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Thursday, June 30, 2016

A guide to the Toronto Pride Parade 2016

Pride Parade TorontoThe Toronto Pride Parade route takes over the area around the Village and Yonge Street this weekend with a number of street closures and affiliated TTC diversions.

If you need help partying in between parades, here's a guide for you. And if you don't really feel like partying but want to take in other kids of Pride events, there's a guide for that too. If you want to avoid the joyful madness of the Village altogether, here's a hand list of queer friendly bars in other neighbourhoods who all have Pride-related things going on as well.

This year's Pride theme is You Can Sit With Us! But there won't be much sitting this weekend. Justin Trudeau will be the first-ever sitting prime minister to march in a Pride parade, and Black Lives Matter are the honoured group. It will be one for the ages.

Here's a roundup of key information about this weekend's Pride celebrations.

Trans March, Friday July 1, 7 p.m.
One of the largest trans community events in Canada, the Trans March begins at Church and Hayden Streets at 7 p.m and makes its way along Bloor Street starting at 8 p.m , south on Yonge and east on Carlton to Allan Gardens. This means Bloor East of Yonge, Yonge Street, and Carlton Street to Allan Gardens will be closed for the duration of this march. Here's a map of the parade route.

Dyke March, Saturday July 2, 2 p.m.
Led by the Black Lives Matter Toronto Coalition, the Dyke March hollers its way down from Church and Yonge Street, down to Carlton Street, and into Allan Gardens, where things conclude around queer local artists, performers, poets, and activists. You already know Church Street is closed all weekend, but Yonge and Carlton will be closed for the duration of the parade. Here is a map of the parade route.

Pride Parade, Sunday July 3, 2 p.m.
This massive parade has been going on for 35 years now, and this might be the most stunning year yet. Check out the eyebrow raising list of participants on the official site and then look out for Justin Trudeau, our mayor, the Prancing Elites, trans activist Aydian Downling, Vivek Shraya, and Black Lives Matter.

There are over 204 participants in this parade, which starts at Yonge and Bloor and ends at Yonge-Dundas Square. In the last few years the parade has run around three hours, so bring lots of water, sunscreen and maybe throat lozenges for all that screaming you'll be doing.

A large piece of Bloor Street, east of Bay will be closed as floats and marchers prepare to prance down Yonge to Dundas. The entire Yonge Dundas zone will also be closed until well into the evening. Here's map of the parade route.

Photo of previous Pride Parade by Mauricio Calero.

by Phil Villeneuve via blogTO

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