Parade to cap festivities in annual gay and lesbian festival in Toronto

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TORONTO - A large crowd of revellers and no shortage of political dignitaries are expected today at the WorldPride Festival in Toronto.

Though the city hosts the Pride Toronto festival and parade annually, this year's event has some more international flavour as it's been designated an official WorldPride event by a global gay and lesbian group.

Pride Toronto co-chair Sean Hillier says there have been a record number of groups registering to take part in WorldPride Toronto and that the "streets are overflowing" at events.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau are planning to attend a streetside church service officiated by an openly gay pastor this morning.

The pride parade is to start a few hours after that, with colourful floats and throngs of marchers making their way along Toronto's Yonge Street.

Festivities kicked off ten days ago, and the parade will cap what organizers expect to be another popular edition of the event, one of Canada's largest and a major tourist draw.

This is the 34th year Toronto has hosted the gay pride festival.

Geographic location: Toronto, Ontario, Yonge Street Canada

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