Pride is happening. Right now.
I can’t believe some of you need to be told but apparently we haven’t shouted at you enough - it’s TORONTO PRIDE
Whew. Pride can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new, or you don’t like crowds, or you don’t know what to go to or whatever. It’s a lot. That’s the joy. You gotta turn that frown upside down and prepare yourselves. Sparks for life! (It’s a Canadian girls thing)
We decided to share with you our little guide to Pride Toronto this year. There are some actually incredible events and everyone should go! ToFemCo is going to hit up as many of these as possible:
Cabana Pool Bar
Naomi Smalls (Runner up on this season’s RuPaul’s Drag Race) is performing on that new bar on that new roof that everyone says is so cool. There will probably be a line BUT you can get advance tix online. (Aside: I am so into having a rooftop pool bar, I mean hello! But you just know the majority of the patrons at this joint are insufferable right? I want a Cabana Pool Bar for me and my pals and other cool people. Womp, let’s keep the dream alive!)
519 Community Centre
Human Rights Panels: Blackness & Queer Politics. This is going to be dope. Some members of ToFemCo will definitely be in attendance. This panel features seven powerful queer voices discussing the systemic and daily oppression faced by Black queer and trans communities, highlighting the ways that anti-blackness is present in LGBTQ spaces. Free! 7-10pm
Barbara Hall Park at the 519 Greenspace
Starry Night: A huge event and massive fundraiser for the 519 Community Centre (the lifeblood of Toronto’s Village). Kim Chi (the other runner up on Drag Race) is performing which will, no doubt be astounding. Check her out, her drag style is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. She’s an innovator. Lineups for this event will be long but it is worth it if you get there early. Thankfully the Pride organizers and volunteers actually came out to the lineup to tell us that we weren’t getting in (praise). So many other queens, speakers, and performers will be out as well! Free! 5pm
Once FRIDAY hits it’s GO GO GOOOOOOO. Especially since it’s also Canada Day so the nation gets the day off.
FRIDAY - TRANS DAY: Trans March starts at 7pm at Church and Hayden then along Bloor to Yonge then to Carlton.
Katya 2.0 is going to be off the hook. Katya won the prestigious Miss Congeniality award on season 7 of Drag Race and she is an absolute delight! Fan favourite Queen JuJuBee is also performing with her. Tickets are sold out but if you have one, some of us will catch you there. It's going to be a night of splits, sarcasm, and shaaaaaaaade.
508 Church St. OLG Central Stage
Made In Canada Event: Everyone in Toronto must see Yes Yes Y’all who are headlining the event. They are the raddest queer/hip hop/dancehall jam group around. Get ready to dance your faces off. Free! 3pm-2am
The Trans Community Fair is going on before, during, and after the Trans march. It’s run by awesome and inclusive trans organizations in town. Free! 3-10pm
Paul Kane Parkette
Clean, Sober, and Proud: A dedicated drug- and alcohol-free space to enjoy fantastic entertainment in a family-friendly environment. Includes performances, discussions, and confidential 12-step recovery meetings. Partying and over-indulging can be a huge part of Pride and festivals of any kind and people can get lost in the fray. It’s so awesome that Pride is taking a conscious effort to find time and places for the straighter-edged queers. Free! All weekend
TD Village Stage - 77 Wellesley St.
Two Spirit Rainbow Pow-Wow is being featured for the first time at Toronto Pride! It will be a night of indigenous art, culture and music celebrating our Two-Spirit community members for singing and dancing through the night! Two-Spirit dates back to pre-colonization, where a person with a cross gender identity was believed to be gifted for carrying both masculine and feminine spirits. It’s time to remember our history and home on native land. Free! 7-11pm
SATURDAY - LADY DAY: Dyke March starts at 2pm at Church and Bloor, heads down Bloor to Yonge and Carlton then into Allen Gardens.
Bud Light South Stage - 423 Church St.
Lez Get It On! is hosted by Deb “Dirk” Pearce, this is the Dyke March’s official hottest women-loving-women party showcasing fierce women in music. Yes pleaaaaaaase! Can’t wait to see Lauren Hortie and crew do a live graffiti show! Free! 2pm-2am
Molson Canadian Stage at Yonge and Dundas
Drag On! People, get your asses over and see Bianca Del Rio, season 6 winner of Drag Race co-host (Peggy’s personal hero) with Lady Bunny what will be a record-breaking event. They’re going to go for the largest drag performance EVER. Also if you’re into Britney Spears (so everyone) Derrick Berry, the official Britney impersonator will be there getting all kinds of toxic (I’m slipping under). Free! 2-11pm
SUNDAY - THE BIG GAY DAY: THE Parade starts at 2pm at Church and Bloor, heads down Yonge all the way to Dundas. Be prepared that if you’re on the East side of the street you’re going to be in direct sunlight.
Black is Black: Blackorama 18 Pride Toronto’s longest running showcase returns for an activist-based, community-focused full day of dynamic programming. Blackorama has been a favourite every year and this year is no exception. The Prancing Elites (the coolest dance troupe around) are going to be there! So much dancing, so much love. Free! Noon-11pm
OLG Stage - 508 Church St.
FIST, the amazing DJ dance party from New York is going to be the closer to end all festivals. From Pride: “We’re going to put women and trans allies in total control for the biggest, baddest and most diverse crowd to come together and go off. Whether you’re there to flaunt your feminism or to get your freak on, these DJs will give you something you can really work with.” Uhhh sign us up! Free! 2-11pm