Toronto will celebrate its 44th annual Pride Parade come this June. Though Toronto celebrates the entire month of June, the parades take place in either the last weekend of June or the first weekend in July. It is one of the biggest Pride festivals in the world.
Toronto’s Pride parade began after the the Bathhouse Raids in 1981, where metropolitan police raided several gay bathhouses and arrested over three hundred men. It was the largest mass arrest in Canada since 1970 – until the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs in Edmonton.
In the past couple years, Toronto Pride parades have gathered crowds of a million people for Pride week events, and up to 100,000 people for the parade itself. World Pride was held in Toronto in 2014.
Toronto police have been barred from participating in the Pride parade for years in response to ongoing police harassment of people of color and the trans community. Police officers are still allowed to march in the parade, but they are not allowed to wear their uniforms.
Here are some photos from recent parades.
29TH JUNE 2014: People participating in the World Pride parade in Toronto. ShutterstockJULY 3, 2016: Five women holding “LOVE IS LOVE” sign at Toronto Pride parade. ShutterstockJULY 3, 2016: Toronto Police march on Young Street at Toronto Pride parade. ShutterstockJune 28, 2015 – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes selfies with Pride parade bystanders. ShutterstockJULY 1: The parade the closing activity of the Toronto Pride Festival. ShutterstockJULY 3, 2016: A police officer high fives spectators at Toronto Pride parade. Shutterstock