Metrolinx joins Pride Toronto for 40th anniversary celebrations

As Pride marks a major milestone despite COVID-19, Metrolinx is wearing the Pride colours proudly inside, and out. Find out more about the festivities coming up this month and what it means to Metrolinx staff.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Toronto Pride parade and festivities are carrying on despite the lingering pandemic.

Pride Toronto has once again adapted their programming for 2021 because of the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19.  This year, there will be 70 events, showcasing more than 130 2SLGBTQ+ artists, 14 party collectives, and seven community committee programs.

The full month of programming will conclude with two Festival Weekends on June 18-20 and June 25-27.

Metrolinx is a proud partner with Pride Toronto and people from across the transit agency are helping celebrate the 40th anniversary of Pride Month festivities in Toronto.

But at Metrolinx, it’s not just about Pride Month – the organization is dedicated to supporting the LGBTQ+ community year-round, internally and across the transit system.

Metrolinx supports and empowers staff with a robust inclusion strategy, which is supported by education, unconscious bias training, and a clear harassment and discrimination policy.

And while Pride festivals throughout the Greater Golden Horseshoe are going virtual in this year, the sprit is still strong with Metrolinx staff.

Here are some of their fondest Pride memories from their time at Metrolinx.

“Coming from a country where being out was not an option, being able to walk in the parade alongside the company float has to be my number one memory,” says Kam Somji, Metrolinx commercial management specialist.

Kam Somji poses for a photo with his friends at the 2019 Pride Parade
Kam Somji poses for a photo with his friends at the 2019 Pride Parade. (Metrolinx photo)

“Our family attended our first Pride event in 2018 and I was taken aback at how much love and positivity surrounds the entire day,” says Josh Nobrega, Metrolinx partnerships and events manager.

“It was important for me to ensure my children know that love and acceptance goes hand in hand and I’m looking forward to many more celebrations in the years to come.”

Josh Nobrega and his daughter at the Pride Parade in Toronto
Josh Nobrega and his daughter at the Pride Parade in Toronto. (Metrolinx photo)

“I have been volunteering with the Pride Committee at Metrolinx since 2018,” says Valeria Leon, Metrolinx commercial management specialist.

“Every year has been different and we always have a great time together – I’m so looking forward to march again in person next year.”

Valeria Leon poses for a photo with her friend at Pride Toronto
Valeria Leon poses for a photo with her friend at Pride Toronto. (Metrolinx photo)

“I was fortunate to have been able to help plan Metrolinx’ Pride campaigns over the last two years, including coordinating our contingent of marchers at the 2019 Toronto Pride Parade,” says Adam Jagdat, Metrolinx marketing advisor.

“My mom was one of the 170+ marchers that year and she got to experience first-hand what I’d been working on, and it was also the first time her and I had been able to attend Pride together.”

Adam Jagdat poses for a photo with his mom at a recent Pride parade
Adam Jagdat poses for a photo with his mom at a recent Pride parade. (Metrolinx photo)

For more information on Metrolinx’s involvement with Pride, check out our dedicated GO Transit Pride website.

Story by Scott Money, Metrolinx News editorial team, with files from Adam Jagdat, Metrolinx marketing advisor