Huge crowd takes over Nathan Phillips Square.
Toronto parades don’t stop at Pride, Santa Claus, and St. Patrick.
The annual Khalsa Day parade always gets a huge turnout, as it draws tens of thousands of Sikhs to march and celebrate their new year.
Here are some photos from the 31st annual parade.
The parade route starts at Exhibition Place and goes east along Lake Shore Boulevard to University Avenue. From there, the parade goes north to Queen Street, and then goes to Nathan Phillips Square.
Among the floats at the parade was the Sikh Motorcycle Club. They are not fond of an Ontario law that requires motorcylists to wear helmets regardless of articles of faith.
Khalsa Day also has lots of great food once you get to Nathan Phillips Square, but you are likely to get squished in the packed public space.
But the food is delicious, so you go for it anyway.
It wasn’t always so easy for Sikhs in Canada and Toronto to show such a visible sign of strength. In the early twentieth century, Sikhs struggled to gain acceptance in the country, and pushed back against immigration barriers.