The top free events in Toronto this week are all about Pride, but you already know that the big parade goes down on July 3. Leading up to the big day are a number of other important events to hit up. There's also a couple of waterfront festivals to check out if you're celebrating Canada Day weekend in the city. Be prepared for happy crowds, lots of glitter and big bangs.
Here's a roundup of free events in Toronto this week.
Pride Toronto human rights panel: Blackness and queer politics (June 29)
The final panel discussion in the Pride Month series, this one will be one of the most relevant and lively I'm sure. All the talks have been packed, but thanks to the fact that we have Black Lives Matter leading the Pride Parade this year, I wouldn't miss this important talk.
Green Space Festival: Starry Night (June 30)
This evening under the stars and trees of Barbara Hall Park is kind of the unofficial mega-Pride weekend kickoff. Rupaul Drag Race favourite Kim Chi will be performing along with so many other amazing local queens, everyone will be there in their Thursday finest, and all the drink money goes right back to the 519!
Canadian Olympic Team Beach Party (July 1)
There's so much free stuff happening on Canada Day, but don't worry we'll have a fireworks guide for you later this week. Until then, head to Woodbine beach and watch a truck load of our Olympic volleyball players spike, set and smash all over the beach before they head to Rio. Sloan also performs amongst all the flying balls. Programming starts around 4 p.m.
Redpath Waterfront Festival (July 1)
Pride isn't actually the only thing happening in the city this weekend, especially for free. This lively waterside festival will keep you cool with tall ship tours, most notably an authentic Viking Ship. There's also an open air food and craft market, sporty dog show, and fireworks nearby when the sun sets.
Beaches International Jazz Fest (July 2)
This music and culture festival gets bigger every year. Running until July 24, this weekend is the Salsa Street Festival portion of the festivities in Woodbine Park. Local and international Latin-flavoured bands take over the grassy space, and there's a beer tent to keep you refreshed.
Have a free event you'd like to plug? Submit it to our Toronto events calendar using this form.
Photo via the Waterfront Festival's Facebook page.
by Phil Villeneuve via blogTO