Supercars and superstars take over the city on May 27 to 28 as the legendary car rally starts in Toronto this year — kicking off with a free block party at Yonge and Dundas Square.
What do supercars, world-famous DJs, and the most epic road trip of all time have in common? Gumball 3000, the two-decades-old celebration of the best thing on four wheels: a car-rally-meets-cross-continent adventure that, after three years on cinder blocks, is starting in Toronto for its much-anticipated comeback.
As an enthusiastic traveller with a home base in the city, it’s seriously exciting to see this kind of event kick off in Toronto right now. Dundas Square block parties are the quintessential sign that the city is open and ready to make the most of the summer. I can’t wait for the party to start — and trust me, it’s going to be MAJOR.
All about Gumball 3000
Entrepreneur, former model, and above all car enthusiast, Maximillion Cooper founded Gumball 3000 back in 1999 in an effort to combine his love of luxury supercars, travel, and having a very (very) good time. The British motorhead who once raced for Porsche and McLaren teams launched Gumball as a rally with celebrity drivers and professional partiers like model Kate Moss, skateboard legend Tony Hawk and musicians Jamiroquai, Kylie Minogue, and Deadmau5.
Named after the 1976 comedy The Gumball Rally, the 4,800-km (3,000-mile) adventure is a drive all day, dance all night journey that hops across continents and always begins and ends in different world class cities around the globe. Think: London to Monaco, San Francisco to Beijing, and this year: Toronto to Miami.
The route has passed through Toronto in the past, making stops in our city in 2010 and 2012, but 2022 will be the first year that The 6ix has a starring role as the place where engines are revved and the flag is dropped.
Celebrity watch in Toronto
As ever, Gumball 3000 will be rolling out miles of red carpet for the celebrity guests touching down in Toronto. This year’s star-spotting bingo card features iconic names from the incomparable David Hasselhoff (who will drop the official flag on May 28) to DJ Deadmau5 to MLB Hall of Fame star Ken Griffey Jr. — just to name a few.
The entire crew will be hosted by Cooper himself and his wife, the actor and Grammy-winning rapper Eve (who will be driving a Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roadster — nbd). The couple’s meet-cute happened at 2010’s Gumball 3000 event and the pair were married four years later.
A guide to Gumball-ing in Toronto
Here’s the inside track on how to take advantage of the Gumball 3000 events coming to Toronto this May.
Stake out a spot at the supercar registration parade.
Set your alarm and get yourself to Bay Street before 10 a.m. on Friday, May 27 because that’s where the long line of more than 100 supercars will be on display before parading north to register for the rally. Yorkville near Bay and Bloor Streets is Gumball ground zero when it comes to spotting some of the hottest and rarest machines on four wheels. The cars will be pulling up all day long for registration in what’s known as the Gumball 3000 Grid — ”the world’s most expensive car park” — so grab the best spot you can find and keep your camera on hand for some prime photo ops.
Get the party started with deadmau5 at Yonge-Dundas Square
From London’s famed Regent Street to New York’s iconic Times Square, Gumball 3000 has laid claim to the core of some of the world’s coolest cities. On Friday, May 27 at 6 p.m. Toronto’s own takeover event will pop off in Yonge-Dundas Square in the heart of the city, where DJs, musicians, and a diverse lineup of entertainers will hype up the crowd all night long, all culminating to the headliner: renowned Canadian EDM DJ Deadmau5!
Party at the Official Launch Party at Rebel
For those of us with party energy to burn, the opening night Gumball 3000 Launch Party is going down at Toronto’s biggest nightlife complex, Rebel. Deadmau5 will also be headlining, plus a lineup of special guests. On May 27 from 10 p.m. on, Rebel’s dance floor will be the hottest spot in Toronto. Choose your footwear wisely.
Head back to Yonge and Dundas for the main event
On the morning of Saturday, May 28, tires hit the pavement and the adventure officially begins with the Gumball 3000 Flag Drop at Yonge-Dundas Square hosted by Baywatch star David Hasselhoff. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., each driver will join the motorcade of participating cars on course to the trip’s first stop in Indianapolis. Be there to bid bon voyage to your favourite supercar and drivers.
To Toronto and beyond!
Following the send-off in Toronto, Gumball will rally its drivers in Indianapolis to coincide with the Indy 500 race. Monument Circle will host the cars from May 28 to May 29 before the driving adventure begins the next leg of the journey, heading south to Bardstown, Kentucky and on to Tennessee for a stop in Nashville on Broadway where Americans will be celebrating Memorial Day among the supercars and celeb drivers.
Then it’s south again to the Talladega Speedway in Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia where Gumball 3000 takes over Atlantic Station before departing for the rally’s ultimate destination, Florida, with a stop in Tampa and a multi-day party in Miami that will have to pull out all the stops to match Toronto’s unforgettable launch.
Follow along with your favourite racers
Head to the Gumball 3000 site to see the supercar grid live online, nominate your top car, and kick in a few bucks to their fundraising efforts.
The money raised will go to the non-profit Gumball 3000 Foundation which supports causes like Tony Hawk’s Skatepark Project and Laureus Sport for Good, which funds community youth development programs for underprivileged youth. The car that raises the most money for charity starts from the coveted pole position in Toronto.