The following is a listing of proclamations for the current term of Council, from January to December 2024.

Be a Donor Month

April 2024

WHEREAS during the month of April, we raise awareness of the lifesaving gift of organ and tissue donation for those waiting to receive a transplant, and the need for more people to register as organ or tissue donors.

There is an urgent need for organ and tissue donation in Ontario. Approximately 1,400 people are on the waitlist for an organ transplant, and tragically, every three days someone on this waitlist dies. However, with more organ donations, these deaths can be prevented. A single organ donor can save up to eight lives and enhance the lives of up to 75 people through tissue donation.

While many Ontarians support organ donation, only 35 percent of eligible people have registered their consent to donate. Everyone has the potential to be an organ and tissue donor, regardless of health or age. We can all have a direct and meaningful impact on people whose lives depend on donations and choose to make a life-changing difference for them.

The City of Toronto gratefully acknowledges the valued contributions of organizations and individuals who work hard to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim April 2024 as “Be a Donor Month” in the City of Toronto.

National Poetry Month

April 2024

WHEREAS April is recognized as National Poetry Month, celebrating the importance of poetry in Canadian culture.

During this month, we also celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day which takes place on April 18. On this day, people are encouraged to share a poem they love with others.

In 2001, the City of Toronto became the first Canadian municipality to appoint its own Poet Laureate who acts as an ambassador and advocate for poetry, and the literary arts. In May 2023, City Council appointed Lillian Allen as the seventh Poet Laureate, to promote and attract people to the literary world.

The City of Toronto is proud to be the first municipality to have its own poet ambassador.

During this month, everyone is encouraged to discover the joy of poetry and enjoy the poetic arts.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim April 2024 as “National Poetry Month” in the City of Toronto.

Oral Health Awareness Month

April 2024

WHEREAS this month we raise awareness of the importance of maintaining good oral health and honour the outstanding care that oral health professionals provide every day.

Maintaining good oral health is vital to maintaining overall health. Most oral health conditions are largely preventable and treatable when they are detected early.

Dental and oral health services prevent and manage cavities, gum disease and oral cancers, which improve your overall health. Maintaining good oral hygiene can also reduce the risk of complications related to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and adverse pregnancy outcomes, while also promoting better nutrition, speech, mental health and improved quality of life.

Thank you to our oral health care professionals for all of their hard work and dedication in keeping our smiles bright and helping us to achieve optimal oral health, which in turn contributes to our overall health and well-being.

Toronto Public Health provides free dental care for eligible clients at convenient locations across the city.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim April 2024 as “Oral Health Awareness Month” in the City of Toronto.

Records and Information Management Month

April 2024

WHEREAS this month, we bring awareness and recognition to records information management (RIM) and information governance (IG) professionals who play an important role in managing records and information.

Proper management of records and information is one of the most fundamental parts of municipal government. Responsible practices around RIM and IG can help to mitigate risk around private and confidential information.

As advancements in technology increase, so does the volume of records and information we create. Effective policies around the proper management of records and information are a necessity. RIM and IG professionals adhere to legal compliance, champion risk mitigation, preserve privacy and security and establish best practices around the advancement of records management.

The City of Toronto is committed to effectively managing both corporate and public records, information, and data with robust information management policies and strategies.

The City of Toronto recognizes the valued contributions of RIM and IG professionals who contribute to the outstanding management and stewardship of records and information.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim April 2024 as “Records and Information Management Month” in the City of Toronto.

Refugee Rights Awareness Month

April 2024

WHEREAS this month we acknowledge and recognize the April 1985 Supreme Court of Canada decision that everyone, particularly refugee claimants in Canada, have the right to be treated fairly and equally in a court of law. This decision has been recognized under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Toronto strives to be a welcoming and inclusive city for everyone, including refugees who choose to make Toronto home. We recognize the important contributions that refugees make as valued members of our communities and we must do better to ensure all refugees feel safe and welcomed in our city.

The City’s Toronto Newcomer Office coordinates City divisions and collaborates with community partners to ensure that support systems are effectively mobilized for the arrival of incoming refugees. Through official initiatives such as the Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee Capacity Plan, and Toronto Newcomer Strategy (2022 – 2026), the City of Toronto aims to provide responsive supports to assist refugees as they settle in our city.

The City of Toronto gratefully acknowledges the tremendous community efforts that are taking place across Toronto to provide emergency supports. As we engage in the important work needed to make Toronto a place of safety, security and belonging, we will continue to listen and learn from the best practices, and models of excellence led by our valued community partners.

We are stronger when we work together to make Toronto an equitable and inclusive place for all and a city where everyone feels welcomed and valued.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim April 2024 as “Refugee Rights Awareness Month” in the City of Toronto.

