero, and Isaac Escalante. 100 per cent of all proceeds generated from the festival will go towards funding the essential programs and services of The 519, a community centre committed to the health, happiness, and full participation of Toronto’s LGBTQ community. This is the place to party for a cause. Admission: Free (donations are welcome)
Pride and Remembrance Run: Saturday, June 23
If partying really isn’t your thing, perhaps a little physical activity might help get you into the Pride spirit. The annual Pride and Remembrance Run is arguably the most fun run of the summer. This 5km run or 3km walk starts at the corner of Church and Wellesley streets and raises funds for LGBTQ charities and initiatives. Women’s College Hospital Foundation, the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, the LGBT Youth Line, and the Pride and Remembrance Foundation – beneficiaries of Toronto’s 23rd Pride and Remembrance Run – will receive 100 per cent of funds raised through pledges and donations. Whether you register to run/walk, donate, or cheer participants on from the sidelines, it’s all about showing your support for the community.
Pride Parade: Sunday, June 24
The 38th Annual Pride Parade is the party everyone’s been waiting for. This signature event of Pride Month – one of the largest Pride celebrations in North America – will feature over 120 marching groups and more than 40 floats, including the cast from CBC’s hit comedy, “Schitt’s Creek.” The procession gets underway at 2 p.m. at the corner of Church and Bloor streets and makes its way down Yonge Street to Yonge-Dundas Square. Costumes, choreography, and lots of colour – this parade has it all and will leave little doubt that Toronto knows how to throw one fabulous party. Admission: Free
Brandy: Sunday, June 24
Star power will be on full display when R&B recording artist Brandy hits the Pride Toronto stage at Yonge-Dundas Square for a special live performance following the parade. The Grammy, American Music, and Billboard Music Award-winning singer/songwriter, best known for hits like “Have You Ever” and “The Boy Is Mine”, is the headline act, and you can be sure this diva will put on a show. If there’s one Pride performance you don’t want to miss, this is it. Admission: Free
Now that you know where to be during Pride Month in Toronto, it’s time to spread your rainbow-coloured wings and fly. Happy Pride!