Toronto is having a moment, according to publications like Montreal's La Presse and respected news organizations like the BBC. The city, once seen as staid, is cool. The new restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and hotels of West Queen West, Roncesvalles Village,the Distillery Historic District, and Ossington Avenue are wowing visitors and inspiring comparisons to New York and London's coolest neighborhoods. The hip rep of Toronto comes in spite of its bumbling, bullying, drug-addicted mayor. But never mind Rob Ford: pay attention to the hundreds of skyscrapers under construction and the always percolating action on Church Street, the hub of gay life in Canada's largest city. That party street will be the epicenter of World Pride, which touches down in the city June 20 for 10 days and features performances from Carly Rae Jepsen, Deborah Cox, Tegan and Sara, and Melissa Etheridge. Parties are just scratching the surface; there are marches, a human rights conference, a parade, street fair, film screenings, kids events, an arts festival, and a mass wedding. If that's not reason enough to get your butt up north, take a look at some of these iconic images of T.O.:
A smooch during Toronto's giant Pride party.
The Castro Street of Toronto.
Casa Loma, a Gothic Revival house in Toronto that's now a museum and landmark.