Begun more than a decade ago, the Queer West Fest, now known as the Toronto Queer Arts and Culture Festival, took place during its first several years just before the city's official Pride Toronto Festival in late June.
A couple of years ago the event's organizers rebranded the event as the Toronto Queer Arts and Culture Festival and moved the timing to August - the dates for 2012 are Friday, August 9, through Saturday, August 18, 2013. More details will be provided here as information becomes available. Here's a look at last year's event.
The official events calendar list a wide range of artistic and cultural events and workshops. Many events take place in the festival's historic neighborhood, the artsy and indie-spirited Queer West Village, in the city's West End, centered largely along Queen Street West, in the 1100 through 1700 blocks. It's a neighborhood with a rich mix of populations, gay and straight, young and old, and with a decidedly progressive and countercultural bent. But other events take place in different parts of the city, especially the Church Street Gay Village, at venues like the historic Glad Day Bookshop and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.
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.