Toronto to host World Pride 2014
Toronto is already planning the festivities for when it hosts the World Pride event in 2014.
The city beat out Stockholm to host the international political and cultural event that promotes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.
Mark Singh, chair of the city's World Pride committee, said the festival will highlight the acceptance of the gay community by Canadians.
So far the program calls for an opening ceremony with a parade of nations and an international human rights conference. There will also be an AIDS candlelight vigil along with three parades including a Trans March, a Dyke March and Pride Parade.
The 2014 events will replace the city's usual Pride Week, and will be scheduled to celebrate Canada Day and the U.S. Independence Day.
Toronto resident Matthew Middleton celebrated Sunday's announcement on Church Street. "This is fantastic for strictly gay tourism, and for showing how accepting a city we are," Middleton said.
Toronto a 'gay-friendly' city: Rae
Organizers estimate that it will cost $10 million to host the international event. Coun. Kyle Rae said he hopes Ottawa will help cover part of the cost.
"I would expect the federal government would get on board and highlight our achievements as an equity-seeking society," Rae said.
Rae said the decision to give the event to Toronto is a reflection of the city's reputation as a gay-friendly city.
"I think people in other jurisdictions recognize that there's something special in Toronto," Rae said.
Pride Toronto officials said last summer's Pride Week contributed more than $100 million to the province's economy. Organizers said World Pride could contribute five times that much.