Sikh Heritage Month

April 2024

WHEREAS Sikh Heritage Month celebrates the rich culture, deep history, and contributions of Toronto’s Sikh community.

Canada is home to one of the largest Sikh populations in the world outside of India, many of whom call Toronto home. This month, we recognize the contributions that Sikh Canadians have made to the social, political, economic, and cultural fabric of our city and country.

April is an important month for the global Sikh community, as it celebrates the spring harvest festival of Vaisakhi. Vaisakhi also coincides with the start of the Sikh New Year.

During this month, residents are encouraged to learn more about the customs and traditions of the Sikh community, who form an important part of Toronto’s motto: “Diversity Our Strength.”

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim April 2024 as “Sikh Heritage Month” in the City of Toronto.

Saint Pope John Paul II Day

April 2, 2024

WHEREAS today on his 19th death anniversary, we recognize the life of Saint Pope John Paul II, the 264th Pope of the Roman Catholic church.

Saint Pope John Paul II was born Karol Józef Wojtyła and was Pope from 1978 until his passing on April 2, 2005. In 2014, the Catholic Church officially canonized him as a saint.

Throughout his pontificate, the pope visited 129 countries including Canada to spread a global message of faith and peace. His last visit to Canada was to Toronto in July 2002, where he presided over the 17th World Youth Day. It was a spiritual event that was attended by 800,000 people, including those from around the world.

Today, we commemorate Saint John Paul II’s legacy which continues to touch the lives of many.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim April 2, 2024 as “Saint Pope John Paul II Day” in the City of Toronto.

World Autism Awareness Day

April 2, 2024

WHEREAS today we recognize those who live with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which can affect a person’s behavioural development, as well one’s ability to communicate and socialize.

We recognize that people living with ASD may have different ways of communicating, learning, socializing, moving or paying attention. We also recognize that people with ASD have their own unique talents, strengths, and challenges.

While those living with ASD have and continue to make significant contributions to the world and to our city, it is important to recognize that autistic people still face discrimination and other challenges. Today, we focus on acceptance, support, and inclusion of autistic people to enable them to claim their dignity and self-esteem.

The City of Toronto supports organizations and individuals who continue to advocate and raise awareness about the conditions that affect our residents. The City is committed to breaking down barriers and is committed to creating a safe environment for all.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim April 2, 2024 as “World Autism Awareness Day” in the City of Toronto.

Archives Awareness Week

April 2 – 5, 2024

WHEREAS Archives Awareness Week provides the opportunity to highlight the importance of preserving the documentary heritage of Ontario’s communities, including that of our city.

This province-wide initiative encourages residents to discover their local archives, and recognize their importance in understanding the history of decisions made in their community.

Rich collections of archival material are available both in-person and online at the City’s archives for residents to enjoy. They can research the history of their homes, explore over 10,000 maps, see architectural plans, review Council minutes and decisions, view over 1.25 million photographs, and immerse themselves in digital exhibitions.

Understanding the past and where we come from and the decisions that were made in our communities helps inform our present and future. Local archives are a wonderful resource that provide essential details in telling the story of Toronto.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim April 2 – 5, 2024 as “Archives Awareness Week” in the City of Toronto.

Family Caregiver Day

April 4, 2024

WHEREAS today we acknowledge and celebrate the tireless work and compassionate efforts of those who are caregivers for their loved ones.

Family caregivers play a pivotal role in providing essential care and dedicated support to those who need them. Many caregivers make countless sacrifices to look after loved ones, while balancing their own personal and professional lives. Their personal sacrifices may impact their own physical and emotional well-being.

As some of the most resilient, hard-working and kind individuals in our city, family caregivers are integral to our city’s healthcare system and to the well-being of our communities. Today, we celebrate these selfless individuals and recognize their hard work and dedication in their roles as family caregivers.

The City of Toronto gratefully acknowledges individuals who make a true difference in supporting the health and well-being of residents in our city.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim April 4, 2024 as “Family Caregiver Day” in the City of Toronto.

Canadian Public Health Week

April 8 – 12, 2024

WHEREAS this week we honour the hard work of doctors, nurses, and other professionals who keep our public health systems functional, and express our profound gratitude for their enduring commitment to the health and well-being of Torontonians. We also recognize the ever-evolving public health landscape and Toronto Public Health’s dedication to adapting and improving to better serve the needs of our diverse and dynamic city.

Toronto Public Health (TPH) is the largest local public health agency in Canada. In collaborating with numerous community partners and organizations, TPH plays a critical role in maintaining and improving the health of residents, reducing health inequities, and preparing for and responding to health emergencies affecting Toronto’s communities.

