Pride © Pexels/Monstera
Toronto is home to one of the largest pride celebrations across the globe. With more than 2.4 million attendees in 2022, Pride Toronto came out of the pandemic with a fierce and thunderous roar! With one of the most diverse populations in the world, Pride Toronto is a massive celebration of diversity, inclusion, and all things queer. If you’re looking to elevate your pride game, Pride Toronto is an absolute must!
Pride has been a long time in the making, from a small gathering of dedicated activists fighting for their right to love and be seen to the vibrant celebration we know and love today. Since 1970, the pride movement has supported 2SLGBTQI+ communities in pursuing the unequivocal right to be heard, understood, accepted, and respected.
From the first picnic organized by Toronto’s first queer activist organizations that became the “Gay Day Picnic” to the first Toronto Pride Week march in 1974 and the addition of the Trans March in 2009, Pride Toronto celebrates the communities that have continued to gather and celebrate the beauty and confidence that comes from being your most authentic self.
Pride Toronto was founded on the fundamental truth that love prevails, and we are all deserving of it. It continues a legacy that is deeply intertwined with the rich, progressive history of Toronto’s queer community. The festival celebrates love and diversity, but there is always room to include important conversations about how we can help change our world for the better and improve acceptance and accessibility across our communities.
“While we celebrate how far we have come as a community, Pride Month is also a critical time to lift up and advocate for many vulnerable groups within the 2SLGBTQI+ community who continue to be marginalized and left behind,” shared Board Co-Chairs Grant Gonzales andYuri Hernandez.
Toronto starts to celebrate all things queer with the coming of June, also known as Pride Month. Throughout the month, there are various events and festivities celebrating queer culture and the 2SLGBTQI+ community. From art exhibits to film screenings, there’s something for everyone.
The Pride festivities culminate on Festival Weekend—June 23-25—when the city’s world-renowned Pride Parade takes over Yonge Street, the longest street in the world. The parade starts at Church and Bloor Streets, and it winds its way down to City Hall – Nathan Phillips Square. The parade includes a wide variety of floats, marchers, and performers, all celebrating the diversity of the 2SLGBTQI+ community. The parade is a fantastic way to show community support and celebrate with friends and family.
But the parade is just the beginning. The weekend is known for being the best celebration in the country, and hotels and flights to the city book up well in advance. Make sure you book early to get in on the best deals and experiences Pride Toronto has to offer.
With everyone wanting to get in on the celebration, Pride Toronto provides opportunities to experience some of the best DJs and performers in the world. And if drag is your thing, Pride Toronto has a vibrant Drag Ball planned as well! Toronto also offers some of the country’s best cultural and culinary experiences, film screenings, art exhibits, and more. The festival is a fantastic way to learn more about the 2SLGBTQI+ community and celebrate its diversity.
Toronto is an extremely accessible destination for those traveling from New York. A flight to Toronto is just over an hour and a half, and you can land directly in the city center by flying into the island airport. Come for the parade and stay for the whimsical and exciting performances, thought-provoking conversations, and immersive experiences.
Pride Toronto is also a time for reflection and remembrance. The Trans March, held annually during Pride Week, is a poignant reminder of the violence and discrimination that trans individuals continue to face. The march is an opportunity to honor the lives lost to transphobia and to advocate for the rights and safety of trans individuals around the world.
In addition to the Trans March, Pride Toronto also hosts events like the Dyke March, a celebration of queer women, trans and non-binary people, and their allies, and the Family Pride program, which offers activities and programming for families with young children. These events create a sense of community and belonging for individuals who may have been marginalized or excluded in the past.
This year’s theme for Pride Toronto, “Here, There, Everywhere,” is equal parts protest as it is party.
Focused on the present moment, the theme celebrates that we are Here to proclaim and celebrate our existence. We are here against all odds and continue to endure. We are here to stay. We take action by being There for each other. We relentlessly advocate for our community and champion safe spaces in times of need and joy. We come together as one universe as we revel in and learn from our differences. We are together because we are Everywhere.
Pride Toronto 2023 is shaping up to be an unforgettable celebration of love, diversity, and inclusion. With a wide variety of events and programming, there is something for everyone at this year’s festival. Whether you are a member of the 2SLGBTQI+ community or an ally, Pride Toronto is an opportunity to show your support and celebrate the progress that has been made in the fight for queer rights. So mark your calendars, book your flights, and get ready for an unforgettable Pride celebration in one of the most vibrant and diverse cities in the world!
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