Toronto’s very first Pride-style celebrations happened on Toronto Island in 1971, and this weekend Pride Toronto kicked off Pride Week in style with their new ‘Til Sunrise all-day dance party and celebration that took place  on the grounds of Artscape Gibraltar Point

Sapphire Titha Reign and Jada Hudson

Hundreds of partiers caught the ferry over to Hanlan’s point, and then connected with a chartered shuttle bus to get to the far south end of the Island, where they enjoyed a lineup of DJs spinning happy, sunshine-y house, some retro music, drag performances, speciality cocktails, and art installations. 


The fully licensed area was hopping throughout the day, the hottest of this year so far in the city. Drinks were flowing and clothes were coming off, especially at the private beach area, which almost made it feel resort or VIP like. In keeping with the nautical theme, there were several sightings of mermaids, and mermen!


The event was being billed by organizers as one that “dips its toes in the past yet full-dives into our queer future.” Thanks goes out to Phil Villeneuve and John Caffery who not only spearheaded the event, but kept the party hopping with their mix of new and old party anthems. Way to go boys!

Phil Villeneuve

John Caffery

It seemed most all of Pride Toronto staff members were out helping to make this event what it was. Several were spotted working hard behind the scenes, happily smiling at what appeared to be a successful event for them. Congrats to all involved for introducing yet another new event this year for Pride Toronto, which seems most likely it will return again next year based this year’s attendance numbers.

Pride Toronto – Danny Papadotos, Olivia Nuamah, Colin Joseph

Pride Toronto – Danny Papadatos

Pride Toronto – Amber Moyle

DJ Djon
DJ John Caffery
Along with headliner
Sandy Duperval 

Scarlett BoBo 
Gay Jesus 

Jada Hudson

Sapphire Titha Reign

Art works by 
John Sissydude Webster 

Pride Toronto continues with events all week long throughout the city, up to and including the Parade this Sunday June 24th. Check out the Official Guide for all you need to know.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.