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The 2011 Toronto Pride parade brought over one million babies, bears and puppies (and everything in between)

We do want fries with this shake. (Image: Stephen Weppler)

The 2011 Pride parade is over, and as the beer cups, sequins and other miscellany are cleared off Yonge, Church and beyond, we can’t help but think how successful this year’s event was. Over a million people attended the end-of-the-weekend to-do, despite Rob Ford politicking and a cut in funding. Included in the proud, willing, not-cottage-dwelling gays were interior designer and Casey House advocate Tommy Smythe, hot topic and gay-straight alliance booster Leanne Iskander (who acted as the parade’s grand marshal), former mayor David Miller (sporting one of those controversial rainbows), and many—many—Rob Ford look-alikes. See our full gallery of Pride 2011 highlights after the jump.

The highly contentious Queers Against Israeli Apartheid group made an appearance, but not in the actual parade. The QuAIA draped a large banner above the Wellesley subway station that read “Support Palestinian Queers—Boycott Israeli Tourism,” and there’s no telling what kind of backlash will occur, if any (but we suppose when Ford returns from his gravy cottage boat trip, we’ll hear some sort of “I told you so”). With such a big turnout from the straight, gay, lesbian and transgendered communities (worldwide), Pride, as it typically does, provided a huge boost to the city’s economy (no figures just yet, but if everyone spent, let’s say, $5, that’s a cool $5 million). Add to that an unending display of people just, well, having a great time (and actually supporting one another), and there’s no doubt in our minds that Toronto Pride is a really great thing for everyone under the rainbow.

See the Pride 2011 slideshow »