Toronto Pride 2017: What to Do and Where to Go
If You’re Looking for Live Music
Toronto Pride always boasts an impressive roster of musical artists and this year is no exception.
Continue your Pride Month celebrations amongst mummies and marble at the Royal Ontario Museum’s official Toronto Pride dance party, Friday Night Live: Colour ROM Proud, featuring top DJs and live indie artists. (100 Queen’s Park, June 23, 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.).
Boundary-pushing and in your face, the Alternaqueer dance party is a chance to let your hair down and rock out, with live performances by the fiercely sexy and defiantly glamorous burlesque troupe Dainty Smith and Les femmes Fatales, the gritty and glamorous electronic band, Persons and the genre-defying musical duo, Partner. (TD Village Stage, 77 Wellesley Street East, June 23, 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.).
With live video by Roxanne Luchak, back-to-back DJs Denise Benson and Cozmic Cat, performances by Spin Starlets and much more, CHERRY BOMB is the official Dyke Day After Party. This year, celebrate 10 Years of Queer Love as Toronto’s biggest party for queer women and friends turns 10. (Mod Club, 722 College Street, June 24 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.).
End your Pride celebration the right way and head on over to Yonge-Dundas Square for the star-studded lineup of The Final Play, featuring breakthrough UK band Years & Years, dream pop trio KING, and Toronto darling party rocker DJ Lissa Monet. (Yonge-Dundas Stage – Yonge-Dundas Square, June 25, 2:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.).
If You’re Looking to Party
The parties at Toronto Pride are fun, frenzied and fab.
Kick off Pride early and soak up the sun at Toronto Pride’s massive annual waterfront event at Sugar Beach. All the way from Brazil, Renato Cecin will be laying the beat down at the hot and happening Sugar Beach Party (22 Dockside Drive, June 18, 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.).
Relax on a private cabana and enjoy the sunset over Lake Ontario at Cabana Pool Party. Soak up Toronto’s waterfront skyline with the stylish sounds of L.A. DJ Hector Fonseca and Toronto’s own energetic fireball DJ/producer Ticky Ty. (Cabana Pool Bar – 11 Polson Street, June 21, 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.).
Immerse yourself in a world of glitter, glitz and glamour at Starry Night. With a lineup featuring Ru Paul’s Drag Race Season 9 stars Peppermint and Sasha Velour, Toronto-grown Tynomi Banks and the flawless mixing skills of DJ Andy Warburton, this FREE soirée is one you won’t want to miss (Barbara Hall Park – 519 Church Street Community Centre, June 22, 5:00 p.m. to midnight).
If You’re Looking for Multicultural Flare
Toronto Pride is all about celebrating diversity.
Savour the sweet lineup of Pan Dulce, this year’s Latinx focused event, featuring taboo-breaking São Paulo rapper Rico Dalasam, Grammy award-winning musical phenomenon La Santa Cecilia, drumming sensation BAOBA, the sweet beats of DJ FOSFORITA! and more. (Wellesley Stage, 15 Wellesley Street East, June 24, 2:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.).
Yalla Barra is back celebrating Middle Eastern culture, headlined by popular Iranian duo Abjeez – dubbed the first Persian language Reggae/Ska band – and joined by the traditional-yet-futuristic sounds of Shiva, the mesmerizing techno beats of Wake Island, and a special performance by Arabesque Dance Company. (Wellesley Stage, 15 Wellesley Street East, June 23, 6:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.).
This year’s 2Spirit Stage event – Ninjichaag: The Spirit Within – promises a drum-beating celebration of indigenous music and culture, all while promoting an inclusive atmosphere for everyone. With an opening ceremony by Ojibwa-Cree lesbian author Ma-Nee Chacaby, performances by Eagle Woman Singerz on Big Drum and the unique electronica sound of Classic Roots, this spirited lineup promises to bring to life the heartbeat of the boreal north. (Alexander Parkette, 16 Alexander Street, June 25, 12:00 p.m – 2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.).
If You’re Looking for Activism and Dialogue
The Pride movement was born out of a spirit of political activism and Toronto Pride continues that tradition with critical dialogue and events tackling issues that affect the LGBTTIQQ2SA community.
Listen to a power human rights panel at Until We Are Free: The Global Struggle for LGBTQ Human Rights, a discussion illuminating worldwide grassroots efforts in the context of global struggles, and shedding light on the ways that activists around the world are confronting oppression and seeking solutions for international LGBT communities. (The 519 Ballroom, 519 Church Street, June 15, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.).
The Trans Pride Community Fair is a place to find more information on, make connections in or get support from the Toronto trans community, any time before, during and after the 2017 Trans March. (Allan Gardens, Carlton and Sherbourne Streets, June 23, 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.).
Commemorate those lives lost and affected by HIV/AIDS at the AIDS Candlelight Vigil (Barbara Hall Park – 519 Church Street, June 20, 9:00 p.m.).
If You’re Looking to March (or Spectate)
Toronto Pride Weekend features three major parades and marches that celebrate gender and sexual diversity in all its forms.
Founded in 2009, the Trans Pride March has evolved into one of the largest annual events put on by Canada’s trans community and all trans and non-binary individuals, friends and allies are encouraged to rally in solidarity. (Starts at Church Street and Hayden Street, June 23, 6:30 p.m. Rally, 7:00 p.m. March)
Toronto’s Dyke March is a grassroots event and political demonstration celebrating the power, strength and diversity of women and trans people in the LGBTTIQQ2SA community. (Begins at Church and Hayden Streets, June 24, 1:00 p.m.)
Close off Pride at the one and only Toronto Pride Parade, the festival weekend’s premier event, featuring over 150 participating groups. This year, the parade will feature its first ever emcee, bubbly Drag performer Miss Conception. Let loose and have fun amidst the elaborate floats, colourful costumes and rousing music. (Begins at Bloor and Church Streets, June 25, 2:00 p.m.)
If You’re Looking for Divine Drag Divas
From the stars of Ru Paul’s Drag Race to homegrown talent from Toronto and Montréal, there’s more drag entertainment at Toronto Pride than you can shake a boa at.
Fan favourites from the new season of Ru Paul’s Drag Race, Miss Peppermint and Trinity Taylor will be putting on a one-of-a-kind drag extravaganza at Fly 2.0 nightclub for an outrageous soirée sure to defy the wildest imaginations. (6 Gloucester Street, June 21, 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.).
This year, Drag On has been renamed DRAG BALL, and it promises a beautiful mix of new and returning acts. Featuring DJ Kitty Glitter serving up sexy sets and igniting the dance floor, a local drag queen show featuring Toronto’s top queens and ending with a special surprise guest performance, this event will be as fierce and flamboyant as they come (Yonge-Dundas Stage – Yonge-Dundas Square, June 24, 2:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.).