Toronto·Photos

Toronto's Pride 2015 parade full of rainbows despite rainy weather

Cold temperatures and a constant drizzle didn't seem to cool celebrations at Toronto's 35th annual Pride parade as prominent politicians and celebrities were on hand for what has traditionally been the largest event of its kind in the country.

Rainbow flags dot streets as revellers celebrate under grey skies

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      Cold temperatures and a constant drizzle didn't seem to cool celebrations at Toronto's 35th annual Pride parade as prominent politicians and celebrities were on hand for what has traditionally been the largest event of its kind in the country.

      Among those marching in Sunday's parade were federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, PC leader Patrick Brown and Toronto Mayor John Tory.

      Elton John's husband David Furnish, an east-end Toronto native and filmmaker, kicked off the festivities as one of the parade's grand marshals.

      Others included Bollywood actress and Indian gay rights supporter Celina Jaitly, Russian feminist punk rock band Pussy Riot, 80's singer Cyndi Lauper and YouTube sensation and youth ambassador Brendan Jordan.

      Crowds estimated in the hundreds of thousands lined Toronto's Yonge Street to watch the parade which was themed "Come out and Play."
      Cyndi Lauper was one of the grand marshals at Pride parade, trying to stay dry dressed as Marie Antoinette. (Laurie McCann/Twitter)

      Tory's attendance is significant because of the fact that his predecessor, Rob Ford, routinely snubbed the event during his four years in office.​

      Trudeau celebrated the morning by posing for soggy photos and chatting with Rev. Brent Hawkes, the pastor at Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, which has been involved with Pride for years.

      Tory posed with Mulcair during a breakfast before the parade began.

      Coun. Norm Kelly tweeted the route for the parade, which started at 2 p.m. ET.

      Peel Police unveiled a Pride cruiser in celebration of the day.

      Toronto Fire Service also joined the festivities 

      In the U.S., rainbows and good cheer were out in force Sunday as hundreds of thousands of people packed gay pride events from Chicago to New York City, where the governor officiated at a wedding, just days after the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.

      New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo made use of some newly granted powers by officiating at the wedding ceremony of a same-sex couple in Manhattan in front of the Stonewall Inn, where years ago gay bar patrons stood up to a police raid. New York state legalized same-sex marriage in 2011.

      More celebratory tone

      State law did not allow Cuomo to officiate at wedding ceremonies until last week. The authority to do so was granted as part of a slew of legislation passed days ago.

      This year, parades are taking on a more celebratory tone.

      Nikita Lowery, 28, of Chicago says she decided to attend that city's parade for the first time this year. "I feel like it's a true celebration now," she said.

      (Carly Thomas/CBC)

      Organizers of San Francisco's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Parade, just called "Pride," expect about 1 million revellers. It will have 240 groups marching in the parade and more than 30 floats, its largest in 45 years.

      "I just think it's going to be magical this year," said Gary Virginia, board president of San Francisco Pride.

      Virginia's comments were echoed by leaders of Pride celebrations in other cities.

      "It's going to be an epic weekend," said David Studinski, march director for New York City Pride. "I actually just wrote on Twitter that this is the most historic Pride march since the first."

      New York City expects 22,000 people marching along a three-kilometre route and more than two million people to visit throughout the day.

      At gay pride parades in Dublin, Paris and other cities Saturday, the U.S. ruling was hailed by many as a watershed.

      "Soon in all countries we will be able to marry," said Celine Schlewitz, a 25-year-old nurse taking part in the Paris parade. "Finally a freedom for everyone."

      With files from CBC News