Quiet Country Setting, Great View of OK Lake.: We have two, one bedroom, fully furnished and equipped suites. Both are beautifully appointed and offer spectacular city and lake views. Private keyless entry. We are licensed only for two adults per suite.
Next week, brace yourself as World Pride heads to Toronto. The fourth iteration of the international LGBT celebration, and the first ever held in North America, World Pride will take everything that already makes Toronto great and dials it up to 11.
Toronto’s local pride has attracted over a million people in years past, and organizers expect that record to shatter at this year’s World Pride. There are over ten days of parties, concerts, art exhibitions and marches to give LGBT folk all over the world a chance to come together and celebrate under one flag.
Toronto is situated in many US readers’ minds as the filming location of Showtime’s “Queer as Folk.” It’s longtime gayborhood and World Pride epicenter, Church-Wellesley Village, has all the charm and attractions of that show’s Liberty Avenue without the threat of Steelers Fans. Watering holes like Woody’s and Crews and Tangos offer a cross-section of Toronto’s gay population and a little something for everyone.
The annual Gay Pride celebration in Toronto has long been one of the biggest, boldest and best-attended around, but for 2014, get ready for the city’s greatest festival yet. The annual WorldPride, which moves to a different city each year, will take place concurrently with Toronto Pride. Later this month (June 20-29), WorldPride will dominate the city’s famed Church Street Gay Village. Adding to the buzz is the fact that this year marks the first time that WorldPride takes place in a North American city.
The 10-day event will include concerts by a slew of A-listers, including Tegan and Sara, Chely Wright, Melissa Etheridge, Deborah Cox, Martha Wash and superstar DJs David Morales and Quentin Harris (expect the lineup to continue evolving between now and the big week). Official events are many, beginning with an opening ceremony on June 20, and culminating during the big weekend (June 27-29) with a Trans March, Dyke March, WorldPride Parade, Family Pride, Streetfair and Arts and Cultural Festival, and Closing Ceremony. Check the WorldPride website for further updates and details, and also on news about additional parties, gatherings and performances taking place during the big week.
If you’re in Toronto for WorldPride, you’ll surely experience the city’s lively, naughty-and-nice Church Street Gay Village. It’s one of the largest and most centrally located LGBT business and entertainment districts on the globe, with dozens of bars, restaurants, shops and other establishments catering enthusiastically to the community.
The familiar white stripe crosswalks in the heart of the Village neighborhood of Toronto are now sporting a rainbow design to welcome guests from around the world to Canada this moth for WorldPride 2014 Toronto.
WorldPride 2014 Toronto is an international celebration being held from June 20-29 that incorporates activism, education, and the history and culture of global gay, lesbian and other important issues of diversity. The event is presented by Pride Toronto, producer of Canada’s largest annual festival of gay, lesbian and diversity culture and human rights, under license from InterPride. Pride Toronto is the not-for-profit organization that hosts the city’s Pride Festival, an annual event in downtown Toronto during the last week of June and one of the premier arts and cultural festivals in Canada. It is also one of the largest Pride celebrations around the world with an estimated attendance of over one million people.
According to Kevin Beaulieu, executive director of Pride Toronto, WorldPride, founded by Paul Stenson, continues to be held on a five-year cycle following this month’s celebration, which also marks the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.
Historic Home on Niagara Parkway: Niagara Grandview Manor is a distinctly prominent property that overlooks the Niagara River and Gorge and has been welcoming guests since 1961. Our historic Inn, built originally in 1891, sits majestically atop a hill and is just 5 – 10 minutes walking distance to the Falls, major attractions, casinos, WEGO transportation stops and Queen Victoria Park.
When visitors from around the world meet in Toronto for World Pride Week later this month, Port Hope tourism co-ordinator Andrea Patterson hopes many of them will make the side trip to discover Port Hope.
The municipality will be featured in Discover Gay Ontario, a travel guide highlighting exceptional gay-friendly experiences and travel packages across Ontario that will be available at the June 20-29 event.
Patterson saw the potential last fall, when she was attending an Ontario Tourism summit where the keynote speaker was one of the World Pride organizers. “I knew this was going to bring thousands of visitors from all over the world to Toronto — which, of course, is on our doorstep — and I wanted to be able to tap into that market,” she recalled. “At the end of the session, I asked how we could entice these visitors to come to Port Hope.”
One-Bedroom Guesthouse in a Pine Forest: The Burrowing Owl Bungalow is a quiet, fully furnished, one-bedroom retreat nestled on nine acres and in a pine forest on a hilltop with valley and mountain views in the wine region of the Okanagan Valley.
The Edmonton Pride Festival Society will showcase the unity and diversity of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, trans-identified and queer (LGBTQ) community and its allies. The Society has been given responsibility by its members, representatives from community groups and businesses for strategic planning, organizing, coordinating resources and the execution of a Pride Festival for the capital region.
Edmonton’s first Pride celebration took place in 1980, and has grown from a small celebration of 75 people who enjoyed a baseball game followed by a campfire. Events added in the past 29 years have included rallies and fairs, poetry readings, art shows, picnics, croquet tournaments, baseball games, a film festival, the parade and Celebration on the Square.
Since 1991, Inside Out has brought LGBT film to Canada with the Toronto Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival. They grew out of a “small community” who wanted to see films created by LGBT people, and the festival has continued with this mission.
Today, it’s the biggest festival of its kind in Canada, and among the top five LGBT film festivals worldwide. Annually, the festival draws about 35,000 people and over 200 films from around the world are screened. Events include talks, panels, installations, and parties. The events take place from May 22-June 1.
Chrystal Dean, Toronto’s World Pride manager, says Toronto is pumped. “We’ve got everything in place,” she said at her Pride Toronto office in Toronto in late March. “Each day scores of folks call to volunteer or ask to form partnerships. There’ll be representatives visiting from over 60 countries. We’re hosting the first ever human rights conference. Melissa Etheridge is headlining a free concert.”
Acrimony, coupled with financial and political chicanery, derailed previous World Pride festivities in Rome, Jerusalem and London. That won’t happen in Toronto, Dean said. And Toronto’s beleaguered Mayor Rob Ford – who refuses to resign even after admitting to smoking crack cocaine – may continue to snub Pride events as he has each year, but he has not prevented Pride Toronto from obtaining all necessary city permits.