Toronto Pride 2012
Pride Toronto 2012 is upon us. While one of the most popular weeks of the year in Toronto officially started last Friday, things really start to heat up this weekend with the Dyke March, Pride Parade, plus a ton of diverse and exciting events. Yes, our good ol' Mayor Ford will be missing out on the festivities for a second year in a row but that doesn't mean the rest of us have to.
Between now and July 1st, what's in store is a series of parties, street festivals, performances and other parades happening around the city. In addition to the events listed below, don't forget to check out the Pride Toronto website.
QUICK TIPS FOR PRIDE 2012
- Deck yourself out in rainbow inspired Pride wear. We're talkin' feathers, bling, masks and face paint.
- You're going to need binoculars if you don't arrive early, so stand your ground to get a solid view of the parade.
- Wear sunscreen; no one likes a Lobster Larry.
- Be sure to quench your thirst to stay hydrated. Heat stroke is the enemy. Here's a list of bars and restaurants in the Church Wellesley Village. On the go? Download our iPhone app.
- Things tend to get a bit heated during Pride. Have no shame in protecting yourself from the funk. Rock those Trojans!
PRIDE 2012 EVENTS
The Ultimate Pride Patio Party
Sip your sassy drinks on Boutique Bar's ultra-chic patio as they celebrate The Ultimate Pride Patio Party all weekend long. Things are sure to heat up at this 3 day patio-bender with DJ's spinning top 40 and house for your listening pleasure.
Boutique Bar (506 Church Street) June 29th through July 1st, 8 p.m. Cover is free on Friday, $5 all weekend.
Church Street Fair
It's time to get proud, Pride. Yet again, the Church Street strip will be shutting down for a rainbow of shenanigans all weekend long. There will be street vendors, make-shift marketplaces, performance stages, food stations, and lots of eye-candy. This massive block party will be one for the books - but be forewarned, maneuvering around the swarming crowds is no easy task.
The Village (North of Carlton, South of Bloor), June 29th through July 1st, starts at 1 p.m.
Don't get your panties in a twist, Pride isn't all about the wang. The Dyke March is where women and trans triumphantly take to the city streets. In celebration of diversity, passion and pride, this is an opportunity to take a stand for who you are. Cheers to that!
The Village (corner of Church Street and Hayden Street), June 30th. Rally is at 1 p.m., and the march begins at 2 p.m. Free.
CHERRY BOMB PRIDE 2012
Cherry Bomb is back again, except this time they're celebrating Pride with style. Cherry Bomb Pride 2012 will be taking over the Revival for a long evening of dancing, and urban grind jams. With 6 DJ's and 2 party spaces, prepare to groove, sweat and celebrate.
Revival (783 College Street), June 30, 8 p.m., tickets are $15 at the door. For info on where to purchase advance tickets, clicky clicky.
Yes Yes Y'All
Yes Yes Y'All is a queer hip hop, dancehall, and R&B event that happens the 3rd Friday of every month. This edition of Yes Yes Y'all will happen down at the Annex Wreck Room on Saturday night, featuring Jr. Flo, A-Game, Tasha the Amazon and the always amazing YYY Crew.
The Annex Wreckroom (794 Bathurst St.), June 30th, 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., advance tickets are $12, and $15 at the door. Score your tickets here.
Pride Parade 2012
As one of Toronto's biggest traditions, the Pride parade begins at Church and Bloor, and gallivants west to Yonge, south to Gerrard and east to Church street. Feel free to deck yourself out in assless chaps, neon-colored thongs, and even nudity is appropriate for this celebration of queer culture.
The Village (Bloor and Church). July 1st. 2 p.m. Free.
Each year during the Pride festival, many artists grace the performance stages located throughout Church and Wellesley Village. Divided into seven stages, some acts to look forward to this year lineup include Biff Naked, Corey Hart and Keshia Chante.
Queer West Pride Closing Party
The Pride 2012 Queer West closing party will be held at El Mocambo. With a music-filled night that'll throw out a range of musical styles from house, to hip-hop, to electro music, why not dance the night away during this year's Pride festivities. Go big or go home, right?
El Mocambo (464 Spadina Avenue), July 1st. 10 p.m. $10 entry.
Butch Femme Salon
Dress up as your favorite sea creatures, and come out for this semi-aquatic themed dance party. This PWYC event held at The Rivoli, is sure to gather together mermaids, mermen, manatees (manatease, anyone?), and all manner of whimsical sea creatures.
Rivoli (334 Queen St. West), July 1st, 10 p.m., PWYC. $10 recommended.
A Club Called Rhonda
LA's original Queen Bitch Rhonda steps into the Toronto Pride scene on June 30th. Known for celebrating freedom in queer culture, Rhonda knows how to throw authentic dance parties while sparing no expenses for the sets and production value of the shows. Pure debauchery is expected. Assisting Rhonda is Toronto's very own DJ, Members Only.
The Drake Hotel (1150 Queen Street West) June 30th, 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
OTHER PRIDE 2012 HAPPENINGS
- Hard Candy Pride Edition
- TNT!MEN Naked Dance
- Bitch Salad... Gives Back!
- Truck Stop
- Beef Ball 2012
- Clam Slam 2012
- Wink - Beach in the City!
- Self Loathing Canada Day Pride Party
- Party City!
- Pride Spectacular Drag Show
Writing by Katlyn Jennings and Austin Miao. First two photos by Jennifer Tse, and final photo by Mauricio Calero