The best things to do in Toronto this weekend: June 18-20

Including Pride's opening weekend, the return of ISO Radio, roller skating at the Bentway and the Gardiner Museum goes outside


Our picks for the best things to do online and in-person in Toronto for the weekend of June 18-20. Go here for more info on what’s opened and closed during step one of Ontario’s reopening plan.

Gardiner Goes Outside

Museums aren’t allowed to reopen indoors until step three of Ontario’s plan, so the Gardiner Museum is heading outside. Get some sun while you soak in ceramic art. The programming for step one includes two pop-up exhibitions in the museum’s glass entryway windows – including a selection of items inspired by the natural world – an audio tour and outdoor public sculptures. A public art project with No.9 Contemporary Art + Environment will set up in the light box signs out front over the next week and the Clay Restaurant patio will open on June 24. Artist talks, activities and more programming will be added when the province enters step two of the reopening plan.

June 18 onward. Free. gardinermuseum.on.ca

Pride Toronto Opening Weekend: Back to the ’80s

Pride Month is upon us but all the big virtual events and performances are starting to ramp up this weekend. Organizers are going big this year with two Pride Weekends. Tune into the official, 80s-themed opening jam in honour of Pride Toronto’s 40th anniversary celebration. The focus is very local and very R&B- and- soul-oriented: the lineup includes Toronto-via-Montreal musician TIKA, eclectic singer/songwriter Desiire and Toronto duo TRP.P. Check out more Pride Month event picks here.

June 18 at 8:30-10 pm. Free. pridetoronto.com

Proud & Funny Festival

Tom Hearn and Coko Galore, in association with Bad Dog Comedy Theatre, present four shows over two days, including The Variety Hour, hosted by Hunni Krüller and featuring a reading of Avery Jean Brennan’s play No Country For They/Thems (June 18 at 7 pm); The Party Show, a queer improv show directed by Galore (June 18 and 19 at 9 pm); Theatresports, hosted by Hearn (June 19 at 7 pm).

June 18-19, various times. Free (donations accepted). Bad Dog Comedy TV

A photo of people cycling and walking on Bayview Ave for ActiveTO in Toronto
Samuel Engelking

ActiveTO

As usual, the city is shutting down major roads this weekend for the outdoor exercise program ActiveTO. By popular demand, Bayview will fully close to vehicle traffic from Front East to Rosedale Valley, as will River between Bayview and Spruce. The eastbound lanes of Lake Shore East are also closing down to all but cyclists and pedestrians (Leslie to Woodbine), as are roads within High park.

June 19 at 6 am to June 20 at 9 pm. Free. toronto.ca/ActiveTO.

Yohomo x ISO Queer Market and DJ Container

The queer nightlife promoters at Yohomo are teaming with ISO Radio for a hybrid Pride event on Saturday. The local community radio station is re-emerging from the pandemic with with a dedicated IRL home: a container at Stackt Market. Yohomo has curated the DJ lineup and will have a pop-up shop happening. Per the reopening rules, this is not a party, “just a drop-by-say-hi-affair,” according to organizers. You can also tune in online, of course. Read more about ISO’s new digs here.

June 19. Stackt (28 Bathurst). Noon-10 pm. Free. iso.fm

rIVerse Presents: The Poison IV Virtual Concert

Toronto’s rIVerse are a pop group that aim to represent BIPOC, LGBTQIA and body diverse identities onstage. Their music brings everything you miss about 90s R&B, 2000s girl and boy groups (there’s even a little S Club 7 in there) and current K-pop. This virtual show takes place on Juneteenth, the day slavery officially ended in the United States. Expect an outrageous pop spectacle complete with choreography by Leon Blackwood (Lady Gaga, KE$HA, So You Think You Can Dance, etc.).

June 19 at 9 pm. $20. livecity.tv

Retro Rolla at the Bentway

The retro roller skate rental Retro Rolla is setting up shop in a refurbished shipping container at the Bentway this weekend. In addition to colourful four-wheel quads, you can rent also protective gear and helmets – or just bring your own skates or rollerblades and do figure eights under the Gardiner. You have to book online in advance (new booking times go live every Monday). Read more about Retro Rolla here.

June 19 onward. 250 Fort York. Thurs-Sun, times vary. $18/first hour, $10 per hour after. retrorolla.com

Indigenous Day Live

APTN has a big concert broadcast for the 25th National Indigenous Peoples Day. It’s an impressive lineup of Indigenous and non-Indigenous performers including Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Tom Wilson, iskwē, Neon Dreams, Julian Taylor and Charlotte Cardin. Check out more National Indigenous History Month event picks here.

June 20 at 8 pm airing on APTN or available from June 20-22 on APTN lumi. Free.

@nowtoronto

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