Toronto Gay Pride is one of the largest Pride celebrations in North America and has become a major Canadian arts and cultural event. Gay Pride Toronto started in 1981, and since then it has evolved into an incredibly lively celebration in the city that continues to attract loads of party enthusiasts from near and far. Following the gay bathhouse raids of 1981 in Toronto, referred to as "Operation Soap", a major demonstation took place the next day, at the intersection of Yonge and Wellesley Streets, closing down the entire streets.
From this, Gays and Lesbians Against the Right was formed, an activist group that fought to promote LGBTQ visibility in the city, and enact equal rights for the community. Later that year, Lesbian and Gay Pride Day Toronto was legally incorporated, and took place on June 28 in the height of the city's summer. The event attracted roughly 1500 people, and brought with it a politically charged atmosphere that was set to help the overall LGBTQ rights movement in the city for years to come.
History was again made in 1994, when roughly 40,000 people attended Toronto Pride Day in honor of 25 years since the Stonewall Riots of 1969. This Pride Day was particularly momentous, as pride enthusiasts staged the biggest LGBTQ political demonstation in Canadian history, wrapping a large pink ribbon around the entire legislative assembly, forming a human chain. In 1996, a staggering 750,000 celebrated Pride Day, participating in a three-hour parade. This was also the first year a Dyke March took place, along with a Pride and Remembrance Run.
To this day, Toronto Gay Pride continues to be one of the most celebrated Pride events in the whole of North America, attracting an estimated 1.2 million spectators each year. While Pride Month takes place throughout the entire month of June, things usually culminate on the final weekend of the month, with an incredible Pride Parade and Pride Festival. Gay Pride Toronto very much still remains a political demonstration, with organizers maintaining a strong mission that stipulates that every member of the community should be known, heard, understood, accepted, and respected. With key values of freedom, love, expression, and understanding, Gay Pride Toronto is just the kind of event where you can truly experience your pride, and enjoy a more welcoming world. We hope to see you there!
For full details on Toronto Pride 2023, be sure to check out the official event program. Happy Pride!