Marchers in the 32nd annual Toronto Pride parade took the festival’s theme to heart, celebrating and demonstrating to a roaring crowd, which one Toronto police officer estimated at more than 1.2 million people.
The parade is the largest Pride event in Canada and the third largest in the world.
At the front of the procession, co-grand marshals NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo and Liberal Education Minister Laurel Broten waved to the crowd. They were followed by this year’s honoured group, the LGBT Youth Line.
Marching with PFLAG again this year was Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke, along with his son Patrick Burke and comedian Rick Mercer.
Also marching, for the first time since 2010, was Queers Against Israeli Apartheid. The Pride Toronto dispute resolution panel ruled June 26 that the group could participate.
Hundreds of students from gay-straight alliances also marched. Now that the Accepting Schools Act has passed in Ontario, many students told Xtra they are eager to start new GSAs when the school year begins in September.