Monday, July 2, 2012

Happy Birthday Canada

Combined Canada Day and Gay Pride Parade celebrations, Toronto (Reuter's photo)

Neighborhoods of excellence and safety grow from tolerance for differences. That old message emerges from urban gurus like Jane Jacobs. Nowhere is the celebration of diversity better illustrated than in parades and festivals.

This year Toronto has accomplished what few other places in the world can claim - a successful pairing of a gay pride parade with the nation's birthday celebrations. I watched that odd spectacle on July 1 when Toronto's annual Pride Parade was intentionally combined with the nation's birthday celebrations on Canada Day.

For many citizens tolerance is no doubt tested in such a pairing. As well, Toronto's Pride parade is not without controversy (the mayor didn't attend). Further, some hate this unique pairing. Then again, hatred is precisely the point.

From what I saw, 100,000 combined Pride Parade and Canada Day revelers had few problems proving that tolerance isn't just acceptable, it is the very definition of diversity.

Pride and Police - waiting for the parade to arrive

Peeking over the heads of thousands lining the parade route

2 Replies so far - Add your comment

Evelyn Zellerer said...

Another great post, thanks Greg! Wow, this was a unique, interesting and historic event...

And I'm sure it raised various questions.

Our differences and diversity challenge us yet are our strength and gifts. I hope neighbourhoods and societies can move beyond tolerance of one another. Tolerance has been a start, but should not be our end goal.

Gregory Saville said...

Yes, that remains my wish also. We shall see what the future holds.