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Pride Week is a ten-day event held in Torontomarker, Canadamarker, during the end of June each year. It is a celebration of the diversity of the LGBT community in the Greater Toronto Area. It is one of the largest organized gay pride festivals in the world, featuring several stages with live performers and DJs, several licensed venues, a large Dyke March, and the Pride Parade. The centre of Pride Week is the city's Church and Wellesleymarker village, and both the Dyke March and the main Pride Parade are primarily routed along the nearby Yonge Street, Gerrard Street and Bloor Street.


Pride Week is organized by Pride Toronto, a non-profit organization. Led by executive director Tracey Sandilands, who was appointed in 2008, a small complement of seven staff support the work of 22 committees, each responsible for an aspect of the festival. Each committee is administered by two volunteer coordinators. The long-term vision for, and strategic oversight of, the organization and the festival is managed by 12 volunteers on the Board of Directors.

Festival overview

Main events of Pride Week include the Dyke March and the Pride parade. Although a definitive count of attendees cannot be determined, estimates in recent years have ranged from 500,000 to over one million. The festival is often touted as being one of the largest cultural festivals in North America and the 22 city blocks that make up the festival site is closed to vehicular traffic.


Toronto's Pride Week evolved out of the mass protests that followed the 1981 Toronto bathhouse raids, and celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2005. In the 2005 parade, newly appointed Toronto police chief Bill Blair became the first chief of police in the city's history to personally take part in the parade. He marched alongside politicians of all parties, including several federal and provincial cabinet ministers and Mayor David Miller.

Toronto Pride Week has not been without controversy, as the growth of the event in recent years has led to questions about whether it has become an overly commercial enterprise at the mercy of its sponsors and business interests. Toronto's incredibly diverse queer community has also demanded (and, for the most part, received ) programming that includes all races, communities, and gender identifications.

A theme is selected for each Pride Week that reflects the current context of the queer community and helps shape the festivities. Previous themes included "Fearless" (2006), "Unstoppable!" (2007), "Unified" (2008), and "Can't Stop. Won't Stop." (2009).

World Pride 2014

At the 28th annual conference of InterPride, held in October 2009 in St. Petersburg, Floridamarker, United States of Americamarker voted to accept the bid of Pride Toronto to host WorldPride 2014 for the first time in North America. In the first round of voting Toronto won 77 votes compared to Stockholm's 61. In the second and final round of voting Stockholmmarker was eliminated and Toronto won 78% of the vote, fulfilling the 2/3rd majority needed to finalize the selection process. WorldPride 2014 in Toronto will include: an opening ceremony reminiscent of the Barcelona and Atlanta opening ceremonies; an international human rights conference; a variety of networking and social events including Canada Day and Independence Day celebrations and an exhibition commemorating the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

Pride Toronto officials said that Pride Week 2009 drew an estimated one million people to Toronto and contributed C$136 million to the city's economy, and state that they expect WorldPride to be significantly bigger.


The Pride Week event received the Top Choice Award for Top Event of the year 2007/2008

Third-party events

Like many successful Pride events worldwide, the official events are supplemented with non-official events. The result is to make Toronto Pride Week a massive city-wide event. One of the largest such events is Prism Weekend, a multi-day "circuit" party. The Prism parties reached their peak in 2003 with a total attendance of over 7,000 people, making it the second largest gay dance party in the country, after Montrealmarker's Black and Blue Festival. In recent years, the decline of the circuit scene and a perceived lack of freshness in programming has seen participation dwindle.

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