Entertainment

The Top #PrideToronto Events You Won't Want to Miss

Whether you're a Pride veteran or this is your first year getting out to celebrate T.O.'s LGBTQ+ community, these are the events you have to check out

Toronto Pride 2016 events

All of the parades, obvi:

Trans March, July 1
7 p.m., free, Church and Hayden
One of the largest annual trans events, this is the march of solidarity with all of our Canadian trans friends and fam.

Dyke March, July 2
2 p.m., free, Church and Bloor
Get loud, ladies! Shout your pride and support community-engaged queer women in a safe and celebratory space.

Pride Parade, July 3
2 p.m., free, Church and Bloor
Arguably the Pride event of the year, the Pride Parade boasts 35 years of rocking rainbows and celebrating the LGBTQ+ community in downtown T.O. Dance in the streets with the dreamy JT—our first ever Prime Minister to attend!

The other events we could never miss include (but aren’t limited to) parties in unsuspecting locations, raunchy concerts and a drag marathon:

Mean Girls: On Wednesdays We Wear Pink, June 22
9–11 p.m., free, Harbourfront Centre Concert Stage (behind 235 Queens Quay W.)
Catch your fave flick for free and revisit the glory days when Lindsay’s future was bright and Rachel McAdams sported a long platinum pony. Presented in partnership with TIFF, the event’s special guest Daniel Franzese will bring “she doesn’t even go here!” back to life. You *must* wear pink.

Friday Night Live: Colour ROM Proud, June 24
7–11 p.m., $5-$15, Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queen’s Park)
The final Friday Night Live of the season will bring drag stars and dinosaurs together in harmony. Attendees can peep an exclusive preview of the Chihuly glass exhibition, all the while dancing to DJs Craig Dominic, Cozmic Cat, John Caffery, Kris Steeves and Scooter McCreight. There will also be live performances by Forte Toronto Gay Men’s Chorus, Christian Jeffires and Backburner, Ill Nana/Diverse City Dance Company and NYC’s Tony Banks.

An Evening with George Takei, June 26
7:30–9 p.m., Starting at $30, Ryerson Theatre (43 Gerrard St. E.)
A sample of the cool brags you could have if you attend: “What’d you do last night for Pride?” “Just hung around with George Takei.” George has a highly unique outlook on life, and he wants to talk about it. This lecture and Q&A event will discuss social justice, pop culture and social media, all coupled with Takei’s critical insights on our ever-changing society. Tickets are running out fast, so if you want to see the Star Trek star, act faster!

A Night at The AQUEERium, June 26
8 p.m.–12 a.m., $50, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada (288 Bremner Blvd.)
Find yourself surrounded by mermaids (or at least, magical mer-drag queens) while vibing to the deep sea beats of Australian DJ superstar Kitty Glitter. This 19+ event combines exotic aquatics with a party atmosphere, and is sure to make a serious splash.

House of Filth Annual Family Showcase, June 27
9 p.m.–3 a.m., The Beaver (1192 Queen St. W.)
Described as an “extravaganza of hedonistic revelry and irreverent pop cultural molestation,” this is the event to attend if you’re looking to seriously let loose. Combine as little clothing as poss with wild performances from the House of Filth and drinks flowing in every direction, and you have the perfect kick-off to Pride Week.

Cabana Pool Party, June 29
6–11 p.m., $15, Cabana Pool Bar (11 Polson St.)
This bar is never not a blast, but during Pride the pool party hits a whole new level of Cabana-crazy. While Madrid DJ Anthony May spins in the 6ix for the first time, queen Naomi Smalls (you know her from RuPaul’s Drag Race season 8) will be hosting, and you will be sipping a drink poolside. Does it get any better? Does it get any hotter?

The Drake Shows its Pride: Nearly Nude, June 30
10 p.m.–4 a.m., $10, The Drake Hotel (1150 Queen St. W.)
The Drake Hotel is partnering with Collectif Nude to get you to bare it all. The all-night dance party features different musical acts in every room, from Charlotte Day Wilson, DJ Nino Brown and Kimberly Bianca to Dullboy, Birthday Boy and BLAJK + more. The curated list of both new and established artists will be serving up “eye-candy and ear-candy” at this must-attend, clothing-minimal event.

Alternaqueer, July 1
7 p.m.–2 a.m., free (but donations encouraged!), Bud Light South Stage (423-425 Church St.)
This is less a concert and more a full-blown sensory overload. The show features notable acts like Judy Virago, The House of Filth’s The Trash Cabaret, Andrew Awesome, The Countess, Hotnuts presents Christeene, Vag Halen and JD Samson of Le Tigre. This is an all-out dance party, plain and simple. Choose your shoes accordingly.

Hotnuts Summerwinds feat. Christeene, July 2
10:30 p.m.–4 a.m., $20, The Garrison (1197 Dundas St. W.)
Lose yourself in the gender-bending punk sounds of Christeene, a Texas native bound to enthrall you with tidbits of bizarre confessionals and on-stage sexual escapades. Too much stimulation? There’s also a colouring book station.

Drag ON!, July 2
2–11 p.m., free, Molson Canadian Stage at Yonge-Dundas Square (1 Dundas St. E.)
At the sequel to last year’s outrageous drag marathon, legendary hosts Lady Bunny and Bianca Del Rio are leading the city towards a Guinness World Record for Largest Drag Stage Performance. With more than 50 queens and kings taking the floor and Britney Spears impersonator Derrick Barry as DJ, there’s no question that this event will be the most fab, the most fierce, the most fun.

TreeHouse Party, July 3
1 p.m.–1 a.m., $20 (all proceeds to The 519 Community Centre!), Fido Quad @ Ryerson University (43 Gerrard St. E.)
Arguably the ultimate Pride event (except for maybe the parade), Treehouse is what brings the long weekend of pride-fueled partying to a head each year. For 2016, the event teamed up with Green Space Festival to put together an international DJ set, including acts like Sexshooters, Yinon Yahel, Alain Jackinsky and Isaac Escalante. This legendary outdoor quad party has to be the grand finale to your celebration of T.O.’s first ever Pride Month.

Related:
10 Reasons I Moved Back to Canada That Aren’t Trump
70 Reasons Cher Is the Ultimate Badass Babe of Our Time
Amy Rose Spiegel on Her Accessible Sex Book, Action