World’s longest Pride-coloured road cost Canadian taxpayers up to $200,000
Pride Toronto, buoyed by funding from all three levels of government, splashed out $200,000 to craft the “world’s longest Rainbow Road.”

Mike Campbell

May 29, 2024

A spokesperson from the City of Toronto said the recently unveiled 2,000-foot Rainbow Road didn’t cost the city anything — because taxpayer-funded organizations paid for it. 

After the world’s longest ‘Rainbow Road’ was celebrated this past weekend by Toronto’s rain tax mayor, Olivia Chow, a city rep told The Counter Signal “There is no cost to the City” for the project. 

“The project was funded through private donations and the Waterfront BIA,” the spokesperson added.

But the representative didn’t respond when it was pointed out that the Waterfront BIA is funded directly by taxpayers through a levy on all commercial and industrial properties within the BIA’s boundary.

Moreover, the City of Toronto has directly provided funding to the Waterfront BIA for certain projects, including the recently announced Waterfront East LRT route.

The Waterfront BIA also did not reply to a request for comment.

How much did it cost?

A recent Toronto City Council motion gave authority to accept an in-kind donation and enter into an agreement with Pride Toronto for Hanlan’s Point Rainbow Road.

Pride Toronto, which is funded by all three levels of government, forked over $200,000, which the motion stated “will include the rainbow installation to be delivered by a contracted vendor.” 

Though it’s not clear if every dollar was put towards the rainbow road, as a reference point, the single Pride crosswalks that are splattered throughout many Canadian cities can cost up $15,000 each.

Pride parade goers given pass to flash

Last year Toronto Police service confirmed that exposing oneself fully naked in front of children is permissible when done during a Pride parade.

Update, May 30, 1:26pm: The city representative followed up: “The project cost is approximately $105,000 funded through private donations and the Waterfront BIA.  Additionally, there is a $20,000 cash donation for future maintenance of the Rainbow Road.”

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