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1980-1989

1980-1989

1980

No organized Pride events. The Barracks bathhouse is raided, customers are arrested and police inflict extensive damage to the premises.

1981

On February 5, Metro Toronto Police raid various bathhouses, arresting 306 men, in the largest Canadian mass arrest except for the October 1970 FLQ crisis. Again, extensive property damage is inflicted by police. For added public humiliation, the "found-ins" are herded into the streets in towels to be processed. The names of those arrested are publicized by the police and local media, destroying several lives.

A major demonstration is held at Yonge and Wellesley the next day by hundreds of Toronto queers and their supporters, closing down the street. Activists start working, and the group Gays and Lesbians Against the Right is formed. Future mayor Barbara Hall is among the legal counsel defending those arrested.

Lesbian and Gay Pride Day Toronto is legally incorporated. 1,500 celebrate Pride Day on Sunday, June 28th, at Grange Park. In spite of the politically charged atmosphere that year, the day is billed as a time to relax, celebrate, and as "an afternoon of fun and frolic."

1982

June 28th at Grange Park, despite opposition from City Hall, 2,700 attend with the participants from the "Doing It" and "Wilde 82" conferences.

1983

Pride is held June 26th, this year at King's College Circle, Univerity of Toronto, due to previous complaints from Grange Park area residents. 3,000 people come to celebrate.

1984

Pride is held on July 1st, Canada Day, in Cawthra Park with 5,000 celebrants.

Reviving the political aspect of Pride, the theme for this year is "We Are Everywhere: 150 Years of Faggots and Dykes." The event was a commemoration of "diesel dykes, street kids and drag queens (as still being) our dispossesed."

For the first time Church Street is closed and people dance in the street. 

1985

Under the theme "Coming Together," Pride Day is held June 30th. Mayor Art Eggleton refuses to proclaim Lesbian & Gay Pride Week. 8,000 attend the festivities in Cawthra Park.

1986

Pride's theme for this year is "Forward Together." Again Mayor Eggleton refuses the proclamation, yet 10,000 celebrate in Cawthra Park.

The first Pride Committee is formed to organize the event. For the first time, the Pride program and logo focusses on AIDS. The logo depicts an "electrocardiogram recording the last heartbeats of people dying of AIDS."

Despite AIDS inducing hysteria and creating pariahs of people with the disease, corporate sponsors support Pride for the first time and help meet growing expenses for the event.

1987

Sexual orientation is included in the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Pride's theme is "Rightfully Proud," and 15,000 people attend. Again, Mayor Eggleton refuses to issue a proclamation.

1988

For "Viva la Difference," Pride Day gets its first parade Grand Marshals; Karen Andrews and Svend Robinson.

The temporary AIDS Memorial is installed in Cawthra Park.

20,000 people attend Pride celebrations. Official proclamation is again refused by Mayor Eggleton.

1989

Pride's theme is "Vision 20/20: Setting Our Sights," to remember the 20th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. While 25,000 people attend, official proclamation is again refused.

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