Toronto Pride

 In the 1970's Toronto's LGBT community held picnics at Hanlan's Point and Ward's Island, organized by The U of T, and Toronto's LGBT community.  The picnics were a way to show support and solidarity with the LGBT community, in light of Canada's 1969 decision to decriminalize homosexual acts for adults.  Eventually these gatherings evolved into the city's first real Toronto Pride march in 1974. The march was not sanctioned or funded by the city, the march in support of gay rights went to Queen's Park.        

 The modern day Pride event is a ten-day festival held during the end of June each year, and was born out of the mass protests that were in response to the infamous " 1981 Bathhouse Raids" The raids took place in February of that year, and with a reported three hundred plus arrests, it was the largest mass arrest in Canada.  As a result of the raids many of Toronto's LGBT community were publicly named, at a time when people in the gay community were

shunned.   The arrests triggered mass public protests that lasted over a year , and eventually led to the first "Gay Freedom Rally" that was held on March 6 1981. 

It would take another ten years before the city of Toronto would officially proclaim Pride Day in 1991, and then in 1998 the City of Toronto officially recognized Pride Week.

Toronto's pride celebrations are a major international event, with people visiting Toronto from around the world.  The Celebrations feature a wide range of events centered around three parades, the Dyke March, the Trans March and the Pride Parade. 

"the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation," Pierre Trudeau

 

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