Mark your calendars! WorldPride Toronto is less than a week away. Toronto is the first North American city ever to host this ultimate celebration of WorldPride, so be sure to check out some of the dozens of events going on across the city during the ten day extravaganza from June 20 – 29. There will be musical performances from multiple genres, drag stars (even some Ru Paul’s Drag Race alum), conferences, street festivals, and of course, the legendary parade.
The Village Streetfair
Church Street is the epicenter of Toronto’s Gay Village and the main place to be during Pride Week. Take a stroll through car-free streets where you can connect with local organizations participating in the Community Fair, or browse the wares of the Marketplace, home to fantastic artisans and a diverse selection of delicious food from partnering vendors.
Founded in 1996 to raise awareness regarding lesbian and trans* visibility in the queer community, the Dyke March has become a tradition not only in Toronto, but in cities across North America. March with your head held high to show that all members of the LGBTQ community are valued and accepted.
Clean, Sober & Proud
If drinking and partying isn’t your scene, you may feel at home at the Clean, Sober & Proud space at Paul Kane Parkette, a substance-free zone that features live performances, holistic services, and confidential recovery meetings. The space is a great place to relax away from the non-stop (and sometimes overwhelming) energy of Church Street.
For WorldPride 2014, Family Pride space is back. Celebrate Pride with your little ones at the kid-friendly zone with activities and entertainment geared to kids and families at the Church Street Junior Public School (83 Alexander Street, southeast corner of Church and Alexander streets). Crafts and games, face-painting, live entertainment – it’s fun for the whole family!
Cawthra Square Park
Located right beside the 519 Community Centre, Cawthra Square Park is host to some of Pride Week’s most anticipated events. Drop by Lipstick Jungle before heading to the Dyke March, and close off the week at the Disco, Disco dance party. Events at Cawthra Square Park are free to enter, and all proceeds from beverage sales go directly to support the efforts of the 519 Community Centre.
This is the main event! If you see nothing else during Pride Week, be sure to make your way down to Yonge Street for the annual Pride Parade. Rain or shine, each year thousands come out to witness the colourful floats, elaborate costumes, infectious music, and a healthy dose of bare skin. The Parade is a spectacle not to be missed.