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Rainbow Flag Raised Over Toronto City Hall

The event marks the start of 33 days of Pride festivities.

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WHERE: Rooftop podium, Toronto City Hall

WHEN: Tuesday, May 31, 12 p.m.

WHAT: More than a hundred spectators gathered in the sweltering heat on the rooftop of City Hall to watch history in the making, as Pride Toronto and the City marked the start of the first-ever Pride Month with the annual flag raising event. The celebration kicks off 33 days of LGBTQ-themed festivities in the city, which Pride Toronto executive director Mathieu Chantelois says will make Toronto the “queerest city” on the map.

This year’s Pride theme, “You Can Sit With Us,” highlights the need for inclusion amongst the diverse communities that make up the LGBTQ population in Toronto. To make good on their promise to be more inclusive, Pride and the City also raised a trans flag on Queen Street, along with a rainbow flag. “We will fight for you, and we love you,” Chantelois said of the trans community.

Pride, as event emcee Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale) says, is moving back toward its political roots—beginning with the flag raising ceremony that saw several city councillors, Queen’s Park MPPs, and Mayor John Tory in attendance. In the upcoming weeks, Pride Toronto intends to continue to embrace its politics with human rights panels and frank discussions about queer issues—and, of course, a whole lot of rainbows.

Keep reading: Rainbow Flag Raised Over Toronto City Hall