A handy guide to getting the most out of Pride without breaking your budget.
To kick off this year’s annual Pride fest, we took a look at some of the best (and cheapest) events going on in the city.
TUESDAY, JUNE 23
Sapphic Aquatica. Oasis Aqua Lounge, 231 Mutual Street @ 8 p.m.
Price: $20 at the door
Note: Cis women and transfolk only
Sapphic Aquatica features music by DJ Cozmic Cat, live performances by drag king Maddox and burlesque dancer Bella Canto, and a fisting workshop courtesy of pro Domme The Alchemical Seductress. The $20 entry fee gives you unlimited access to Oasis’s outdoor heated pool, spa treatment, and playrooms. Condoms, gloves, and lube are provided for all, free of charge.
Martini & Mingle – Pride Edition. Boutique Bar, 506 Church Street @ 8 p.m.
Single and ready to mingle? Boutique Bar presents the hottest singles night event for LGBTQ folk. Who knows? You might just meet that perfect someone in time for Pride Week. Or your favourite location-specific hookup app might explode. Either works.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24
Cabana Pool Party. Cabana Pool Bar, 11 Polson Street @ 6 p.m.
Suggested donation: $10
Get hot, cool down, and get down at Cabana Pool Bar’s Pride pool party on June 24. Take advantage of private cabanas and the swimming facilities while you eat and get wasted to tracks by Vancouver’s hottest mixer, DJ Delicious.
The Cipher Cabaret. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander Street @ 8 p.m.
Indigenous violinist Melody Rivers and #blacklivesmatter co-founder Patrisse Cullors are two of many performers at this year’s Cipher Cabaret at Buddies. The eclectic mix of performers will examine the queer, transgender, and two-spirited experience through their personal and unique lens, and provide insight into the lives of those often persecuted and ignored by mainstream society.
“Dad. I’m Gay.” Lessons for Fathers & Sons With TV Anchor Kevin Newman & Alex Newman. 519 Church Street Community Centre @ 7 p.m.
This session features the memoir of Emmy and Gemini-award-winning anchorman Kevin Newman and his son, Alex. Their relationship will resonate with every parent and child who’ve struggled to connect, gay or straight.
THURSDAY, JUNE 25
#THEGAYSWEATER. BMO at Church and Alexander @ 9 a.m.
Come out and try on the world’s only “gay” object, made entirely of the hairs of hundreds of LGBTQ folk. Although very itchy, who doesn’t want to boast wearing a human sweater?
Hosted by Toronto Roller Derby and GTA Rollergirls, the seventh annual Uhaul BRAWL brings together queer athletes from across Canada and parts of the United States to battle it out in this all-queer roller derby event.
FRIDAY, JUNE 26
One World. 519 Church Street Community Centre @ 5 p.m.
This year’s edition of One World: Where the Wild Things Are will feature a special set by Kings of Tomorrow DJ Dandy Rivera and Rosabel’s DJ Ralphi Rosario for Pride partygoers who enjoy bumping it outdoors.
Join DJ Vanessa and Pammm at the Garrison for some classic dance floor favourites.
SATURDAY, JUNE 27
Drag On! Yonge-Dundas Square @ 2 p.m.
What better way to celebrate Pride’s 35th anniversary than having 35 drag performers take the stage at Dundas Square for this year’s marquee event. Hosted by Australia’s DJ Kitty Glitter and headlined by 2014’s RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Bianca Del Rio, Drag On! will feature Fluffy Souffle, Faye Slift, Teran Blake, Devine Darlin, Ivory Towers, and many, many more.
Dyke March 2015. Church/Hayden through downtown Toronto @ 2 – 3 p.m.
Watch the LGBTIQQ2SA* community take over the streets of Toronto in the annual Dyke March event. This year’s political demonstration focuses on missing and murdered women of Canada’s Aboriginal communities, and hopes to shed light on the lives of those whose ended so quickly. Join the post-march activities at Allan Gardens for the Raging Asian Women drumming group, speakers, yoga, and water play.
Cherry Bomb: Pump Up the Pride – The Official Dyke Day After Party. The Mod Club, 722 College Street @ 10 p.m. – 3 a.m.
Price: $15 in advance. $20 at the door.
With Cozmic Cat and Denise Benson in the main room and Fawn Big Canoe and DJ Nix on top, the official Dyke March After Party will be a blast you don’t want to miss. Enjoy live performers, live visuals, custom decor, and music by the four DJs while you sweat and dance amongst Toronto’s hottest queer women.
SUNDAY, JUNE 28
Dirty Disco. Bud Light South Stage, 411 Church Street @ 2 – 11 p.m.
Miss Rachel and MC Flipside host this high-energy, outdoor, all-day, all-ages event. Enjoy music by JELO, Deko-ze, Robb G, Ticky Ty, Jerome Robins, and Chiclet at the Bud Light South Stage starting at 2 p.m.
The Final Play. Yonge-Dundas Square @ 2 – 11 p.m.
Highlights include Sofonda Cox, Pussy Riot, and Toronto’s very own Lights, who close this year’s Pride festivities.
Pride @ Crews & Tangos. Crews & Tangos, 508 Church Street @ 9 p.m.
Price: Not stated but usually $10
End your night at Crews and Tangos. Home to many of Toronto’s greatest drag performers, enjoy beer, two dance rooms, and live entertainment on the cheap.