Urban Planner is Torontoist‘s guide to what’s on in Toronto, published every weekday morning, and in a weekend edition Friday afternoons. If you have an event you’d like considered, email all of its details—as well as images, if you’ve got any—to [email protected].
In this Weekend Planner: a food truck festival, the Corso Italia Street Festival, the Dyke March, new music by the Young Empires, the Homo Night in Canada comedy show, the MOTOWN Dance Party, an insider’s guide to the Toronto Islands, the Pride Parade celebrations, and your chance to find Waldo.
FOOD: Those looking for a variety of cheap eats will be happy that the very first food truck festival in Toronto will take place today! Organized by food writer Suresh Doss, this food truck meetup will consist of six food trucks and seven local chefs who will whip up nourishment for $5 or less in the Distillery District’s south parking lot near Balzac’s Coffee. Food truck participants include El Gastronomo Vagabundo, the Cupcake Diner, Gorilla Cheese, Bonfire Catering, the Steamwhistle Brewery, and Baker Street Bakery. Local restauarants will also be represented, including: Cava, Marben, Tiffinday, Buster Rhino’s Southern BBQ, and even the Black Hoof. This will include food fare ranging from classic outdoor food like churros and tacos to gourmet morsels. Distillery District (55 Mill Street), Saturday 11 a.m.–3 p.m., FREE.
STREET FESTIVAL: It seems like there’s a cultural street festival every weekend in the city (one of Toronto’s best attributes!) and this week , there is the 14th Annual Corso Italia Festival along St. Clair Avenue West, with more than 30 musical performances on street corners, patios, balconies, and on various stages dotted along the street. (St. Clair Avenue West, between Westmount Avenue and Lansdowne Avenue), Saturday 1 p.m.–11 p.m., Sunday 1p.m. – 8 p.m., FREE.
PRIDE: Organized by the Dyke March Committee, the Annual Dyke March is an inclusive gathering of LBGTTIQQ2SA communities for a march through the city. It is meant to be a political demonstration of critical mass to develop community, rights, and visibility amongst women and trans folk (rather than a parade). Celebrating their strength, diversity, and passion, this more serious march leads to up to the Pride Parade on Sunday. It starts at Church Street and Hayden Street, Saturday 2 p.m., FREE.
MUSIC: The blogosphere’s indie darlings Young Empires will showcase their high-energy electro sound as part of the On the Pulse Festival. They were named one of the indie bands to watch in 2010 by numerous media outlets, and this is a chance to hear them for yourself. Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West), Saturday 3:30 p.m.–4 p.m., FREE.
COMEDY: As part of their Toronto Pride Week tradition, the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre will host their annual Homo Night in Canada, featuring some of the best queer comics including Kristen Becker, Marco Bernardi, and Paul Hutcheson amongst others for a night of “high-shticking.” Partial proceeds go towards the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander Street), Saturday doors 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m., $25.
DANCE: Sure, it’s a themed dance party, but it’s also a MOTOWN Party, where they play classic old tunes from the likes of Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross & the Supremes, the Jackson 5, and Marvin Gaye. Consider this your chance to wear your Diana Ross wig without getting strange stares on the street. 751 (751 Queen Street West), Saturday doors around 9 p.m., $5 before midnight.
CHARITY: Cyclists taking part in a nine-day tour from Niagara to the Quebec border as part of the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure will be making a pit stop in Toronto, where the Toronto Island Grannies in Spirit, in collaboration with the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, will give them a little “insider’s guided tour” of the Toronto Islands. However, anyone can take part of the tour, where the Grannies will share their local knowledge of the history, geography, and nature of the islands. The night ends will a fabulous cooked buffet dinner looking across the lake towards the skyline of the city. All proceeds go to the Stephen Lewis Foundation and participants can also arrange to see the Island Lighthouse and St. Andrew by the Lake Church, which are not normally open to the public. Toronto Islands, Sunday 2 p.m.–8 p.m., tickets are $40.
PRIDE PARADE: The biggest parade of the year and largest festival of its kind in North America, the annual Pride Parade is an enormous celebration of both the diversity and common threads among us. This year’s theme is “Dream Big,” encouraging thinking outside the box, having an open mind, creating a more inclusive society, and living in technicolour (if just for the day). Starts at Bloor Street East and Church Street, Sunday 3 p.m., FREE.
KIDS: The On the Pulse Festival and HarbourKIDS are hosting a Real Life Where’s Waldo? Game. This is a real treat for anyone who loves the books but manages to resist wearing Buddy Holly glasses and a red and white–striped shirts all the time, as fake Waldos will be placed around the Harbourfront Centre with clues to the hidden location of the real Waldo. While this is primarily for kids, it’ll be fun for the young-at-heart to see the scattered Waldo-related clues. Redpath Stage, Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West), Sunday 3 p.m.–5 p.m., FREE.