It All Starts in the Village
Every visit to Toronto should begin with some people watching in the gay village. Hot boys and hot girls fill Church Street with energy, passion and opportunity. Check out live theatre at Buddies in Bad Times or take a self-guided tour of Queer as Folk landmarks – Toronto masqueraded as Pittsburgh for the series. If you’re looking for something (or someone) a little different, explore the growing Queer West Village, where coffee houses and art galleries draw a diverse, mixed crowd. Or, you can also take a tour with Toronto Queer Walking Tours (phone: 647-225-7727) where you can have a fun and interesting look at Toronto’s gay culture throughout its many diverse communities.
Show Your Pride
Each year at the end of June, the city plays host to Toronto Pride Festival. It’s ten days of queer celebration that turns streets into parades and parking lots into parties. (NEW: In 2016 June is Pride Month.) Come out and meet some of the one million people that crowd the downtown for the festivities. If you can’t make it to Pride, there are literally hundreds of other cultural events throughout the year – including Inside Out, Canada’s largest lesbian and gay film and video festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, Taste of the Danforth, Fringe Festival and The Word on the Street. And November means Mr. Leatherman is coming to town. Places to go. People to see.
Explore the many museums and galleries that the city has to offer. The Royal Ontario Museum is home to thousands of years of diverse culture, while the Bata Shoe Museum has a much more specific focus. After the museum, take in a ballet or opera at the stunning Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.
Hit the Road
The pride exhibited throughout the Toronto region extends across Ontario, giving the LGBT traveller a world of options beyond downtown. Complement your Toronto adventure with a day trip to the Niagara region, a truly diverse collection of historic communities, award-winning wineries and natural wonders comprising some of the quintessential Ontario experiences.
Nestled against the dramatic shores of Lake Ontario are the quaint rural communities of Prince Edward County, another excellent trip from the city. Affectionately called The County, Prince Edward is a fertile creative ground, home to hundreds of local artisan shops, purveyors of antiques and crafts, glasswork studios, painters’ galleries and sculptors’ exhibits. This area is also the provinces newest wine region, celebrating regional cuisine and wine with festivals and fairs, providing great opportunities to dine, sample, sip and buy – from roadside stands to fine restaurants.
Travelling to the Niagara Region or to Prince Edward County is easy with VIA Rail. For more information on rail travel, or to plan your getaway to these fascinating areas, please visit www.viarail.ca.
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