WHERE: City Hall podium
WHEN: June 24, 12:15 p.m.
WHAT: “We know our work is not done yet,” said Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale), to the several hundred community members who gathered to mark Pride 2013 with the annual raising of the rainbow flag at City Hall. There were teachers dressed as glittery fruits along with a class of kindergarten students; many cheers for Kathleen Wynne—the first openly gay premier in Ontario, and the first slated to march in the Pride parade; and celebrations of the honoured marshals and groups who will lead that parade, along with the Dyke March and Trans March.
And there was also, after years of pressure, the presence of Toronto mayor Rob Ford.
Predictably, Ford’s attendance drew mixed reactions. There were a few boos, and more people shushing the boo-ers. After the ceremony ended there were people who told us they didn’t need empty political gestures, and others who said they were glad to have him there. Whatever the intention, it it was certainly a change, the first time the mayor has attended an official Pride Toronto event. Ford is still planning on spending the weekend at a cottage with his family; few expect him to attend the parade.