Areas of focus in public health include health equity, communicable disease control, sexual health, vaccine preventable diseases, dental and oral health, environmental health, food safety, child health and development, chronic disease and injury prevention, mental health, substance use, harm reduction, and treatment services.

TPH continually strives to be a leader in the public health space. Through the delivery of vital health services and programs, and implementation of public policies, TPH ensures that residents across all of our communities continue to thrive, remaining vibrant and healthy.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim April 8 – 12, 2024 as “Canadian Public Health Week” in the City of Toronto.

Global Meetings Industry Day

April 11, 2024

WHEREAS on Global Meetings Industry Day we recognize the positive and economic benefits that tradeshows, conventions, exhibitions, conferences and other industry-driven events make to our city.

Global meetings and events help showcase Toronto as an ideal destination and one stop shop for visitor’s business and leisure needs. They also contribute to the economy by encouraging guests to our city to spend money in our various sectors. Hotels, convention centres, audio-visual and staging, transportation and logistics, event planners, emcees and artists all benefit from meetings and conventions being held in our city. We welcome everyone to Toronto and hope they enjoy the beauty of Toronto and all that it has to offer.

Toronto is home to more than three million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture, innovation and climate action and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim April 11, 2024 as “Global Meetings Industry Day” in the City of Toronto.

9-1-1 Telecommunicators Week

April 14 – 20, 2024

WHEREAS the second week of April honours 9-1-1 telecommunicators, whose constant care, professionalism, and preparedness ensures that the best level of service is provided to residents in need.

9-1-1 telecommunicators are the front line of first responders. They are made up of call takers, dispatchers, communicators and others, who assist residents with accessing Toronto Police, Toronto Fire, Toronto Paramedic Services, and the Toronto Community Crisis Service. Their work is often unseen but they represent a vital part of our city’s emergency services and response. We thank the 9-1-1 telecommunicators in our city for their commitment and sacrifice in supporting residents, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

The City of Toronto enjoys the highest standard of emergency care from our 9-1-1 telecommunicators and we owe these individuals our sincere appreciation and recognition for their dedicated service.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim April 14 – 20, 2024 as “9-1-1 Telecommunicators Week” in the City of Toronto.

Bangladeshi Heritage Month

March 2024

WHEREAS this month we celebrate the Bangladeshi community and its rich heritage, culture and customs as well as the community’s many contributions to our city.

During this month, on March 26th we also mark Bangladeshi Independence Day. This day is often marked with various events that celebrate the history and traditions of Bangladesh.

Toronto is proud home to Banglatown, located right in our city which showcases the vibrant Bengali culture, and honours the community’s achievements.

The Bangladeshi community greatly contributes to Toronto’s motto: “Diversity Our Strength.” We acknowledge with gratitude, the socio-economic and cultural contributions that the Bangladeshi community has made and continues to make to our city.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim March 2024 as “Bangladeshi Heritage Month” in the City of Toronto.

Easter Seals Month

March 2024

WHEREAS Easter Seals Ontario provides programs and services to children and youth with different disabilities and empowers them to lead fulfilling lives.

The “March is Easter Seals Month (MIESM)” campaign is an opportunity to shine a light on the experiences, perspectives, and contributions of individuals with physical disabilities while coming together to create more inclusive, accessible, and equitable communities for all.

Easter Seals Ontario supports children and their families through a variety of support programs including fully accessible camps, scholarships and accessibility and mobility equipment funding assistance to ensure that each child can live a full and productive life. Thank you to Easter Seals for continuing to provide the necessary resources and support to help our young people with different abilities thrive.

The City of Toronto gratefully acknowledges the significant contributions of charities, organizations and individuals who are committed to supporting the health and well-being of residents and our communities.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim March 2024 as “Easter Seals Month” in the City of Toronto.

Fraud Prevention Month

March 2024

WHEREAS Fraud Prevention Month raises awareness about fraud detection, reporting and protection to deter and prevent fraud from happening.

The City of Toronto, through the Auditor General’s Office, helps protect the city against fraud in several ways including operating the City’s Fraud and Waste Hotline and conducting forensic investigations.

The Hotline is an independent resource and an important anti-fraud control for the City that can be used by the members of the public, City of Toronto staff, City Councillors, and anyone conducting business with the City, to anonymously report wrongdoing involving City of Toronto resources.

Since the inception of the Hotline in 2002, the Auditor General’s Office has received almost 14,000 complaints. In many instances, addressing these complaints has resulted in positive outcomes including loss recovery, and the detection and prevention of fraud.

The City of Toronto is committed to integrity and accountability in its business operations, in service delivery to the public and within the Toronto Public Service. Residents are encouraged to continue to report instances of fraud and waste involving City resources to the Auditor General’s Office.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim March 2024 as “Fraud Prevention Month” in the City of Toronto.

