It’s that wonderful time of the year again where the city comes alive again with all things Pride. We put together a list of our favourite local spots to hang out that are here and queer! Plus get some juicy tips on the west end’s best Pride events.
Stroll your way from galleries to shops to parties knowing you’re supporting local artists in the LGBTTi2QQ community. Here are our top Pride picks within walking distance from the hotel!
Art Events & Galleries
Freedom Party at MOCA
Saturday June 1 | 1PM-7PM | 158 Sterling Rd.
Kick off your first day of Pride month with the Freedom Party at MOCA! In partnership with two amazing organizations, Rainbow Railroad and the Toronto Kiki Ballroom Alliance, the event will be filled with six runway categories and several ballroom houses, making it a night you definitely don’t want to miss! Tickets on sale here.
You can also check out the museum’s current exhibitions during their regular hours.
Image courtesy of Queer Events.
10×10 Photography Project & That’s So Gay Group Art Exhibition
Thursday June 20 | Opening Reception 7PM-10PM | Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St West
In its 9th year running, the 10×10 Photography Project has become a staple art event in Toronto Pride celebrations and is not a show to miss! This year the photographers are celebrating some of the LGBT faces who have worked in the public eye and behind the scenes, and have contributed highly to their communities, helping them thrive.
Presented alongside 10×10 is the group exhibition “That’s So Gay”, a group show celebrating new works by LGBTTI2QQ artists curated by Syrus Marcus Ware.
Both shows open on Thursday June 20th on the second floor of the hotel!
Friday Night Live @ The ROM: Colour ROM Proud
Friday June 14 |7PM-11:30PM | 100 Queens Park Ave
Show your true colours at the ROM’s famous Pride edition of their party night, Friday Night Live. “Colour ROM Proud” will be a night of queer art, music and dancing, delicious food vendors and a variety of performances scattered throughout the museum. Visit featured exhibitions and participate in the many photo ops on different floors!
Buy your tickets here — they tend to sell out fast!
Image courtesy ROM Website.
The Beaver — 1192 Queen St West
Just a walk down the road from the Gladstone (hey neighbour!) is The Beaver. The community behind this Queer St West staple ensures a safe space to hang out and something for everyone to enjoy. If you vibe with fun dance parties, quiz nights, local comedy, queens and drag shows or just a casual drink on the patio, The Beaver is a place to check out!
Vyle Thursdays are always a good time, every week at the Beaver from 10-12:30 — enjoy a one woman drag show filled with exciting dance, lip-sync performances and comedy!
Image courtesy Hector Vasquez, BlogTO.
The Theatre Centre — 1115 Queen St W
Down the road from the Gladstone you’ll find The Theatre Centre—a dynamic arts incubator and performance hub that programs engaging shows that are forward thinking and representative of the diverse communities that live in the city. The cafe/bar located in the theatre is a cozy and quiet co-working space to get some work done, read a book, hold a meeting or just relax and enjoy a cup of coffee, right on Queen West!
Sweaty Betty’s — 13 Ossington Ave
Walk to Queen and Ossington and you are met with a large pride flag in the window of the legendary dive bar Sweaty Betty’s. Currently Queer owned and operated by May Brand, Sweaty Betty’s has been a staple in the Toronto Bar scene for over 20 years, and treats itself as a safe space for those looking for a good time to relax and enjoy a drink (or two!). Visit during happy hour for great drink specials, take in the vintage decor or enjoy them on the back patio!
Image courtesy Hector Vasquez, BlogTO.
Lipstick & Dynamite — 992 Queen St W
Another Queen and Ozzy gem is Lipstick & Dynamite — A Queer run & owned bar with one of the best velvet painting collections in the city! Eclectic decor, a vegetarian and vegan food menu and local craft beer are all supported in this space, accompanied by a complimentary board game shelf and arcade games in the back for all to enjoy.
Image courtesy The Julie Kinnear Team.
The Fountain — 1261 Dundas St W
Although it’s not on Queen West, The Fountain is worth the short walk for a visit. A happy medley between art gallery and bar, The Fountain is a laid back space displaying local artists and their work. If you’re looking for chill vibes, cheap domestic beer and local art this may be your spot!
Image courtesy BlogTO.
Frances Watson — 1390 Queen St W
Queer owned and operated, Frances Watson is a unique clothing / lifestyle shop specializing in great denim, located just steps away from the hotel in Parkdale!
Image and details via BlogTO.
Craigs Cookies — 1537A Queen St W
The cookies are just as colourful as the storefront! Craig’s Cookies celebrates the yum factor in the chocolate chip cookie: Using the best ingredients, Craig uses a recipe taught by his Mom.
Other Pride Events in the West End
FLUID DOCUMENTARY SCREENING
Monday, June 10, 2019 | 6:30 – 11:00PM | 32 Lisgar Street
Focusing on the views of 6 local and practicing queer artists in Toronto, Fluid is a documentary that “explores how self-identifying queer artists self-fashion and engage in cultural production as a two-fold approach to queer worldmaking”. Factors affecting fashion choices and the impact of queer individuals and their identity are explored through Alysia Myette’s profound documentary.
Check it out at TMAC and stick around for a Q+A with the director and the cast after the screening!
Image courtesy of YOHOMO.
GH Marketplace: Queer Makers Market
Sunday June 9 |10AM-4PM
The Gladstone Hotel and Yohomo are teaming up to present a special Pride Edition of GH Marketplace. Yohomo will be curating this event, taking place in the ballroom, where you will be able to find all the crafty wares, fashion statements, art thingies and gorgeousness you ever needed!
In addition to the market, you will also be able to attend Drag Brunch at the Gladstone! and the exhibition-collaboration between ‘That’s So Gay!’ and ’10×10′, making it the GAYEST day the hotel has ever seen!
Big GAY Party: A Daytime Pride Party
June 23, 2019 | 1-8 PM | Shameful Tiki Room, 1378 Queen Street West
Celebrate Pride during the day with a Big GAY Party at the Shameful Tiki Room, a Queen West classic. No cover, queer bartenders with drink specials,DJs, dancing and performers all day, its sure to be a Big ol’ Gay time!
Image courtesy of YOHOMO.
Check out the Gladstone Pride Calendar for more exciting Pride events happening at the hotel!