Happy Pride everyone! GO Transit is always excited to celebrate Pride month, even when it doesn’t happen in the usual way. We thought last year’s virtual Pride would be a one-time thing, but here we are again this year. It’s understandable to be disappointed that we can’t be celebrating in the streets yet, but like the rainbow coming out after the storm, we can try to find the bright side!
Memories of Past Pride Events
What are some of your favourite past Pride memories? Which special people were there to share them with you? Reminiscing with those friends, even if it’s over text or video chat, can help us feel like we’re still coming together to celebrate.
GO Transit has been involved in Toronto Pride since 2012, so we have a lot of fun memories! From fundraising to bus wraps to participation in Pride parades, our presence at Pride has increased through the years.
Here are some of our favourite memories:
- 2012 - Our first time participating in the Toronto Pride Parade! What was your first Pride event?
- 2014 - More than 75 Metrolinx employees marched together to celebrate World Pride, joined by GO Bear and a wrapped GO bus!
- 2015 - We changed our Pride slogan from “GO Proud” to “Moving Together” to be inclusive of all of Metrolinx.
- 2016 - This was our first year wrapping a Traffic Safety patrol car for Pride. We also added our presence to the Hillside Topiary and an electronic billboard along the Gardiner Expressway.
- 2017 - We participated in York Pride for the first time! We also started offering our customers special pricing promotions to attend Pride Toronto. We’re looking forward to doing this again when in-person events resume in the future!
- 2018 - We started our official partnership with Pride Toronto and we sold Pride t-shirts to fundraise for The 519 in the Church Wellesley Village. Our slogan changed to “Ride With Pride”.
- 2019 - Over 200 employees participated in Pride events in Toronto, York, and Durham! We sold Pride t-shirts and donated the funds to Rainbow Railroad, a Canadian charity that helps LGBTQ+ individuals escape violence and persecution in their home countries.
- 2020 - We participated in the Virtual Toronto Pride Parade - a first for all of us! Our slogan became “Pride Rolls On”. We also advanced our internal Pride program and inclusion strategy because we believe in supporting diversity and inclusion all year round.
Virtual Pride Month 2021
We know that virtual events aren’t quite the same as the feeling of community that happens when we celebrate Pride together, but there are some great virtual events planned throughout our region this year and, since they’re online, you can “attend” from anywhere!
Big Bus Wrap News
We have loved unveiling new Pride GO bus wraps in past years. We’ve had some great designs utilizing our previous “Ride With Pride” slogan.
Last year, we created a new slogan: “Pride Rolls On”, and it is featured along with the Progress Pride Flag on this year’s bus wrap design. To continue with our mission of celebrating diversity and inclusion year round, our 2021 Pride Rolls On bus will continue in rotation 365 days a year!
Keep an eye out for our new Pride bus beginning at the end of June.
This year marked the first time that Metrolinx was a presenting sponsor for a Pride Toronto event. We presented a Wellness Wednesday workshop on June 9th. We recognize the importance of taking time to focus on mental health, especially in the midst of the pandemic when so many people are feeling unconnected to their support systems. You can find out about the final Toronto Pride Wellness Wednesday event here.
Pride Guide - “Travel” to Pride Events in Every City
Now here’s the truly positive side of virtual pride. You can “visit” events in other cities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe - even those happening in different places on the same day!
Here are just some of the events happening around our region that would make for an amazing virtual experience:
- June 24 7:00 pm-8:30 pm - Virtual Pride Open Mic Night at Brantford Pride
- June 25 3:00 pm-4:00 pm - Trans Pride via Pride Toronto
- June 27 2:00 pm-3:00 pm - Virtual Pride Toronto Parade
- June 27 3:30 pm-5:00 pm - Closing Ceremony: Revolution via Pride Toronto
- June 29 - Community Queer Trivia Competition via Hamilton Pride
- June 30 - Virtual Variety Show with Hamilton Pride
But there are so many more for you to discover!
Check out our interactive map of Pride event locations and then visit the various Pride websites to find details on ALL the event options so you can create your own virtual Pride tour!
Some cities have already finished their virtual Pride festivities for this year, but there are still lots of upcoming events in the Toronto Pride Guide, and Peterborough Pride Week is happening September 17th to 26th, 2021 so be sure to check out some of their virtual events then!
“Travelling” around to all of the Pride event locations this year will really give you a sense of the vibe of each city during Pride month. Next year - fingers crossed - when in-person Pride celebrations are back up and running, you might want to plan a real visit to some of the events in other cities around the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
GO Transit will be ready to take you there safely and comfortably! Pride Rolls On!
We hope that you’re inspired to explore the amazing Pride celebrations happening year-round in the GTHA. If you found this helpful, sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.