Yesterday was Pride Day in Toronto and Mark and I got our spot along the parade route at Yonge and Grosvenor around 1:10 p.m. We met our friends Barron and David from Vancouver and later Paul and Glenn showed up midway during the parade. The parade started on time and was coming down Yonge shortly after 2:00. It was a long parade–four hours–and I have long held the opinion that the Pride Committee should take a hint from the Santa Claus Parade whose parade is a lot shorter (because children waiting in the freezing cold for sometimes hours before the parade even begins don’t have the patience to wait such a long time for Santa). Nevertheless Mark and I, along with Barron and David stuck it out and watched the entire parade.
I saw Scrabble friend Jesse Matthews marching with the Air Canada contingent and he broke out of his group to give me a pride kiss. I believe I last saw Jesse at CNSC X five years ago. The political groups and Toronto mayoral candidates marched near the end, and Ana Bailão and former mayor Barbara Hall both came over to Mark and me and we shook their hands. Bailão pressed that it was important for us to go out to vote (there is a byelection today) yet of course as I don’t live in Toronto I am not eligible to. We saw mayoral front-runner Olivia Chow running ahead of her own delegation. It was thus fitting for her to be so far ahead of who she was marching with. I shook hands with Mark’s MP Dr. Carolyn Bennett and greeted Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie, who will be running for the Liberal provincial leadership. Former mayor John Tory did march but with an earlier group, PFLAG. After the parade Mark and I walked along Church Street for a little while and then I paid a visit to John and Kristen Chew, where I was finally able to sit down after being on my feet for about six hours.