Pride Week in Toronto

    April 17, 2012

    It’s 2012 and society has changed so much, taboos that once were have turned into approval, especially in regards to the LGBT community. Church and Wellesley is an LGBT-oriented community located in Toronto that is central to the annual Pride Week celebrations. Hundreds of thousands of people gather at the largest event of its kind in Canada for Pride Week.

    The ten-day event takes place yearly during the end of June; this year’s dates are Friday June 22nd to Sunday July 1st. The celebration of the diversity of the LGBT community in the Greater Toronto Area is happening again for the 32nd year!

    What you may not know about Pride Week:

    • It’s the third biggest Pride celebration in the world and the largest festival in Canada
    • It takes place over 22 city blocks on 7 stages with hundreds of artists, 3 parades and hundreds of events at venues throughout downtown Toronto
    • The 2011 festival saw approximately a million people celebrating and supporting the lives and stories of Toronto’s queer communities

    Here’s a little Pride history:

    • The first Pride march happened in July of 1972, and Toronto’s Pride Week developed out of the mass protests that followed the 1981 bathhouse raids.
    • In 1996 the first ever Dyke March is held, with a turnout on Saturday of 5,000.
    • In 2009 the first ever Trans March is held on Church Street.

    A theme is selected for each Pride Week that reflects the current context of the queer community and helps shape the festivities. Previous themes included “Fearless” (2006), “Unstoppable!” (2007), “Unified” (2008), and “Can’t Stop. Won’t Stop.” (2009).

    Pride Week is produced by Pride Toronto, a not-for-profit, community organization. It’s a FREE event supported and made possible by a large base of volunteers, corporate sponsorship, public grants and Pride Toronto’s fundraising initiatives. The festival features 10 days of arts and cultural programming, community activities, one of the world’s largest street festivals, the Pride Parade, Dyke March, Trans Pride March, Family programming and much more.

    Pride Toronto exists to celebrate the history, courage, diversity and future of Toronto’s LGBTTIQQ2SA* communities. * Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer/Questioning, 2 Spirited, Allies

    Family Pride is a retreat and a destination for families of all kinds. The Saturday and Sunday of Pride Week, Family Pride offers wide-ranging family-friendly activities and events. Pride Week is open for all to attend, and attracts roughly one million people throughout the entire week!

    Pride Week is definitely the place to go to feel liberated from constricting social “norms.” For furnished apartments in Toronto, or to make Toronto accommodations to join in Pride Week, call: 1-888-SVS-STAY (787-7829).