Justin Trudeau 1st sitting PM to march in Montreal Pride parade

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau beamed as he waved a rainbow flag during Montreal's Pride parade Sunday afternoon.

Thousands showed up to take part in the annual downtown festivities

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Philippe Couillard and Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre were among thousands taking part in Montreal's annual Pride parade this afternoon.

Trudeau is the first sitting prime minister to take part in the city's Pride celebration, according to organizers.

Speaking before the parade, Trudeau acknowledged his fellow politicians, saying it is important that a wide range of political parties are represented.

NDP Leader Tom Muclair, Liberal MP Mélanie Joly, Parti Québécois MNA Martine Ouellet, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, Bloc Québécois MP Mario Beaulieu, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Philippe Couillard were some of the politicians in attendance at Montreal's Pride parade. (Radio-Canada)

Representatives from the federal Conservatives, the Liberal Party of Canada, the New Democratic Party, the Bloc Québécois, as well as provincial and municipal politicians were all in attendance.

Trudeau said the show of solidarity is important now that the world is increasingly looking to Canada to set an example.

"We're going to continue to work hard and push the limits of what other countries are doing because we have to get the message across that LGBT rights are human rights that have to be respected," he said.

Trudeau also marched in the Vancouver and Toronto Pride parades earlier this year. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to a volunteer during the annual pride parade in Montreal. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

Coderre also spoke ahead of the festivities, saying it's important to send the message that we can be different but equal.

"We understand this parade is a celebration, but it's also about continual vigilance," Coderre said. "There are still rights that need to be acquired." 

Moment of silence to honour Orlando victims

The participants made their way down René-Lévesque Boulevard in downtown Montreal, starting at Guy Street and ending at Sanguinet Street.

Vincent Autin, left, and Bruno Boileau, exchange a smile during their wedding at Montpelier City Hall in May 2013. (Claude Paris/Associated Press)

A moment of silence was held in honour of those who have died from AIDS-related illness and homophobia. It was also dedicated to the memory of the 49 people who died at the PULSE nightclub in Orlando in June.

The parade's grand marshals were:

  • Filmmaker and writer Sridhar Rangayan.
  • Olie Pullen, a transgender Quebec teenager.
  • LGBTQ immigrant advocate Hector Gomez.
  • Inuk activist Mona Belleau.
  • ​Actress and producer Raven-Symoné.

​The guests of honour were Vincent and Bruno Boileau-Autin, the first homosexual couple to be married in France.

Members of the LGBTQ community came to the Montreal Pride parade dressed as unicorns. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

Montreal police Cmdr. Simon Durocher told Radio-Canada that while the force doesn't want to create a climate of fear, police presence was increased during the festivities, given recent events in Orlando, Fla. and Nice, France.

Even though Sunday is the final day of Pride festivities, the parade isn't the last event. For more information on the program, check out Pride's website.