June is Pride month, a time for queer people to celebrate their histories and remember their struggles. In Toronto, one of the world’s largest Pride events takes place every summer, and it is one that everyone should try to attend at least once in their lives. Full of acceptance and celebration, the Pride festival’s events have something for everyone to enjoy. In this article, I want to focus on some of Pride’s best places to party, and in later entries, I’ll focus on where to go to listen to inspirational speakers, get more of an international scene, and where to go to celebrate Indigenous queer culture.
Where to Party on Pride
Pride parties in Toronto are known for their energetic nature, and you are bound to have a fun time. Be mindful of how much alcohol you consume, and keep all the things your parents taught you in mind before you go.
On June 14th, the Cabana Pool Bar is hosting the Cabana Pool Party. Full of big names, you’ll be dancing to some great music surrounded by some really happy people and a gorgeous waterfront skyline til 11 pm. Tynomi Banks, a Toronto celebrity, will be performing during the evening, as will the world famous drag queen, BenDeLaCreme! You might remember Ben from Ru Paul’s Drag Race, and you might remember what a gem she is! DJ Ticky Ty will be spinning tracks all night from 6 til 11 at the bar, located on 11 Polson Street.
On June 17th, you can take a ferry to the Toronto Islands to get to ‘Til Sunrise, an event lasting all day on Artscape Gibraltar Point. DJs like Philippe, Honey Dijon, and Phil Villenueve will be playing music all day under the summer sun, so you can dance and enjoy drinks while celebrating Pride. Because you’ll be steps away from the water, make sure to dress appropriately, and try to bring your snazziest sunglasses because Pride isn’t Pride if it’s not colourful. The location of ‘Til Sunrise is Artscape Gibraltar Point, 443 Lakeshore Avenue, and the party goes from 1 til 9 in the evening on June 17th.
Party at Ripley’s Aquarium on the 22nd for something different. A Night at the AQUEERium runs from 9 til midnight, with DJ Lucie Tic and DJ Cozmic Cat playing songs all night; there are also going to be performances by drag queens, live music and other entertainment, and delicious food and drink to be enjoyed inside the aquarium. It goes without saying that you’ll be able to look at Ripley’s fishes, sharks, turtles, and attractive mermaids while you’re there. The aquarium is located on 288 Bremner Boulevard, very close to Union Station.
Back at the Village, you can drop by Mega T-Dance for some outdoor dancing fun. Danny Verde, all the way from Miami, and the Italian DJ Phil Romano will be playing some hot tracks all day; and since you’ll be in the Village (Toronto’s queer hub), you can expect the atmosphere to be amazing. You can find this party on 15 Wellesley Street East, and expect the party to run from 2 to 8 in the evening.