- The streets of downtown Toronto were awash in color, music, and smiles on Sunday as the city’s Pride parade first appeared in two years.
- John Tory, the mayor of Toronto, marched in the parade alongside other dignitaries and city council members.
- Before the weekend, festival organizers announced a partnership with private security firms to conduct checks at specific locations.
As the city’s Pride parade made its first appearance in two years on Sunday, the streets of downtown Toronto were awash in color, music, and smiles.
To commemorate the parade’s return after being postponed by the COVID-19 outbreak, hundreds of thousands of people lined Yonge Street on Sunday afternoon. The march started at two o’clock on the corner of Bloor and Church streets.
Dancers, drag queens, and other marchers flying rainbow flags and carrying messages advocating love and acceptance slowly traveled the route and made their way to Yonge-Dundas Square, where the parade culminated. Some colorful floats played loud music to enliven the crowd.
Community groups, labor unions, emergency services, sports teams, dignitaries, and a group that had never marched in a Pride parade before on Sunday were among those that participated. The parade’s international grand marshal was Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, also known as Dr. Lady Phyll.
Toronto Mayor John Tory participated in the parade as one of the dignitaries and marched among other city council members.
He praised the return of Pride and other local activities after a protracted absence.
“It’s wonderful that we can acknowledge our accomplishments when rights are being curtailed elsewhere in the world. We have a tonne to do. However, I believe we are content to appreciate and embrace one another, “said Tory. “And thus I believe that is the essence of pride.”
Also present was Tory’s granddaughter Isabel, who recently came out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. The two had previously gone to a PFLAG-hosted Pride breakfast (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).
“It’s crucial that children and adults in Toronto feel free to be themselves, that they may celebrate who they are, and that we support them in doing so. And that is what Toronto is fundamentally all about. And that’s how it must remain. Therefore, I felt honored to have Isabel with me today, ” Tory explained.
Many of the people CP24 spoke with during the march were attending for the first time, and they were all pleased to see the Pride parade returning and everyone having a wonderful time. They came from many nations, such as the United States, Israel, and Nicaragua.
“I’ve never seen so many like-minded queers together. And it just generally makes me feel at home. So I like it, “a partygoer from the United Kingdom who recently relocated to Toronto said. It “feels like a large, extended family.”
When asked what Pride means to him, one parade goer responded that it is about accepting and expressing who you are while not caring what other people think.
Since there will inevitably be those who disagree with you throughout the day, he said it’s nice to see everyone celebrating it. “It feels good to know that there ‘s more than only you and a couple of your friends and just feels nice that there’s even like straight folks, allies that all support you.”
On Sunday, Pride Toronto projected that there would be about 1.8 million attendees.
The festival partnered with private security companies to conduct checks at specific places, organizers stated before the weekend.
According to them, additional precautions are required due to an alleged spike in anti-LGBTQ acts this month.
Source: CTV News
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