It’s the most wonderful time of the year… That’s right, Toronto Pride 2013 is just around the corner, and we couldn’t be more proud to live in a city that celebrates everyone’s uniqueness. Toronto rules! That’s why it’s such a hot destination for people around the world when it comes to Pride. What better way to party it up in the name of free love than in a city where we can all get married, divorced and married again no matter who we are? The festivities during Toronto Pride Week 2013 are off the charts, so we’re here to help you find your way to the killer parties and most entertaining shows. Break out the rainbow flags, a few bottles of sunscreen, your best bubbly and favourite dancing shoes. You’re going to be busy! Here is your complete guide to Pride Toronto 2013.
Church Street Fair
Is there anything more liberating than dancing in the street? Come find out. The strip of Church Street just north of Carlton to just south of Bloor becomes a pedestrian-only paradise starting Friday, June 28th and running for the rest of the weekend. Think street vendors, makeshift marketplaces, performance stages and awesome food stations. “Pride 2013 with PROUD FM” will also be at the northwest corner of Wellesley and Church with tunes, models and free Vitamin Water for all. These blocks are kind of like the Pride headquarters every year, and Toronto Pride 2013 will be no different. Get ready to take on the streets. Friday, June 28th through Sunday, June 30th.
During Pride Toronto, the city will be filled with musical acts both local and beyond. This year there are seven stages in the Church/Wellesley Village that will all be booming with great talent. Some of this year’s headliners will be Diamond Rings, Carole Pope, Mia Martina, The Cliks, My Name is Kay and Anjulie. But don’t miss out on some great local acts such as Ashford, Triple Gangers, Molly Thomason and Fortuna. Friday, June 28th through Sunday, June 30th.
Pride 2013 Parade
The Pride Parade is the Christmas morning of all the Pride-related festivities and always the biggest attraction of the festival. Get there early if you want a good spot to watch or, better still, find a patio with a killer view of Yonge Street or a friend’s balcony overlooking the action. The route begins at Church and Bloor and travels west to Yonge, then south to Gerrard, and back east to Church Street. We’re all about stationing ourselves somewhere near Yonge and Wellesley, which is incidentally very close to an LCBO for celebratory bevvies. Sunday, June 30th, 1pm.
PARTIES & EVENTS
Thursday, June 27th
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
If you missed Hedwig & the Angry Inch this past fall at The Drake Underground, now’s your chance to see this one-of-a-kind musical again. Sure, John Cameron Mitchell did a great job turning it into a movie, but the musical, which is practically a one-man show, is like no other. Also, did you know that Neil Patrick Harris will be playing the role of Hedwig on Broadway in 2014? We suggest getting your Hedwig feet wet at Toronto Pride 2013 so you’ll have cultural cache next spring when Doogie Howser makes this unbelievably hilarious, and at times heartbreaking, musical more mainstream. Runs June 27th and June 29th, 8:30pm. The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St W. $35.
Love is in the Hair – 6th Annual Starry Night Fundraiser
If you’ve ever danced the night away to classic hits like “Material Girl” and “Love Shack” at POP✭MACHINE at Wayla Bar, then you know that DJ Alessandro can make a dancefloor into a scene straight out of the glory days of Studio 54. That’s why we’re hitting up Starry Night on June 27th, where our beloved DJ will spin along with a ton of other cool guests. 7pm at the Green Space on Church, 519 Church St. No Cover. Bar proceeds and donations go to support Community Centre.
The State Of Tennessee
We’re curious to check out Steven Jackson’s play, which he wrote and directed, about a young writer who goes out in search of advice from Tennessee Williams. Runs until Saturday, June 29th. 7:30pm. Theatre Passé Muraille Backspace, 16 Ryerson Ave. $20, $15 for seniors and students.
That’s So Gay: Say It To My Face
The Gladstone Hotel‘s Annual Pride art exhibition, curated by Elisha Lim, kicks off on Thursday with art for Pride’s sake. Runs until Sunday, July 28th. Noon–5pm. The Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St W. No cover.
