Today Wed Thu
It is forecast to be Thunderstorm at 11:00 PM EDT on July 29, 2014
It is forecast to be Chance of a Thunderstorm at 11:00 PM EDT on July 30, 2014
Chance of a Thunderstorm
It is forecast to be Partly Cloudy at 11:00 PM EDT on July 31, 2014
Partly Cloudy



Free Hugs Insurgents Take Nathan Phillips Square

WARNING: The following report may shock and offend some readers.
2007_01_30hugday2c.jpgThe Toronto Hug Coalition, one of many local factions of the global Free Hugs Campaign, claimed full responsibility for Saturday afternoon’s Hug Day uprising at Nathan Philips Square.
Total strangers of all ages made eye contact, shyly said hello, and HUGGED each other while a band of young men called The Bicycles played indie pop music. Skating at the nearby rink was disrupted when THC mascot Hug Man took to the ice and was swarmed by affectionate small children; soon afterwards, skating was completely halted for a brief moment when everyone hugged everyone else. Nearby, a trio of ten-feet tall giants dressed in bizarre winter carnival garb hoisted unsuspecting youth into the air for dizzying, acrophobic squeezes (see photo, right).
All this, in Toronto The Good? At the steps of our city hall? In front of innocent bystanders (many of them children) celebrating WinterCity in close vicinity? Various netizens responded to announcements of the Hug Day demonstration with threats, taunts, and public admissions of hate and revulsion. Others embraced.
THC organizer Sonja Andic was overheard saying, “the only thing keeping me going in this damp cold is the warmth of continuous hugging.” Andic confesses to hugging approximately thirty people; her sister, fifty. The group is co-ordinating additional operations in undisclosed Toronto locations this spring.
Photos of David Furlong (top) and unknown vertically-gifted hugger (right) by Sharon Harris.


  • steve

    I think this hugging group should really demonstrate their level of commitment by developing a “free hugs for the homeless” day. After all, what homeless person in the city isn’t in need of a good hug?

  • rek

    Call me when Free Backrub Day starts.

  • Marie

    ahhh I think you are missing the point Steve and Rek.
    Regarding free hugs for the homeless – free hugs is ment to be for anyone, you can’t go and dictate who one group has to hug. What next speed-dating for the homeless? Well if the average joe that isnt homeless can do it well then be damned if we dont go and just mention or tack on the homeless – sure this is in their list of top priorities – and the homeless love beinging lumped into your agenda Steve just because you are a sour puss!
    Get real.

  • Bobby

    Great article. Brilliantly makes fun of the cranky grumps like Steve.

  • rek

    I’m not missing the point, I just want free backrubs.