The ArQuives Digital Exhibitions

Protests and Demonstrations


“Discrimination became a reality as gay people emerged from the closet in larger numbers. We wanted to organize people in opposition to that discrimination, in part to bring them out in even greater numbers, knowing that that was a necessary precondition for the creation of a gay community and a gay political movement.”

--Chris Bearchell, Coalition for Gay Rights in Ontario (CGRO)

Pride Day Toronto, 1994,

Clip features scenes from the 1994 pride week Toronto rally and march. Taking place shortly after the defeat of Bill 167, this was the largest LGBT political action at the time in Canada. The march included 50,000 marchers. Floats and protest banners are featured, along with an effigy of Ontario Liberal party leader Lynn McLeod, withdrawing her support for Bill 167. Clip includes a rally at the Legislative Assembly at 11 Wellesley St W., where marchers held a pink ribbon and formed a human chain around the building.

Interview with Douglas Stewart on LGBTQ+ activism in 1970s-1980s

Douglas Steward discusses his role in late 1970s- early 1980s activism in Toronto, including working with community groups ZAMI and Reunite Africa Youth (RAY).

Interview with Harold Desmarais

Clip is an excerpt of an interview with Harold Desmarais. Desmarais speaks on the 1981 protest in the Ontario legislature after the defeat of the amendment to include sexual orientation in the Ontario Human Rights act, and the eventual passage of the amendment in 1986.

March of Hearts Campaign for Equal Marriage, Ottawa

Clip is an excerpt from the March of Hearts which took place in Ottawa on March 6, 2004. Speakers include: Paul Hesse, Queer McGill, and Gilles Marchildon , Egale Canada.

Chris Higgens & Chris Phibbs on the Campaign for Equal Families; defeat of Bill 167 in Ontario; same sex parents adoption case in Ontario

Clip is an interview with Chris Higgens and Chris Phibbs on the Campaign for Equal Families; defeat of Bill 167 in Ontario; and the same sex parents adoption case in Ontario.

Gay Freedom Rally, Bill 7 in Ontario

Clip depicts a portion of the Gay Freedom Rally, held in Toronto to support of the passing of and amendment to Bill 7 in Ontario, to include protection on the grounds of sexual orientation. Clip features a speech by Margaret Atwood.

Demonstration against gay bashing, Toronto

Clip is a record of a demonstration that took place outside of the Second Cup on Yonge street in the Church-Wellesley village, on October 21st, 1994. The rally was held in response to a violent attack on Ross Mulhearon and Steve Tait in the same spot, the weekend before. The clip features rally speaker Bob Gallaghar discussing the experiences of two victims and calling for change, rally signs, and protesters. Chants include "We're here, we're queer, we're not going away!" and "No more violence!".