PHOTOS: Get ready for Pride Week in Toronto

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Photos by Julia Pelish Visuals Editor


More than 1.2 million people are expected to turn out for this year’s Toronto Pride Parade. (Julia Pelish/

TORONTO, ONTARIO — This year’s Toronto Pride Parade falls on Canada Day. Given this nation’s leading role in equal rights for the LGBT community, including the legalization of same-sex marriage, that seems fitting. It also means Torontowill be jam-packed with revelry come July 1.

More than 1.2 million people are expected for the 32nd annual Pride Parade, which begins at 2 pm at the downtown corner of Bloor and Church Streets. The parade will culminate 10 days of celebration that begins this Friday.

Raucous, artsy, risqué, in your face, and amazingly popular, Pride Week is not only one of Toronto’s premier events, it has been named the Best Festival in Canada by the Canadian Special Event Industry for two straight years. Like so many other Pride celebrations in the world, the Toronto event has its roots in the 1969 Stonewall riots that took place in New York City.

The festival, which also coincides this year with the Toronto Jazz Fest, kicks off with music and entertainment throughout the downtown core. Of course, the event, which has a whopping budget of $1.6 million, is also one of the most controversial in the country. Toronto’s city council nearly balked at participating in funding for the 2012 parade because of the inclusion of an anti-Israeli group among the more than 150 organizations taking part in the march. There’s concern that group could take the opportunity to make a disruptive political statement during the parade.

While city officials will be watching that group carefully, the bevy of photographers and videographers who come out each year will be on the lookout for some of the scintillating images that are always found during the parade. The images here are a collection of photographs from the 2010 and 2011 Pride Parade.

What are your favourite Pride Week memories or photos? Share them with and you can win a travel prize! Email to be eligible!

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A photographer who has worked in the largest media markets in Canada and the U.S., Julia’s travel photos and videos have been featured prominently in the Toronto Star and been exhibited in galleries in Toronto, New York and Vancouver. Her new line of photo jewelry was inspired by her travels. Even though she is an American, one of her favourite travel experiences was spending Canada Day 2000 on Parliament Hill, joining in a parade with then-Prime Minister Jean Chretien and others. Julia is’s Visuals Editor. See her work at

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