Friday, June 28th
We love a good merger like nobody else! Two famous West side parties, Big Primpin’ and Fit, join forces on Friday, June 28th, for Fit Primpin’, an epic night of dancing, drinking and givin’ ‘er in style. Big Primpin’ and Fit DJs will get the dancefloor shaking while rapper Cakes Da Killa and porn star Colby Keller will get up to no good with some not-to-be-missed entertainment. 10pm. The Great Hall, 1087 Queen St W. $15 advance, $20 at the door.
Are you ready to lip synch for your life? William of RuPaul’s Drag Race performs on Friday at Mojo Lounge. Hosted by Cassandra Moore, with DJ Diamond. 10pm. Mojo Lounge, 1305 Dundas St W. $15 advance.
Bad Boy Weekend Kick-Off at Woody’s
Everyone’s gotta stop by Woody’s for at least a drink or a shot on the Friday of Pride. DJ Mark Falco will be spinning. Full service until 4am (oh yes). Woody’s, 467 Church St. No cover.
Masters of Mainstream
For a sophisticated and highly cultured evening, Toronto Jazz Festival presents clarinet master Allan Vache with the Canadian Jazz Quartet, Gary Benson, Frank Wright, Duncan Hopkins and Don Vickery. 7:30–10:30pm. The Home Smith Bar, 21 Old Mill Rd. $40.
Rocky Horror Picture Show Pride Edition
Come get your camp on at the Rocky Horror Picture Show Pride Edition, where the audience members alone are sure to impress with their wild antics. $8 for members or $11 for non-members, available at the Bloor Hot Docs box office, 506 Bloor St West.
TNT!MEN Meat and Greet Social
Easiest way to meet some of the coolest peeps in town for Toronto Pride 2013? At the Pride kickoff TNT!MEN Meat and Greet Social, of course! 5-8pm. Club 120, 120 Church St. No cover.
88 Days x Bklyn Boihood x Blackweirdo
For a party that just doesn’t stop featuring DJs, performing artists and visual art masters, hit up this jam-packed event with DJs Mursi Layne, Sebastian Pan Fried Afrika, SunSun, Stas Thee Boss, Sassy Black and MC Ryann Supamakenzi, plus more. 9pm. Lee’s Palace, 529 Bloor St W. $12 advance, $15 door.
Drip 2013: Dance with Us
This is exactly what the name – Drip 2013 – implies: just a sick night of dancing and gettin’ sweaty, with Le Youth, Shaydakiss, Diego Armand, and Kevin Ritchie. 7pm. Smith, 553 Church St. $10 door.
Get your Toronto Pride 2013 weekend started with Heaven Lee Hytes, Farra N Hyte, and Teran Black beginning at 9pm. DJ Shane Percy takes over at 11pm. Church on Church, 504 Church St. No cover.
Fly Pop and Out TV present a kickass party with DJ Sumation and performances by Shangela and Alyssa Edwards. 9pm. Fly, 8 Gloucester St.
Prism Festival presents Bootcamp
Move the party down the street to the Guvernment for sets by DJs Tom Stephan, Danny Verde, and Aron for Prism Festival presents Bootcamp. 10pm. Guvernment Nightclub, 132 Queens Quay E. $55.
ONE WORLD: Where The Wild Things Are
An outdoor party like none other, this shindig draws thousands of party peeps and it’s free! Cawthra Square Park, beside The 519. All proceeds from donations and bar sales go to The 519 Church Street Community Centre.
Saturday, June 29th
J’adore Pride Blow-Out
Already been to Woody’s? Go again! C’mon, it’s Woody’s and it’s Pride! Fortunately, it’s located right in the heart of the action on Church Street. DJs Blue Peter and Chris Steinbach will rock the dancefloor at J’adore Pride Blow-Out on Saturday, June 29th. Did we mention that it’s open late in the name of Pride? Full service until 4am. Woody’s, 467 Church St. No cover.
Yes Yes Y’all Pride Edition
Go big or go home at this ragin’ party with Shi Wisdom, Guest DJs A-Rock and Shaydakiss, YYY DJ CREW. 9pm. Annex Wreckroom, 794 Bathurst St.
Pride Games Day
GetOut plays host at the old Maple Leaf Gardens for a day of free yoga, softball and tons of other sports and rec kind of stuff. Noon–5pm. Mattamy Athletic Centre, 50 Carlton St. No cover.
