From patterned tuxedo jackets to tiers of tulle, there was no shortage of glam.
The fall charity calendar in Toronto is packed with swishy parties and live auctions. But there is only one Bloor Street Entertains. The annual fundraiser for the Canadian Foundation for Aids Research (CANFAR) has become the hottest ticket in town come autumn. So hot, in fact, that this year there was heavy security at the Four Seasons Hotel, where the lively Bloor Street Entertains 2023 after-party was held, to control the crowd and keep crashers out.
Prior to that, 1,000+ revellers dressed in patterned tuxedo jackets, tiers of tulle and sparkles from head to toe dined at one of 22 venues which included luxury boutiques, art galleries and hotel ballrooms, all on or near the Bloor Street shopping strip.
Bloor Street Entertains is 27 years old, but began years before when many in the Toronto creative community were dying of AIDS. Restaurateurs, florists, decorators and wait staff banded together to create dinners in people’s homes to raise money for the newly-formed CANFAR. Fast forward to now and while AIDS is no longer a death sentence, HIV infection rates in Canada continue at a rate of six per day, hitting women and Indigenous people particularly hard.
As the need to reduce stigma around AIDS and HIV, to continue research and to get self-testing kits out into the community remains, so does the desire to keep up the fight. In a Four Seasons ballroom bathed in red light with gyrating gents on raised platforms, R&B singer and longtime gay rights advocate Mya took time out from her overseas tour to rev spirits even higher.
Click through to see some of our favourite Bloor Street Entertains 2023 looks of the night.