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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Rainbow Flag Raising and Pride Week Proclamation

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This afternoon I attended the Rainbow Flag Raising and Pride Week Proclamation in front of City Hall at Nathan Phillips Square. The event is the official opening of Pride Toronto’s Pride Week, a ten-day-long celebration of the city’s LGBTTIQQ2S communities that started on June 20 and concludes on June 29. Since Nathan Phillips Square is covered in tents and stages for the Toronto Jazz Festival, the event was held at the festival’s Primus Stage, just in view of the podium where the rainbow-striped Pride flag was raised after a few short speeches.

Pride Co-Chairs Mark Singh, Lenore MacAdam, Councilor Kyle Rae, and Mayor David Miller

Mayor David Miller and Councilor Kyle Rae looking on as the flag was raised

Speaking at the event were City Councilor Kyle Rae, Mayor David Miller, and Pride co-chairs Mark Singh and Lenore MacAdam. Although Councilor Kyle Rae and Mayor Miller both highlighted the importance of diversity and respect for human rights that Pride has come to represent, Mayor Miller was light-hearted in saying that not only is Pride “fabulous, more importantly, it is so much fun.” I can appreciate his sentiments — Pride grew out of an uncompromising fight for human rights and acceptance for gays and lesbians, a mandate still reflected in many of Pride’s events, but it is also a huge celebration, and a chance for everyone, gay, straigh,t or otherwise, to let their hair down and participate in some great parties, parades, and cultural activities (many of which are free).

2008 Pride Parade Grand Marshall Enza “Supermodel” Anderson, with Deputy Premiere George Smitherman, and Minister of Education Kathleen Wynne.

In addition to the speakers, showing their support for Pride was a group of City Councilors that included Gord Perks, Adam Vaughan, and Adam Giambrone, as well as members of the Legislative Assemby of Ontario Deputy Premiere George Smitherman, Minister of Education Kathleen Wynne, and Minister of Tourism Peter Fonseca. Pride notables included Internaional Grand Marshall Gareth Henry, Pride Parade Grand Marshall Enza “Supermodel” Anderson, and members of the 2008 Pride Parade Honoured Group, The Friends for Life Bike Rally, whose mission is to raise more than $1 million dollars this year for HIV/AIDS support through sponsorship for their annual July bike ride from Toronto to Montreal.

Although I will be attending (and posting about) a few more Pride events this week, such as the Pride Street Festival this week-end, it was great to get out and see the Pride flag being raised. Since 1992, the Pride flag flying at City Hall has become an important symbol of Toronto’s acceptance of the LGBTTIQQ2S communities. The flag will be flying for the rest of Pride Week.



  1. LGBTTIQQ2S? Are you kidding me? Acronyms are supposed to make references easier. This is political correctness chasing its own tail and spacing shouldn’t be playing along. LGBTTIQQ2S? Preposterous!

  2. ChrisToronto > Do you have a better idea for the acronym?

    I agree that the acronym is a bit cumbersome, but preposterous? Never! Not only does it speak to the level of inclusion that Pride is meant to be about, but it is also quite over the top, which is fitting if you think of how over the top some of the Pride events are.

  3. Instead of pickin on it, let’s have some fun and try making a pronouncable word out of it so we don’t have to make it drag on so long when we are quoting it. Anyone know of a word with not one, but two Q’s and one vowel in it?

    PS. There’s so many damn letters now that by the time one’s finished saying it properly, you’ve lost your audience. “Are you going to the L G B T Q Q, no, that’s not it, L B G T, no, no, that’s not it either, L G B T T Q 2, damn! I forgot the I, the L G B…”

    You get the picture.

  4. I’m G. And I know what L, B, T and 2S stand for. But what does TIQQ stand for?

  5. The two Ts are Transsexual and Transgendered; I is Intersexed; the Qs are Queer and Questioning.

  6. Someone should notify Margaret Wente who’s missing the TIQQ2S in her Globe piece today.

  7. Why do we have an overlap between the Jazz Festival and Pride Week?

    Wouldn’t it make sense to have them at separate times?

  8. HI,
    Anyone know where to find
    councillor–ADAM GIAMBRONE’S picture at the pride parade TORONTO, full pic in shorts,