Toronto Pride Is 31


Toronto Pride is 31 years old,    it may have started out life as a small grass-roots march protesting police raids on gay bathhouses of 1981 and demanding gay and lesbian rights,  but it has become a major celebration on the city,  which lasts 10 days and brings more than a million people to the city.

One of the big stories of the day is the fact that the city mayor isn’t having anything to do with the festival, the celebrations, or the gay community as a whole.   The message this is sending out to the wider world is one of intolerance and the rebirth of political discrimination toward the gay community.  Many European tour operators are reviewing tour programmes to the city as a result.

For years, police officers, Toronto mayors, other politicians and political hopefuls have made it a point to march through the gay village in the marquee event — the Pride parade.  “It’s very important for a city that has aspirations to be a world-class city to show that the politicians are firmly in support of their citizenry,” Pride co-Chair Francisco Alvarez said at City Hall Monday.

“Since Toronto does present itself as to the world as a very progressive city, very creative, liveable city, very diverse, then we think the mayor’s participation in Pride would be a very important signal in convincing people that that’s actually true.”      

Indeed, the world’s eyes will be focusing on our Pride festivities this year ahead of Toronto hosting World Pride in 2014. Host cities are chosen by the international group


.   However,  there are moves already underway to investigate other cities in different countries.

Looking ahead to the main weekend.

Friday, July 1:
Trans March
The march heads down Church Street at 8 p.m., starting at Hayden. This march started in 2009.
Pride Street Fair
6 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Church Street
Saturday, July 2:
Pride Street Fair
11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Dyke March
2 p.m.
Route: starts at Church and Hayden Streets, moves north on Church to Bloor, west on Bloor to Yonge and then south on Yonge to Wood St. It will head east along Wood back to Church Street.
Sunday, July 3:
Pride Street Fair
11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Pride Parade
2 p.m.
Route: Starts at Church and Bloor, west on Bloor to Yonge Street, south on Yonge Street to Gerrard Street East, east on Gerrard Street East to Church Street.

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