Toronto Pride Parade: A Photo Essay

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Fun at the Toronto Pride Parade:

As I walk towards downtown Toronto for lunch, I see a large woman (?) clad in a red ball gown and a sparkly tiara, speaking animatedly on her cell phone. Simultaneously walking by her is a shirtless man singing at the top of his lungs and dancing wildly while listening to his mp3 player.

pretty in red

Aahh….Toronto in summer, on the day of the Pride Parade. This is nothing; I’m still five kilometers from the downtown core (and the parade route itself).

This post was originally published in 2011. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content.

I’ve always appreciated my hometown of Toronto for being among the most eclectic and multicultural cities in the world. Growing up here, I was pretty much a minority as a Canadian-born Caucasian, and I identified Canadian culture with that of many backgrounds. Perhaps it is part of the reason why traveling full-time has come so easily to me; I’m used to coexisting with so many other ethnicities and cultures. Racism is (or rather, was)  not in my vocabulary.

pride colours

It’s in this spirit of openness and acceptance that Toronto has also become a major player in the world gay and lesbian community. In North America, Toronto is among the most progressive for setting policies, including legalizing same-sex marriage (which happened in 2003).

And for over 30 years, Toronto has hosted a Pride Week Festival (one of the world’s longest running organized Pride celebrations), attracting almost 1.5 million people. This annual festival culminates in the Pride Parade; a colourful extravaganza of expression and flambuoyance that takes over downtown Toronto.

Here are some impressions of the Toronto Pride Parade on this hot and sunny Sunday afternoon:

colourful bystanders
shouting
flag wavers
pretty in pink
marching band performers
celebrate who we are
she isn't shy! And what's that on the Canadian flag?
those pantyhose must be hot! It's almost 40 degrees!

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3 thoughts on “Toronto Pride Parade: A Photo Essay”

  1. I attended my 1st parade with my then GF Annie, in 72, and got to know Roller-Rita, who later passed on… there was a bit of confusion as to whether her name was Roller-Rita or Roller-Rina, according to what space of time she was known… this is not the same person who goes by that nom de plum today, but the original tv who wore a wedding dress as she skated everywhere, everyday…

    But on the day she skated from the top of Broadway to the bottom of Broadway, I rode my bike with her as she skated for many miles, and gave up at Canal street, tired and worn out by this amazing creature…

    Some of us folks will remember her at the ‘Silver Buck’ on Christopher St, as well as Keith Haring, Baryshnikov and Mark ’10inch’ Stevens who also hung out there in the middle of the night…

    Let us not forget what these events have come from and what the etymology and genesis of the culture that helped to create it, and the many people who lived their lives in a hidden world that today is still somewhat embroiled in socio-political ignorance of what humans are…

    Lately the Pride Parades have become less a moment of Pride and more of sheer Parade, and that to me is sad…

    BTW. can you get me the number of that spacegal?

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