Here, queer and ready to party: Toronto Pride 2016 events

Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to show up and support LGBTQI rights and culture. Be it dance parties, gut-busting stand-up comedy or political theatre extravaganzas, Toronto has a plethora of happening events to celebrate our Pride. So grab your glitter and make sure you drop by these happening events going on in the final week of Toronto’s 2016 Pride festival. [Photo courtesy of Pride Toronto]

Buddies In Bad Times Theatre

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12 Alexander St, Toronto, ON M4Y 1B4

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre is a queer, not-for-profit community hub that’s been opening their doors to the LGBTQI community since 1978. The theatre will host several hot-ticket shows during Pride: On June 25, check out “Too Queer: A Bi Visibility Cabaret,” a show of visual art, music, poetry and dance dedicated to the bisexual and/or pansexual experience and identity. On June 30, catch the Butch Femme Salon: Pride Edition. Dress in your most fabulous attire and watch some of Toronto’s most talented queer performers. Hot tip: pop by early for some snaps in the on-site photo booth.

The Grand Trunk

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1718 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6R 1B3

Bound to be a blast, Queen’s End Pride at The Grand Trunk is a free dance party that will no doubt be packed with happy queers from across Toronto (and the world). DJ Zack Rosen will be spinning dance tunes from the 60s to today, keeping you boogie-in’ all night long. The fun is on, June 25.

Ryerson University

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Paging all Trekkies! For those looking for a Pride experience that is out of this world, check out Ryerson’s “Pride Toronto: An Evening with George Takei.” Takei, who played Sulu in the original Star Trek series, will be giving a lecture at the Ryerson Theatre on topics such as social justice and pop culture, expressed always with his characteristic humour and wit. Beam me up, baby!

Beaver Cafe

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1192 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1J6

The Beaver is a Queen West haven for all things gay and great. On June 27, swing by to peep The House of Filth’s Annual Family Showcase – it’s described as an “extravaganza of hedonistic revelry and irreverent pop culture molestation.” Not for the faint of heart, catch drag acts and NSFW performance pieces by some of Toronto’s most dramatic queens.

Tarragon Theatre

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30 Bridgman Ave, Toronto, ON M5R 1X3

Part of the annual Fringe Festival, "Ze: Queer as f*ck!" is an autobiographical comedy theatre performance not to be missed. “Ze” (a gender neutral pronoun) explores intersections of identity and what it means to belong in a diverse and ever-changing LGBTQI community. The play was even nominated for Best Comedy at Fringe World 2016; get your tickets early because this is a hot one.

Glad Day Bookshop

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598A Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4Y 1Z3

Sometimes more than anything else, what you need during Pride is a good laugh. For stand-up enthusiasts, be sure to check out “Crooked Grin: A Night of Queer Comedy” held at the Glad Day Book Shop on June 29th. Performers include funny folks such as Bita Hemmati, Monica Garrido and Martha Chaves. This is a pay-what-you can event, so there’s no excuse not to get your giggle on.

Gladstone Hotel

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1215 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1J6

For those looking for a more art-driven Pride experience, check out the opening of the “That's So Gay: Come Together” exhibition on June 30. “That’s So Gay” is the Gladstone Hotel's annual queer-themed art exhibition, curated this year by Syrus Marcus Ware. You can check out prints, installations, photography, sound art and video pieces dedicated to the intersections of political, racial, sexual and gender identities.

The Steady

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1051 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6H 1M4

Drop by The Steady on July 2 for “Regretro: Pride Edition.” Dance to banging beats spun by DJS, DJ Wei Back, DJ Party McFly and DJ Case of Base. This event is entirely free, because in their words: “We don’t want your cover money. We don’t want your judgements. We just want to dance. And celebrate being queer.” They are always taking suggestions for tunes, so get at ‘em early to hear your favourite Pride anthem.

Fly 2.0

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6 Gloucester St, Toronto, ON M4Y 1L5

For those of us looking to get wild, “Pitbull: Hot Pride Mess” at Fly 2.0 is the party to check out. Held on July 3, the last day of Pride, this club event is hosted by Jacklynne Hyde and the Pitbull team, and will be running into the wee hours. Thrown at club Fly 2.0 (the original set for the television hit, Queer as Folk) this huge party will the one to talk about for Prides to come.

Trying to spice things up with your partner but not sure how? Toronto has a wide selection of classes for couples, straight and queer alike. Whether you’re scouring the secrets of tantric yoga, reconnecting over a sumptuous cooking class, or learning how to jive in unison, couples classes are a great way to re-connect with your partner in the real world. [Image credit: iStock.com/franckreporter]
Absinthe is one of the most mysterious of liquors, with its origins in 18th century Switzerland. With an anise-flavour and greenish colour, Absinthe is one of the most sought after – and hard to find – alcoholic drinks on the market, popular among bohemians, academics and artists alike. The following is a list of places you can go in Toronto to dance with the green fairy. [Image credit: iStock.com/augustproject] 
Trinity Bellwoods is one of Toronto’s top spots to soak in the sun all summer long, not to mention one of best beaten paths for dog owners during winter, spring and fall. Whether catching a match of tennis or lounging in the dog bowl, activities always go better with a good cup of joe. The following is a list of the best close-by cafés and coffee shops to keep you peppy all day long. [Featured image: The Tampered Press]
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