Toronto, Canada’s largest city, is a forerunner when it comes to establishing a thriving LGBQT+ community. One of the biggest draws is the Church Wellesley Gay Village with its epic nightlife, inclusive community centre, and fabulous restaurants. Multiple gay districts include the edgier Queer West Village.
Gay Pride Toronto, one of the largest Prides in the world, has become a major Canadian arts and cultural event and a huge economic earner for the city’s coffers.
The first Pride Toronto parade took place in 1981, and has since grown to include a variety of events, including the Pride Toronto Streetfair.
Visitors will find several stages with live performers and DJs, a large Dyke March, a Trans March and the Pride Parade. The 2024 festival takes place in late June, with the parade on the final weekend of the festival.
“Canada Pride features some of the best Pride celebrations you will find anywhere and illustrates how inclusive and progressive Canada is as a nation,” says Charlotte Clifton of luxury holidays specialist OutOfOffice.com
Montréal, Québec’s largest city, is renowned for accepting and celebrating diversity woven into the fabric of everyday life. It has one of the largest gay villages in the world and the annual Fierté Montréal Pride Festival is one of the country’s most colourful.
It takes place over a 10-day period in August and most of the festivities happen in the Gay Village. The highlight is the annual parade, which winds through the city’s downtown core, featuring extravagant floats and colourful costumes. Don’t miss Community Day where you can experience LGBTQ+ culture, music, and food at the Parc des Faubourgs.
Montréal is also known for its popular drag scene: catch a show at Cabaret Mado or any of the city’s LGBTQ+ bars.
“Traveling to celebrate Pride is a unique way to experience a destination. Members from across the LGBTQ+ community can participate in parties and events that take place only during Pride,” says Rainbow Getaways’ Scott Wismont.
The city is home to two lively gay villages. Davie Village offers a variety of gay bars, clubs, restaurants and gay shops while Commercial Drive (The Drive) is home to Vancouver’s thriving lesbian community.
Vancouver Pride, at the end of July and beginning of August, is “an amazing celebration of inclusiveness and love”, says Clifton, who adds: “It truly feels like every person in the city is involved with the festivities. The streets come alive and there’s nowhere else like it!”
Notable events include the East Side Pride, a family friendly event in Grandview Park, near Commercial Drive, and The Picnic in the Park at Stanley Park. The next Pride Parade takes place on Sunday August 5 2024.
“It’s not just a celebration, it’s an immersion into a welcoming and progressive culture that embraces diversity with open arms. I felt like a part of something truly extraordinary,” says Renato Gagliardi of the International Gay and Lesbian Tourism Association (IGLTA).