Grindr on Tour
Go for the name of this party alone – featuring DJs Erez Ben Ishay and Shawn Riker. 9pm. Fly, 8 Gloucester St. $15 advance.
Yes, there are still some awesome parties with absolutely no cover. Check out DJ daVinci at Salvation Saturday. God would have wanted us to have some free parties to go to, right? 10pm. Church on Church, 504 Church St. No cover.
Cherry Bomb Pride: Summer Beach Sensation
There’s nothing like a beach party, and Cherry Bomb Pride: Beach Sensation is the biggest of bashes of Pride for the lesbian community. 10pm. Revival Bar, 783 College St. $15 advance (Glad Day Book Shop and Soundscapes), $20 door.
We’re all about this trash mob, featuring DJs Sigourney Beaver and Joeblow. 10pm. Henhouse, 1532 Dundas St W. No cover.
Crown Jewels, Alternative Pride
East siders don’t even have to leave their hood. DJ Aural will be playing the best of Brit music at WAYLA. We’re requesting “Boys Don’t Cry.” 10pm. WAYLA, 996 Queen St E. $5.
Sunday, June 30th
Business Woman’s Special: Pride Edition
We can’t imagine Pride without a Business Woman’s Special night, and this year’s event will be hosted by Big Brother Canada’s Gary Glitter. DJs Sammy and Nino Brown will spin killer hip hop and pop tracks. 10pm. Augusta House, 152 Augusta Ave. $10.
Drip 2013: The Shut Down
End the weekend with a bang at Drip 2013, along with Kaytranada, Members Only, Prince Innocence, Rory Them Finest, Marcus Marcus, Kikileaks, CBB, and LBC. 1pm. Smith, 553 Church St. $10 door.
Pride Sunday at Slack’s
Add Slack’s to your afternoon bar-hopping list. Features DJs Quinces, Cozmic Cat and Vivi Diamond, along with Sarah Smith. 3-6pm. Slack’s, 562 Church St. No cover.
Go Hard: Swagg 2 Da Roof: Shut Em Down 4 (Pride Edition)
Yes, there will still be somewhere to go at 4:59am. 10pm-5am. Club120, 120 Church St.
Looking to end the weekend with a giant bash? DJs David Morales, Tony Moran and Shawn Riker spin at Guvernment, along with a live performance by Suzanne Palmer. 10pm-8am. Guvernment Complex, 132 Queens Quay E.
Prism Festival presents Revival
Stay at Biglove for Revival with more from DJ David Morales, Tony Moran, Honey Dijon, Shawn Riker, and Dave and Gerardo for Prism Festival presents Revival. 10pm. Guvernment Nightclub, 132 Queens Quay E. $85.
Kiss Of Life
Kickin’ it on Dundas West? Stop by Henhouse for their last day of Pride antics. 10pm. Henhouse, 1532 Dundas St W. No cover.
Here’s a quick rundown of the bars/restos/clubs that cater to Pride festivities, or are just near the main attractions and are an easy place to grab a bite or just try out a new dance move…
Restaurant/Grilled Cheese Mecca – Located at 56 Bathurst Street
Restaurant/Occasional Dance Parties – Located at 553 Church Street
Bar – Located at 465-467 Church Street
Vibrant 50s-style Diner – Located at 5 Roncesvalles Avenue
Restaurant/Dance Bar at night – Located at 499 Church Street
The Vic Public House
Restaurant/Bar – Located at 580 Church Street
Cocktail Lounge – Located at 506 Church Street
Crews and Tangos
Nighclub/Drag Queen Shows – Located at 508 Church Street
Bar/Dance Club – Located at 996 Queen Street East
The Flying Beaver Pubaret
Bar/Pub/Live Shows – Located at 488 Parliament Street
Nightclub – Located at 8 Gloucester Street
The Blake House
Restaurant/Patio – Located at 449 Jarvis Street
Restaurant/Brunch – Located at 634 Church Street
Restaurant/Patio – Located at 582 Church Street
Hair of the Dog
Pub – Located at 425 Church Street
Restaurant – Located at 3 Charles Street East
Restaurant – 519 Church Street
Craft Beer Bar – 587 Yonge Street
Osteria dei Ganzi
Italian Restaurant/Patio – Located at 504 Jarvis Street