The streets of downtown Toronto was filled with colours and rainbow banners despite the gloomy and wet weather on Sunday. The route for this year's Pride Parade kicked off at Church and Wellesley, and ended at Yonge and Dundas Square. Thousands of gatherers attended the celebrations with 120 groups assembling through the parade route.
Among the attendees for this year's celebrations included the Toronto Mayor, John Tory, who noted that: "We are reminded today of a terrible tragedy that befelled this community and really the entire city and the who country with the loss of the men (referring to the McArthur serial murder case)." He further says that the Pride was part of a bigger healing process. Other attendees included outgoing and openly-gay Toronto Premier, Kathleen Wynne.
This year's highlights included the moment of silence dedicated to those who lost their lives to HIV/AIDS. It is also a second time in a row that the uniformed police were excluded from the event. This was in response to the men who had ties in the village and had lost their lives but were not given justice by the police as a result of the lack of attendance to cases. Nevertheless, the tension with the police was far from the minds of the people as the event was all about inclusion and fostering a safe and welcoming space for all.
The celebrations ended with a crowd of people on black t-shirts that read: "we will not rest until we're safe." This was a tribute to those who lost their lives and to those who continue to feel unsafe, especially in light of the McArthur case.By Mary Angeline Joven Twitter: @SHECanada Facebook: SHE Canada Instagram: @shecanada