9 Free Events To Attend During Pride Toronto
Celebrate Pride without spending a dime. That's right, queen!
Toronto always knows how to turn up the party every time Pride comes back around. And whether you're a guy or a girl, gay or straight, a vegan or a Satanist, you can definitely find something that tickles your fancy. So take a second and decide if you'd prefer to watch some fierce drag performances, catch some sun by the pool, rave in the streets, or casually stroll through vendors and weave in between food trucks. Our list has you covered for all the greatest (not to mention completely FREE) events happening during Toronto Pride Week!
Cabana Pool Party - Wednesday, June 24
Now this is a mid-week party I would change out of my sweatpants for. Come to the chic, Miami-esque pool club that is Cabana and enjoy the sun setting over Toronto’s waterfront skyline with the sensual beats of SOLLORS, Vancouver's hottest DJ and bikini babe DJ Delicious. This is probably one of those "see and be seen" parties, so dress as snobby as you'd like. Private cabanas, BBQ feast, and sophisticated drinks are in order to make a splash and celebrate your Pride Festival Hump Day. Join in the fun with water polo realness, presented by Outsport Toronto.
2. Drag ON! - Saturday, June 27
With 2015 marking Pride Toronto’s 35th anniversary, what's the only way to celebrate turning 35? 35 drag performers, obviously. Taking the stage at this year’s marquee signature event, Drag ON!, Queens will show us just how hard they can werk it. If you've ever watched Ru Paul's Drag Race (if you haven't, get on it) then you need to attend this event! Drag Race alum Katya, last year's winner Bianca Del Rio, and the sickening Miss Fame will be here. Come dressed in drag and join in this first-ever event: get your Drag ON! Kicking off the afternoon with her electronic house beats, Kitty Glitter returns to Pride Toronto all the way from Sydney, Australia. Joining her will be her many drag brothers and sisters, leading up to the headliner, the ever-shady Bianca Del Rio.
3. Burlesque A Go-Go - Friday, June 26
Free burlesque is my kind of burlesque. And this event just so happens to be one of the largest Burlesque revues ever seen in Canada. This night was created to show love for bodies in all shapes and sizes in an evening sure to bring out the sultry and sexy side of Pride 2015 as “Magic Mike meets magic dykes.” From up-and-coming Burlesque artists to seasoned professionals known worldwide, baring it all will be the playful personalities of the finest Starlets, Bombshells and Studs.
Photo cred - Max Muzik
4. 50 Shades Of Blu - Friday, June 26
Home-grown Toronto DJ Sydney Blu tore it up at last summer's World Pride and she's returning to the OLG Central Stage with her 50 Shades of Blu set, all under the largest disco ball in Toronto. Performing on stages all over the world, she is no stranger to Pride Toronto and has been a proud supporter of the community and North America’s largest Pride Festival. This all-ages event welcomes everyone to come out and dance, and if you're under 19 you'll still be allowed into the beverage gardens, but bring your ID if you plan on buying a drink or three.
5. Pride Street Fair - Friday, June 26 - 28
Take everything in, all the sights and sounds of Pride, while strolling through the Village. The Streetfair’s marketplace offers products from fantastic artisans and a diverse selection of delicious food, all lined up along Church, Wellesley, and Alexander Streets. Come out for the education and entertainment, and savour the wide array of offerings available all weekend long!
6. Dirty Disco - Sunday, June 28
The Dirty Disco party is back once again to host the returning DJs who'll be showcasing their best EDM at this all-ages, all-day event, so make sure you bring a few litres of Gatorade. Dirty Disco was originally created and curated 13 years ago by the incredible, late Dr. Trance aka Don Berns. In tribute to Don, each DJ taking the stage will pay homage to him as a broadcaster and community artist by paying their respects in their own unique ways; Don’s legacy will live on with this annual showcase of the country’s best electronic music talents.
7. Sweetness Pride Beach Party - Sunday, June 21
With its cute, pink umbrellas providing much needed shade all across Toronto's Sugar Beach, this is probably the perfect spot for a Pride beach party. Soak up the sun and enjoy the water’s cooling breeze as you celebrate Toronto Pride’s opening weekend at one of the biggest circuit parties on our very own waterfront. Headlining the event all the way from Tel Aviv is none other than circuit king Aron, along with London’s stunning Jodie Harsh and Toronto’s own Jeremy Khamkeo. Bring your sunnies and tanning oil, and make sure to arrive early 'cause this event is guaranteed to reach capacity.
8. An Evening With John Waters - Monday, June 22
An icon of the 20th century, we know John Waters for his cult-status films, larger-than-life personality and fabulous moustache. Now, the famed filmmaker and so-called “Pope of Trash” is coming exclusively to speak to you at Pride Toronto. General admission to the talk is completely free, but if you feel like purchasing VIP tickets, visit Pride Toronto's website.
9. Pride Parade - Sunday, June 28
Church St. and Bloor St. all the way down Yonge St. to Yonge-Dundas Square.
And here we have it - the pièce de résistance. Thousands upon thousands of Torontonians and visitors from across the world flood the streets to witness one of the world's largest Pride parades. It's certainly a sight to behold. With hundreds of colourful floats blaring infectious dance music, and parade goers littering the crowd with bead necklaces, candy and condoms, all while running the risk of getting soaked by some trigger happy water gun shooters, the parade is always a happy affair. This year, see Pussy Riot, Cyndi Lauper and Chaz Bono walk the parade. When it's all over, congregate to Church Street afterwards and party into the wee hours of the morning. Clothing optional, of course.