As Pride Month comes to a close, Toronto will be bustling with various Pride events all around the city this weekend.
The Pride StreetFair, Pride Trans March, and Pride Toronto Dyke March are some of the events happening downtown, which will also come with some road closures and increased security.
Due to an increase in incidents of hate, pride organizations across Canada are experiencing rising costs, according to Fierté Canada, a national association of Pride organizations.
At the beginning of June, the federal government established a $1.5 million emergency fund for Pride festivals. Fierté Canada Pride will distribute this funding from the federal Department of Women and Gender Equality to offset these increased festival costs, according to the press release.
Michelle Simeon at Pride Toronto acknowledges the effort of the government to improve security at Pride events.
“I think it’s finally time that everyone, no matter how they identify, feels safe to celebrate what they believe in,” she said.
Stephanie Sayer, a spokesperson for the Toronto Police Service (TPS), said that the main goal is to ensure the safety of each visitor to the Pride Festival.
The TPS has advocated for an increase in the number of paid duty officers in order to handle the larger event footprint in advance of the annual Pride Festival, according to Sayer.
“To ensure public safety and handle the surge of guests, security will be tightened,” she said.
Sayer explained that precise details on the security measures for the Pride March are kept from the public.
“To ensure the safety of pedestrians and drivers, however, as with any important event in the city, TPS will be more visible throughout the weekend,” Sayer said.
“LGBTQ2S+ communities were the most frequently victimized groups for hate-motivated assault occurrences,” said Sayer. She emphasized that “hate crimes continue to be a top concern for the service despite their long-lasting effects on victims and communities.”
The following Pride Toronto activities will result in road closures: the Pride Street Fair, Pride Trans March, Pride Dyke March, and the Pride Parade. These activities will take place, so drivers should plan for traffic delays. Routes on the TTC could also be affected.
Pride StreetFair, Friday, June 23, at 8 a.m.
Road closures will begin on Friday, June 23, 2023, at 8 a.m. from Church Street to Dundas Street East to Hayden Street, and Wellesley Street East will be closed from Yonge Street to Jarvis Street and end on Monday, June 26, 2023, at 7 a.m.
Pride Toronto Trans March, Friday, June 23, 7 p.m.
The gathering will take place at 7 p.m. on the northern side of the Pride StreetFair, specifically at the intersection of Church Street and Hayden Street. At 8 p.m., the march will commence from that very spot.
Pride Toronto Dyke March, Saturday, June 24, at 1 p.m.
The full closure will take place at 1:30 p.m., continuing until the march concludes at approximately 6 p.m.
Pride Parade, Sunday, June 25, at 8 a.m.
Road closures will occur at 8 a.m., 12 p.m., 12 p.m., and 1:30 p.m., with all roads expected to be re-opened at 8 p.m.
For more details about the road closures, visit the Toronto Police website.