WHERE: Nathan Phillips Square
WHEN: 12–1 p.m. today
WHAT: Every year, the rainbow flag gets raised at City Hall, to mark the opening of the Pride festival. Today, unlike previous years, our mayor was not on hand to take part in the ceremonies himself. Instead he sent the ever-affable Frances Nunziata (Ward 11, York South-Weston), who told the booing crowd that if they didn’t want to hear her speak on behalf of the mayor they “ha[d] the right to leave.”
So, there was that. But there were also people dressed up as kiwi fruits and friendly aliens, and for the first time ever a class of preschool kids, each clutching a mini rainbow flag of their own. There were more councillors in attendance than ever before—a show of force in the face of criticism that City Hall isn’t as welcoming of the queer community as it once was. And there was, to balance Nunziata’s abrasiveness, the calming leadership of Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale), who reminded the assembled crowd that this could still be a celebration.
Photos by Ryan Walker except where noted.