Diversity

Busbud Guide to Pride: Canadian Edition

Pride Month is here! The time has come for you to put on a colourful outfit, gather your squad, and hit the streets to celebrate your pride and show your support for inclusiveness and diversity. It’s also your chance to see everybody’s platonic crush, Justin Trudeau.

What is Pride?

But Pride is about more than dancing on the streets waving rainbow flags, and it wasn’t always fun and games. Before it was a parade, it was a march. The tradition commemorates the Stonewall Riots of 1969 in New York City, when LGBT people took a historic stand to demand equal rights. A few days later, and for the first time in US history, large numbers of LGBT people took to the streets in cities across North America and kickstarted the Gay Liberation Movement.

Pride parades and activities truly transform Canadian cities in the summer. It’s the perfect time to head to a new city, mingle with locals, and celebrate what makes us different. At Busbud, we believe Pride should be accessible to all – no matter where you are and what budget you’re on. Busbud has the broadest bus coverage in the world and works with thousands of bus operators to allow you to pick the best bus for you.

As a proudly Canadian-based and diverse team, we wanted to share some of our favorite pride festivals and parades happening across the country. From beautiful British Columbia to La Belle Province, make sure you make Busbud your ride for pride.

Toronto

Toronto hosts one of the biggest Pride Parades in North America, with over 150,000 attending the past couple of years. The city was chosen to hold World Pride in 2014, and is still a popular destination for Canadian and international tourists who want to experience Canada’s biggest city under the colors of the rainbow.

Located along Church street, Toronto’s gay village, also known as the Church and Wellesley village, is where most of the action will be happening. The floats will make their way down Toronto’s iconic Yonge Street in the city’s downtown core, but you can expect some to feel the Pride atmosphere on Queen West as well and most parts of the city.

Make sure to check out the various block parties along Church street on the weekend of the parade, and book your bus ride in advance to avoid last minute ticket sell-outs!

Montreal

Of course, Montrealers have a French word for it, and it’s Fierté. Believe it or not, Montreal used to host two separate pride festivals: Fierté and Divers/Cité. Since 2014, they’ve consolidated all the fun into one extraordinary pride festival. If you’re in Montreal for Fierté, you want to make sure to explore the Gay Village, located on Rue Sainte Catherine Est and decorated with a canopy of rainbow-colored-balls (you’ll know when you see it). The street becomes pedestrian, and patios and kiosks are installed by organizations, groups and businesses (and the diverse people that run them) that make up Montreal’s LGBTQ community.

If House and EDM music is your thing, you’ll want to visit Mega T-Dance (it’s free!), a yearly event that celebrates the end of the festival and tends to get quite lively. For the drag fans out there, some fabulous queens from the now-viral show RuPaul’s Drag Race will be performing at Parc des Faubourgs for Drag Superstar.

There’s no better way to head to Fierté than with Busbud. Montreal’s main bus station is located at the entrance of the Gay Village, steps away from some of the most popular events during the festival. Known for never ending traffic and nightmarish parking, Montreal is not a city you want to bring your car to, so make sure to book your seat here.

Photo by yoav hornung on Unsplash

Vancouver

West Coast = best coast? That’s open for debate.  What isn’t up for debate is the fact that this is the largest Pride celebration in Western Canada, with attendance of over half a million people throughout the festival.

Perhaps the most unique aspect of this parade, is its proximity to the Pacific Ocean! For killer ocean views, check out the Sunset Beach Festival at Sunset Beach Park (1204 Beach Ave.).

If you’re more of a night owl, we suggest Hotline: Pride Sundays after hours, to celebrate the end of Pride, which features all female and LGBTQ DJ’s at a secret warehouse location in East Vancouver.

Photo by gagnonm1993 on Pixabay 

Ottawa / Gatineau

Last but not least, there’s Pride at our nation’s capital! The parade gets bigger and bigger every year and you can catch it on Bank Street.

Also along Bank Street, you can shop at the Community Fair, one of the popular events of Capital Pride, and support Ottawa’s LGBTQ community.

If you haven’t been to Ottawa, this is your chance to explore a historic, and truly bilingual and multicultural city. It’s easily accessible from Montreal and Toronto by bus, and is a great escapade for a weekend.

The Busbud crew celebrates diversity!

Interested in the initiatives that Busbud is taking to have a diverse organization? Check out the Diversity section of the Busbud blog!