Close this search box.
FAVVKES- hero image (1)

Favvkes’ 2023 Toronto Pride Guide

From drag balls and parades to beach clean-ups and live music events.

by Erica Schiopu

What started as a series of gay liberation protests in New York City in 1969, LGBTQIA+ Pride has grown and expanded to many lands through generations. Lest we forget the fight of our predecessors, which has allowed us to celebrate our identities the way we do today.

Pride is now a time so many of us queers look forward to. Smack in the middle of the summer, it spans the whole month of June and is packed with a variety of inclusive events, celebrating everything from trans visibility to BLM, Indigenous and Two Spirit Pride, and many diversities in between.

While many of these events are made possible through corporate sponsorship and boast a slew of advertisements baked into the fun, I’ve chosen to highlight a few of the events around Toronto that I’m excited to check out this year.


In a time when drag is literally being outlawed in some parts of the world, giving it a proper platform to exist is more important than ever. A bill was passed in Tennessee this year banning drag performances because a family-friendly drag event was hosted in Jackson, Tennessee. They’re now saying 10 other states may be following suit (!!!). We sane people understand the absurdity of this belief and series of events, so anything to prove how actually and ironically beneficial to a child’s development drag can be is my main event to highlight this year. What better way to spark conversation around the spectrum of identity and gender? I sure wish a Drag Queen would’ve read me a story when I was a wee unbeknownst queer… Story time by your local queens is offered this year in various public libraries in the GTA in celebration of diversity and inclusion. 

June 10, 10am-3:30pm | FREE | All Ages | More Info

QUEER MARKETPLACE ᐧ Distillery District

A week-long event supporting and benefiting local LGBTQIA+ artists and artisans. This is the first annual event of its kind in Toronto, and I can only imagine the amazing booths that will be lining the corridors of the gorgeous and historic Distillery district in the city’s south-east end. As an artist myself, I love wearing and supporting my community’s work. Looking down at the bracelet I’m wearing or the mug I’m using and knowing it was made by a queer business fills me with a sense of pride and belonging. Witnessing the success of other LGBTQIA+ peoples is so powerful and healing. Featuring over 70 boutiques, galleries and restaurants, the marketplace is a great place to find one-of-a-kind, world-class pieces to add to your collection, be it clothing, wall art, or jewelry, and it also features live entertainment, food and so much more.

June 5 to 11 | FREE | All Ages | More Info


BEACH CLEAN UP ᐧ Hanlan’s Point (Toronto Island)

I believe aging comes hand in hand with becoming increasingly aware of the degradation of the planet. Sometimes I feel like I’m small and powerless to help this global situation, but events like these make me feel like I can make a difference, even at a local community level. Hosted by Birds Canada’s Ontario Piping Plover Program and Feminist Birds Club, this event is devoted to creating a safer space for local wildlife and the queer community. Head over to popular and largely queer-attended summer hot spot, Hanlan’s Point, and get your tan on while cleaning up litter! And if you choose not to attend this event, but frequent Hanlan’s Point Beach this summer, just remember to pack reusable items when possible and a bag for your trash/discards.

June 10 | 10am


DRAG BALL ᐧ TD Main Stage (Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto)

Head over to the Pride Toronto stage to witness Drag Excellence – I certainly will be! Featuring some truly world-class Drag performers, such as RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 15 finalists Sasha Colby and Anetra, Canada’s Drag Race season 1 & 2 contestants Jimbo and Pythia, The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula season 3 finalist, drag king Landon Cider, and soooo many more!! The Pride Toronto website and Instagram page have the full list of performers, but this is truly like no other Drag event PrideTO has ever hosted… and I’ve been looking forward to this one for MONTHS. These performers are no less than iconic. This is going to be so fun!! And this year we will be screaming louder than ever.

FREE | All Ages | Wheelchair accessible | June 24, 6pm – 11pm | More Info


BRIGHT LIGHTS ᐧ TD Main Stage (Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto)

This event I’m especially excited about because *drum roll please* … I’m opening the show with my band!! Join me at Pride Toronto main stage, located at Nathan Phillips Square, and get ready to have your socks rocked off by me (Favvkes), up and coming dark-pop artist memyself&vi, Juno-nominated breakthrough artist Devon Cole, pop icon Lights, and a special appearance by alternative rockstar Fefe Dobson! This will be a night to remember, and I’m seriously excited for every single performance of this closing night Pride party. It’s truly an honour and a dream come true as a queer woman to be chosen to grace this iconic stage with artists I grew up listening to. So freakin’ cool. See you there 😉

FREE | All Ages | Wheelchair accessible | June 25, 6pm – 11pm | More Info



If there’s any iconic Pride tradition, it’s the highly anticipated yearly Pride Parade. Traditionally occurring on the last Sunday of Pride month, the parade was once a protest led by our black trans sisters, brothers, and theys and thems that has now transformed into a celebration of our freedom and a reminder of our community’s past. Bring your pet, bring your mom, and all your straight friends – this is a very inclusive event! Sections of Church and Yonge St will be closed off for the marches and rallies from Friday through Sunday. 

Some people don’t know this, but in addition to the main parade, there are also other more community-specific marches, such as:

  • The Trans Pride March on June 23 at 7pm
  • The Dyke March on June 24 at 1pm.

The main parade takes place June 25, from the corner of Church St and Bloor St all the way down Yonge St to Yonge-Dundas Square, kicking off at 2pm. This is the largest parade and event of the month, so head down early to grab a good spot on the sidewalk along the parade route. Dress up, dress down, paint your face – this is your time to go crazy and wear whatever the hell you want! As such, this is also an amazing people-watching event. People being their authentic selves at its finest. Take a break to wander around and explore the many boutiques and booths lining the streets of Toronto’s Gay Village for the weekend, and stop by Pride hotspot The 519’s Beer Garden for some drinks and awesome DJs. This is a great spot to meet queer people and mingle! 

FREE | All Ages | Wheelchair accessible | More Info


Other hot events to check out this month:

  • Pride Extravaganza with Priyanka ᐧ June 9th @ the AGO, 7pm
  • Night at the Aqueerium ᐧ June 16th @ Ripley’s Aquarium, 8pm
  • Pool Party with Sugar & Spice ᐧ June 16th @ Grand Bizarre Supper Club, 7pm
  • Pride Brunch on Market Street ᐧ June 18th @ St. Lawrence Market, 10am
  • Traditional Indigenous Bracelet Workshop ᐧ June 21st @ 6pm
  • Two Spirit + Indigenous Pride ᐧ June 25th @ The Garden Stage, 4pm
  • ROM After Dark Pride ᐧ June 30th @ The ROM, 7:30pm

For locations, times, and event details, as well as the full Pride Events calendar, click here!

Have a safe and HAPPY PRIDE!


About Favvkes:

Favvkes (pronounced “fox”) is a Toronto-based artist, guitar player and songwriter. She combines pop-punk guitars with her love of modern pop music to bring you an alternative style reminiscent of artists like Courtney Love and Paramore, while leading the way with charisma and fresh fashion like Gwen Stefani and Grimes.

Favvkes made her mark in 2020 with her debut single and accompanying music video, “Black Dove,” which has nearly 90K views on YouTube. Favvkes is unapologetically authentic in her music, persona, and advocacy for mental health through her lyrics and magnetic stage presence.