Yonge St. businesses see increased sales during WorldPride

WATCH: Final weekend of WorldPride begins with massive party. Peter Kim reports

The final weekend of WorldPride has arrived and it means big business for shops along Yonge Street, where the massive parade will pass on Sunday.

Even tattoo parlours like Yonge Street Tattoo have been busy.

“We come in some days and there are over 40 to 50 people waiting for us,” head piercer Alex said. Tattoos have been a popular item with international couples hoping to have a permanent memory of their visit.

Just a few doors down, K9 Couture says they’ve noticed more traffic and sales since the festival kicked off at Nathan Phillips Square.

“It’s been ridiculous ever since. The big thing that we have now are the pride cookies,” store manager Jermuine Orr said.

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Organizers of WorldPride spent 18 months promoting the event abroad. Many international travelers have already arrived. Felipe Cardenas and his partner were one of the many couples married yesterday at Casa Loma.

“We came in a flight from Atlanta in the States and even on that flight it was packed with gay couples,” Cardenas said.

Last year the festival generated around $286 million in revenue. This year, with ten open-air stages, it’s bigger and will run longer.

“In general sales a week ago, the last Friday, we’re up anywhere from 50 – 65 per cent over the whole BIA, from Gloucester all the way down to Wood Street,” Mychol Scully, president of the Church-Wellesley BIA said.

This is the first time WorldPride is being held in North America.

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