Welcome to Insider Out Travel, a blog about LGBT travel written by LGBT tourism professionals. Travel the globe and gain insight into the tourism industry (with a gay twist), brought to you by the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloweek Heats Up Toronto

by Dan Allen

Just in time to beat the northern fall chill, 2009 IGLTA Convention host city Toronto heats up this week for the Church and Wellesley Village’s third official Halloweek, a full slate of ghoulish costumes, garish parties, and – natch – a girlish drag queen or 200.

Village mainstay Woody’s (along with its nautically named next-door brother bar Sailor) will host Wednesday night’s much-anticipated Queen of Halloween drag competition. Ambrose Price, he of Logo’s The Decorating Adventures of Ambrose Price (originally an HGTV Canada show), will serve as a guest judge this year.

Late costume planners can load up on get up for the weekend at Thursday evening’s Church Street Drag and Leather Boo-zaar and Psychic Fair (held at George’s Play), where wigs and costumes galore will be on sale. Proceeds benefit Toronto’s PWA (People with AIDS Foundation).

On Friday Ambrose Price is back to help judge the Church Street Jack O’Lantern Carving Contest, hosted by outdoorsy gay group Out and Out Toronto and held on the west side of Church Street, south of Wellesley between Cafe California and Zelda’s. Pumpkins are free and ready for carving.

Of course the big day is Saturday the 31st, which kicks off at noon in Cawthra Square Park (just north of Wellesley) with Pride Toronto’s Hallowe’en Party. All afternoon and into the evening, there’ll be live performances by DJs, drag queens and Village celebrities, culminating in a costume contest hosted by Canadian drag superstar Sofonda Cox. The winner will appear on the 11 p.m. edition of CTV (that’s Canadian Television, eh?) news. Proceeds go to Pride Toronto’s 2010 International Human Rights Program.

The craziness continues for the massive Halloweek Block Party, when from 6 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., five blocks of Church Street will be closed to traffic to make way for the throngs of revelers (last year’s crowd was estimated at 55,000). Bars and restaurants all along the strip host special events, turning it into a night so fun, it’s positively scary.

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