Caribana in Toronto: The Weekend That Was

The last time you heard from me, I had just finished wandering around the streets of Toronto and took the time to observe and describe the ambiance of the city. But let’s be honest, that’s not what people want to read about. For the most part, readers were probably excited to read about the parade and the events that transpired in the heart of the city on both Saturday and Sunday. So without further ado…

On Saturday afternoon, the sun was shining and the heat was fairly tolerable. By the time I made it to the parade, it was jam packed and there were people all over the place. Ugly people, good looking people, weird people, normal people and of course a few crack heads (what would we do without them right?).

The parade was happening down on the street, which was fenced off in an attempt to limit the amount of people that would actually join in and directly interact with the dancers. Indeed, several people climbed the fence (I would venture and say it was somewhere between eight and 10 feet high) and made their way onto the street. The sheer comedy came from the umm overweight people that decided to climb the fence in order to make it out into the streets. They struggled to get there and essentially needed a lift to make sure to get to the top of the fence.

Obviously, the women were provided with some assistance by the dudes rocking the tank tops to show off their muscles while the overweight men were left to themselves to figure out how to make it out into the street.

One thing that always kills me about this weekend is the nature of the comments that men make. For instance, this one dude literally stood in a corner and every time a woman passed by and licked her ice cream or popsicle, he would ask her if she would want to share her expertise with his candy (keep in mind, I’m cleaning up the language here).

One dude even asked a woman if “she gave good top” (I think I’m getting old, I have no idea what that means) and then he went to tell his friend that was walking to his left that unfortunately his girlfriend was not enamored with giving him “top”.

In previous years, I felt as though the parade was far more interesting and got people more invested. The ability to walk amongst the dancers and dance near the music trucks in years past made the experience far more enjoyable and obviously led to more people dancing with each other. The current setting with the gated parade made it as such that you were more often than not just looking from the sidelines or walking along the way to have a look at the scenery and the people dancing.

Granted, the people that made it onto the streets probably have a different account of the situation.  

The evenings were quite intriguing as people either hit clubs or simply took to the streets to enjoy scenery. I opted to avoid clubs altogether and instead patrolled the streets.

The funny thing about such a weekend is that people feel that because they are traveling in a city where they do not reside, it gives them a license to act a fool. Indeed, a few times some cars filled with ladies stopped by to try and strike some chatty moments and figure out what plans might be worth contemplating for the remainder of the night.

Being the observant person I am, I often spotted the license plate before these cars stopped by and thus knew what city these peeps were from before they even spoke to us. Several of them were from Montreal, which is funny because that’s where I live. Some ladies tried to make the conversation quite interesting given the fact that they expected us to be either local residents or people from the States. Boy were their dreams crushed when we told them we were from their city (piece of advice: ladies, if you are going to speak in creole to make sure the guys do not understand what you are saying, at least make sure these men aren’t Haitian; just a thought).

Men have the ability to get around without truly ever feeling any remorse, but women are a bit trickier. Some of them do, some of them don’t and several of them don’t want you to know they do. So for the latter group, the trip outside of town is a huge blessing from them…until they talk to someone like me who spots them and recognizes their entourage. Good times right?

The weekend was fun all around and involved tons of liquor, food and laughs. Not sure there will be a repeat next year, but it was still worth it and produced some fun highlights.

See you next year T-Dot? Maybe…

Questions or comments? Feel free to leave them in the comments section or you can contact me by email at can also find me on Twitter with the handle name @ShyneIV.


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