3 min

The visitors’ guide they never told you about

CNN tower

Well, as fat Prime Minister Stephen Harper said to his best bf Peter McKay as they were trying on ladies pants at an out-of-the-way Winners in a very gay part of Ottawa, “Happy Pride, girlfriend!”

Yes, it’s Pride, my friends. We all couldn’t be more thrilled. The townies are smiling, the out of towners are arriving. It’s a big gay UN of good times! Now, I know with Toronto Pride we welcome many of our homo-sensual friends from around the world, who come to revel, enjoy and try some Canadian treats. And the food, too. (But ya know….) We are going to let the good times roll.

So I thought I would take the opportunity to put out a little friendly information about our fair city, our Pride fest and maybe a bit of illumination on the Canadian spirit which the out of town visitor may encounter during his or her weeklong frolic/Pride enjoyment/fuckfest, whichever the case may be.

Here now, for the visitor or even for the townie who would like to get to know Toronto a little better: A Pride Visitor’s Guide To Toronto.

How to spot a Canadian

This is easy. If you say the word “buttertart” and you see a sparkle in the eye, that person is at least a landed immigrant. If you notice someone bump into a piece of furniture or any sort of inanimate object and apologize, you can safely assume that person has a Canadian passport. Canadians as a whole are generally polite, well-mannered and friendly. They enjoy exotic turn-ons like salt and vinegar potato chips and fries with gravy. Stay, meet one, even marry one. It’s all good here.

Things to enjoy in Toronto

* Church St. This is a wonderful playland for gays and lesbians, as well as dirty old Loblaws plastic bags and cigarette butts. It is going to be the centre of all the action on Pride Sunday, so with any luck a street sweeper will accidentally make its way up and down a couple of times before you and your freshly peddied feet in your little tiny flip-flops traipse up and down. I’m not saying Church St has gotten a bit dirty and unkempt. But, well, if it were an actor it would have gone from being George Clooney to Nick Nolte’s mug shot. But it’s ours and we love it. We just don’t hug it

* The CN Tower. This wonder-ful structure says, “Welcome to Toronto.” Designed by world famous architect Sir William Phallus, nothing says “howdy do” like the CN Tower. Frankly, I think in honour of Pride this year famous artist Christo should wrap the CN Tower in a giant condom. It’s a good reminder to stay safe as well as only half as silly as the design of the tower itself. Look for the lesbian architectural follow-up: a revolving restaurant designed to look like a giant pair of Hush Puppies

* City Hall. When visiting Toronto, some of you may be planning on getting married. Congrats! You might want to bring some music to the sixth-floor chapel, so the romance of your loving nuptials isn’t necessarily accompanied merely by the sound of the secretary outside blowing her nose. When you’re at City Hall, feel free to marvel at the homeless people encamped in front, wondering rapturously upon our apparent tolerance and inclusion. And if you come across a crazy little man in a bad suit with brillo frizzy grey hair exuberantly saying unintelligible things, feel free to say hello. He used to be our mayor

* The News. Turn on your TV for a quick look at the world of Canadian news. In an attempt to lure viewers and to be just as “scary” as US news everything becomes a Miss Marple-like set of clues, designed to scare the crap out of you. “What kind of apple could spontaneously close up your windpipe? We’ll tell you, coming up.” “A tornado is headed to a specific Toronto neighbourhood. We’ll tell you which one.” “What kind of common house-hold rag can light itself on fire while you’re out mailing a letter? We’ll tell you, coming up.”

Other things to look out for

If you happen to see a giant float wrapped in pinstripes tee-tering along the street, full of hot air and gas, you’ve just witnessed something very special — our very own Prime Minister Stephen Harper is in town! Hooray!

And if you see someone sitting on a patio drinking a frosty beer with friends marvelling at what a great city Toronto is and how lucky we all are to be here, say hi, ’cause that’ll be me.

Happy Pride, my friends! Be safe and have fun.