Toronto

What today's march means for women in Toronto

As Donald Trump marks his first full day as President of the United States, hundreds of thousands of women around the world plan to send him a message Saturday — women's rights are human rights.

Thousands of people are expected to attend march held in solidarity with the Women's March on Washington

Here is a sign made for the women's march in Toronto Saturday. (Paul Smith/CBC)

As Donald Trump marks his first full day as president of the United States, hundreds of thousands of women around the world plan to send him a message Saturday — women's rights are human rights.

Events have been organized across the globe to show solidarity with the Women's March on Washington, which itself is expected to draw more than 200,000 people.

Another sign is being prepared for Saturday's women's march in Toronto. (Paul Smith/CBC)

In Toronto, the message will be a local one.

"It's an opportunity for people to stand up for the Canada and for the city that they envision — where there's gender equality and marginalized groups have access to justice and equality," said Kavita Dogra, 29, an organizer of the event.

Giving people a chance to stand up and be heard

The idea came to Dogra shortly after the U.S. election, knowing that travelling to Washington was not an option for her. Along with nine other organizers, she recognized the desire for people to speak up and felt compelled to do something.

Today's event is not meant to be a political one, she told CBC Toronto.

"This is not about Trump, this is about speaking out for the kind of world we want to live in," said Alison Norman, a dual citizen who plans on bringing her four-year-old and six-year-old daughter to Saturday's march in Toronto.

The Pussyhat social media campaign was created by Jayna Zweiman and Krista Suh, and is providing pink hats for protesters in the Women's March on Washington. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

At such a young age, Norman's daughters don't understand a whole lot about American politics, but her mother wants them to remember Saturday as a day where they stood on the right side of history.

On election night, she and her daughters made cupcakes with the promise to eat them if Hillary Clinton won the next morning. When that didn't happen, Norman explained to her girls that sometimes life isn't fair.

"I told them more people voted for Hillary, but because of the way the system works, he won, so we have to fight for the good stuff," she said.

Supporting the sisterhood

While the event in Toronto may not be about Trump himself, it will remind the women in America that their sisters are with them in voice and in spirit, Sylvia Summers said. 

"I think it's going to refresh the drive for the women in America," she said. "I'm marching — and carrying my sign — to give them some appreciation that they're not alone. That we're standing by them and it's not just Canada, it is across the world."

"It's everyone stepping up for women."

Sending a message to local governments

Like Dogra, Norman also hopes the march will send a message to the Canadian government, and future iterations of it, that Canadians won't tolerate the same divisive politics that we saw south of the border during the presidential campaign.

I want to kill the Trump side with positivity, kill him with kindness.- Kavita   Dogra , Toronto march organizer

When asked if they expect the U.S. president to respond to the marches, both women didn't have high hopes, but want to think of today as a positive day.

"I want to kill the Trump side with positivity, kill him with kindness," said Dogra, who has been involved in championing women's rights since 2012 with her organization, We Talk Women.

Need to know: road closures and more

  • More than 8-thousand people have signed up for today's march on Facebook, with 10-thousand more showing interest.
  • The march starts at Queen's Park at 12 p.m. and ends at city hall.
  • Toronto police say there are no planned road closures for the march, but warn they are possible as police monitor the situation.
  • The subway will be closed this weekend from Downsview to St. George station, with shuttle buses only running between Downsview and Lawrence West stations. The TTC advises commuterrs to use the streetcar or existing bus service from Lawrence West to get to St. George.
  • CBC Toronto will be live-blogging the march starting at 11 a.m.

With files from Nick Boisvert and Laura Fraser