Ajax unveils new rainbow Pride crosswalk at Audley Rec Centre

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Published June 13, 2022 at 8:47 am

Photo by Christie McLardie

The Town of Ajax unveiled a new Pride rainbow crosswalk at the Audley Recreation Centre Thursday, a “powerful symbol” of support and acceptance for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

The new art installation is designed as a path that welcomes all residents and visitors to enjoy as it leads to the ARC facility’s main entrance.

During the month of June, the Town of Ajax celebrates Pride Month, reinforcing and acknowledging that no matter our sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, we are all human beings worthy of love. The Town also recognize the strength and legacy of those who paved a path toward equality and inclusion.

“Crosswalks have become a recent way for towns and cities to show the Pride community that they recognize their existence and acknowledge they are an integral part of the interwoven fibres of the greater community fabric,” said Pflag Canada Durham spokesperson Jake Starratt-Farr, adding that the group is “always in support” of permanent representation of the community being displayed publicly. “We congratulate Ajax for their intentional work and are happy that anyone who visits Audley Recreation Centre will have the opportunity to walk on this beautiful crosswalk.”

Ajax Council members, alongside Pride Durham and Pflag, unveiled the new crosswalk and held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday for the occasion. They were joined by a student from Dr. Roberta Bondar Public School, who was included and honoured as a special guest alongside Mayor Shaun Collier, following disruptive actions that took place during the raising of the Pride flag at the school on May 17.

Regardless of gender, identity or sexual orientation, Ajax is committed to supporting 2SLGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Two-Spirit Plus) communities and stands by their positive mission to fulfill a sense of togetherness and belonging.

“Ajax Council is proud to officially unveil the Town’s Pride crosswalk as our commitment to inclusivity and diversity continues. The installation reminds us about the incredible importance of love, acceptance and equality – everyone is welcome,” said Collier. “We strongly believe that there is no place for discrimination or hate of any kind in Ajax. I encourage all Ajacians to walk with pride down the new crosswalk and share your positive experience as you celebrate Pride Month.”

“It’s essential that we continue to take steps towards growth and build an understanding about the history and challenges the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities face on a daily basis, so we can take part in shaping a better tomorrow.”

Pride Durham representative John Duvall was “honoured” to be included in the unveiling. “We gratefully thank the Town of Ajax for being so cooperative with the Pride parades and festivals over the past few years. It is our pleasure to be included in your ceremony today.”

Pride Month is celebrated in June each year across Canada and internationally. The first Pride celebration in Canada was in Toronto in June 1972.

Ajax has partnered with Pflag Canada and their Hometown Pride Banner Program to have custom-made rainbow banners flying from various light standards throughout the Town for the entire month of June. Slogans are set against the backdrop of the Progress Pride flag to encourage inclusion, diversity and equity.

In further support of Pride Month, the Town raised the Pflag (progressive pride flag) at Pat Bayly Square and continued celebrations by bringing communities together with a Pride Parade.

“It’s so important to be taking the steps as a society of accepting diversity and treating those in the community with respect and inclusion. Pride Month is a time to celebrate who you are and a time to come together with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community,” said Ajax Councillor Sterling Lee. “I am pleased that Ajax Council has been a part of the unveiling of this public art installation to acknowledge that everyone has a place in every community. We are proud to support the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities today and every day, as they continue to work towards equality. Love is love.”

 

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