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Canada: Toronto WorldPride festival attracts crowds, ‘streets overflowing’

Joe Lo June 30, 2014

Over 12,000 marched in the WorldPride parade yesterday in Toronto, in the culmination of the week-long festival.

According to the city, the festival is estimated to have brought in a total of 2 million people to the city, creating 3,000 jobs and bringing $286 million.

People from over 350 groups marched in the parade, with flags from Uganda, Suriname and Jamaica were among those spotted in the crowd.

Pride Toronto co-chair Sean Hillier said on the day that “the streets are overflowing” with people at the parade.

Kenneth van Emden came from Suriname and told The Canadian Press: “It’s very important to bring people all over the world together, people who in their country don’t have the opportunity to speak out, to have a voice.”

He added: “I think this platform gave people from around the world a voice in the fight (for) getting acceptance” and battling intolerance back home.”

As part of the celebrations, 115 same-sex couples from across the world were married earlier this week, in a free ceremony hosted in Toronto’s Casa Loma.

A special Twitter-powered Pride flag unveiled as part of the festivities.

Toronto also hosted a LGBT human rights conference which hundreds of delegates attended.

The last WorldPride was in London in 2012, which had to be controversially scaled down.

The next World Pride will be held in Madrid in 2017.

More: 2014, Americas, Canada, Canada, Pride, Toronto, World Pride

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