Rainbow Flag Raised Over Toronto City Hall
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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.

Pride Toronto's Mathieu Chantelois, left, and  Aaron GlynWilliam pose with Mayor John Tory and the pink tie he has vowed to wear to a mayor's meeting in Winnipeg tomorrow.

Pride Toronto executive director Mathieu Chantelois, left, and Aaron GlynWilliams pose with Mayor John Tory and the pink tie he has vowed to wear to a mayor’s meeting in Winnipeg tomorrow.

A full crowd gathered in the sweltering heat of the City Hall rooftop to celebrate.

A full crowd gathered in the sweltering heat of the City Hall rooftop to celebrate.

A group of kindergarteners from Clinton Public School watch speeches from the rooftop podium. Their teacher, Mr. V, brings his class every year to the flag raising.

A group of kindergarteners from Clinton Public School watch speeches from the rooftop podium. Their teacher, Mr. V, brings his class every year to the flag raising.

Mr. V., right, dressed up as Mr. Kiwi.

Mr. V., right, dressed up as Mr. Kiwi.

Pride Toronto's Aaron GlynWilliams and Mayor John Tory pose with the City's proclamation of Pride Month.

GlynWilliams and Tory pose with the City’s proclamation of Pride Month.

Mathieu Chantelois addresses the crowd, noting that this year's Pride festivities will make Toronto the queerest city for 33 days.

Chantelois addresses the crowd, noting that this year’s Pride festivities will make Toronto the queerest city for 33 days.

Reporters gather to snap photos as the rainbow flag is raised.

Reporters gather to snap photos as the rainbow flag is raised.

On street level at Queen Street, the trans flag is also raised.

On street level at Queen Street, the trans flag is also raised.

The flag is raised, overlooking the city.

The rainbow flag, overlooking the city.


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