We acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of many Nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples, and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. We also acknowledge that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the Williams Treaties signed with multiple Mississaugas and Chippewa bands.
We also acknowledge all Treaty peoples – including those who came here as settlers – as migrants either in this generation or in generations past - and those of us who came here involuntarily, particularly forcibly displanted Africans brought here as a result of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and Slavery. We pay tribute to those ancestors of African origin and descent.
Brian Jiang (they/them) Artist, Toronto

Executive Statement 

From Sherwin Modest and The Board of Directors

This year, Pride Toronto celebrates its 40th Anniversary. In February 1981 – 40 years ago – four bathhouses downtown were violently surprised by a series of coordinated raids called “Operation Soap.” Plain clothed police officers entered The Barracks, The Club, Richmond Street Health Emporium, and Roman II Health & Recreation Spa.

When the night was over, 286 men were charged for being found in a common bawdy house (a brothel), and 20 were charged for operating a bawdy house. It was, up to that time, the largest single arrest in Toronto’s history.

Later in the year, “Lesbian and Gay Pride Day Toronto”, now Pride Toronto, was legally incorporated and an estimated 1,500 people celebrated Pride Day on Sunday, June 28th, 1981 at Grange Park. 

We are excited to be commemorating our 40th Anniversary by sharing our story through digital content and by showcasing our heroes, our Elders, of the Toronto Queer and Trans communities.

Over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, communities across Toronto, especially racialized and marginalized communities, are frustrated, exhausted, and anxious about their future. However, this year has also highlighted their sacrifices and resiliency in the face of great challenges.
The 2SLGBTQ+ communities continue to be among the most vulnerable in Canada and hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Facing significant discrimination in all areas of life, barriers to accessing healthcare and mental health services, and higher rates of homelessness, poverty, and social isolation — one thing is evident, our community needs ongoing support now more than ever.

Pride Toronto is supporting this work by prioritizing community-focused programming, amplifying local advocacy, and elevating the most marginalized voices in our community.

We are thankful for the ongoing work, commitment, and support of staff, volunteers, members, sponsors, and the 2SLGBTQ+ community. We look forward to celebrating the 2021 Pride Toronto Festival and our 40th Anniversary with you!

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