Toronto celebrates Gay Pride for a 10 days in late June (June 21 through June 30, 2013), in part to honor what many consider to be one of the key events in the LGBT history, the Stonewall Riots in New York City in 1969. One of North America's leading gay destinations, Toronto has been holding Pride observances since '70s, and events have been held annually here since 1981. These days, Toronto Pride's most prominent event, the Pride Parade (taking place Sunday, June 30, 2013), draws more than 1.2 million spectators and participants annually, making it one of the top such draws in the world.
The key Toronto Gay Pride events take place in the city's Church Street area, around the intersection with Wellesley Street - a neighborhood also known as the Gay Village. One more exciting bit of news to keep in mind: Toronto has been selected to host WorldPride 2014.
The official Pride Toronto Gay Pride Week comprises a series of parties an events, from the Official Pride Launch Party to the Inspire Awards Gala. More on 2013 Toronto Pride will be posted here as details are released. Here's last year's info, to give an idea of what to expect.
The Pride Community Street Fair and Marketplace runs throughout Pride Weekend. This is a showcase for hundreds of artists, retailers, community organizations, food vendors, and more. It takes place right in the heart of the Gay Village, along Church Street and intersecting Wellesley Street East, and it runs from 6 pm until midnight on Friday, 11 am until midnight on Saturday, and from 11 am until 11 pm on Sunday. There are also eight different entertainment stages set up throughout the Gay Village over Pride Weekend.
Family Pride takes place on the grounds of Church Street Junior Public School over both days of Pride Weekend; activities includes crafts, games, children's entertainment, a picnic on Saturday, and family brunch on Sunday. The hours are 11 am until 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday.
The much-anticipated Toronto Dyke March is held on Saturday, at 2 pm. It begins on Church and Hayden streets and continues west along Bloor, south down Yonge, east on Wood, and back up part of Church Street.
The festival culminates on Sunday with the Toronto Gay Pride Parade, a hugely attended procession that commences at the intersection of Bloor Street East and Church Street. It then heads west to Yonge Street, south to Gerrard Street, and east back to Church Street (here's a map of the parade route). Participants are eligible for a number of parade awards, from "best costume design" to "best special effects" to "best overall float vehicle" - there's a lot of fabulousness going on.
Note that the Toronto Queer Arts and Culture Festival takes place in August in both the city's West End (aka the "Queer West Village") and the Church Street Gay Village. The dates this year August 9 to August 18, 2013.
Additionally, numerous Toronto gay bars as well as gay-popular restaurants, hotels, and shops have special events and parties throughout Pride Week. Check local gay papers, such as Xtra Toronto, for details. For more comprehensive information on visiting the city, check out the excellent GLBT travel site produced by Toronto Tourism.