Irish Heritage Month

March 2024

WHEREAS during Irish Heritage Month we celebrate Canadians with Irish ancestry, many of whom call Toronto home, and recognize their valuable contributions to our city. This month we also mark Irish Heritage Day, which takes place March 17, the day of Saint Patrick, the patron Saint of Ireland.

One of the biggest parades in our city, the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, also takes place this month, where the streets of downtown Toronto are filled with marching bands, floats and numerous dance troupes showcasing and celebrating Irish culture and traditions.

The Irish community forms an important part of Toronto’s motto: “Diversity Our Strength.”
We acknowledge with gratitude the many socio-economic and cultural contributions that the Irish community has made and continues to make to our city.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim March 2024 as “Irish Heritage Month” in the City of Toronto.

Black Mental Health Week

March 4 – 10, 2024

WHEREAS we acknowledge the struggle with mental health that Black residents may experience, due to a legacy of anti-Black racism. In 2021, Black Mental Health Day was expanded to a week in recognition of the profoundly detrimental impacts that legacies and current practices of anti-Black racism have on the mental health of Toronto’s Black communities.

Black Mental Health Week is an opportunity to reinvigorate our commitment to confronting the effects of anti-Black racism as a trigger for mental illness and recognizing it as a year-round issue. It is an opportunity to raise awareness, implement policies, and take collective action to improve the lived experiences of Torontonians of African Descent. The week is also a call to action to recognize and respond to the gaps in Toronto’s public sectors and the lack of culturally appropriate supports that address the mental health needs of Toronto’s Black communities.

This year’s theme, “Growth and Reflection: The Year of Sankofa” is relevant to the City of Toronto’s commemoration of the final year of the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent. This theme encourages Black communities to enhance mental health and wellness through the understanding and application of the principles of the international decade – Recognition, Justice, and Development. Such principles can make public spaces more supportive of recovery and help destigmatize racialized myths around mental illness.

The City of Toronto remains committed to eradicating anti-Black racism throughout the city, implementing systemic change at all levels, and cultivating an environment where the mental health and well-being of all Torontonians is recognized, through The Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism, and the current development of the new 10-year Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism. Through partnerships with organizations and agencies dedicated to confronting anti-Black racism, the City of Toronto is committed to promoting the mental health and well-being of all communities.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim March 4 – 10, 2024 as “Black Mental Health Week” in the City of Toronto.

City of Toronto Day

March 6, 2024

WHEREAS on this day in 1834, the town of York in Upper Canada was officially incorporated as the City of Toronto. This year marks the 190th anniversary of the city’s incorporation.

This significant anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on the deep history of these lands.
For hundreds of years, Toronto has been the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. Indigenous history is ingrained in the contemporary composition of Toronto. The very name Toronto comes from the Mohawk word, tkaronto, meaning “where there are trees standing in the water” and it holds importance in the Indigenous community.

Today, Toronto has a global reputation as one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world. Toronto’s diverse communities form a rich cultural mosaic made up of vibrant people and unique cultures, heritages, and traditions. Every person in Toronto plays a special role in contributing to the city’s motto “Diversity Our Strength.”

On this special occasion, we acknowledge that we are all treaty people, called to honour the land peacefully and respectfully, as well as its Indigenous heritage and its people, which date back over 10,000 years. Let this significant anniversary encourage us to come together and continue to build an inclusive city where everyone feels welcomed and respected.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim March 6, 2024 as “City of Toronto Day” in the City of Toronto.

International Women’s Day

March 8, 2024

WHEREAS today on International Women’s Day, we recognize the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of cis and trans women. It is a global day of activism and celebration for all who work to make the world a more equitable place.

International Women’s Day is a time to ensure all women are well-represented in every facet of our society. Achieving gender equality and incorporating cis and trans women’s well-being in all aspects of life is crucial for creating prosperous and just societies that benefit everyone.

In addressing gender equity, we must acknowledge that the consequences of past policies and restrictions continue to negatively impact cis and trans women today. These impacts are felt to a greater degree by Indigenous, Black, racialized, immigrant, and low-income women, 2SLGBTQ+ communities, women with disabilities, and lone parent families. In challenging the status quo, we can help spur the changes needed to create a society that embraces and celebrates all.

The City of Toronto’s Gender Equity Unit is developing a Gender Equity Strategy to help inform equitable program planning for women, girls and gender diverse people who make up at least 52 per cent of Toronto’s population. The City of Toronto’s Women’s Network (TOnow) and other areas of the City are also working to create awareness of these issues.

On International Women’s Day, we acknowledge the progress made in working towards gender equality, while recognizing the important work that remains to be done so that we can live in a world where everyone is valued and celebrated.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim March 8, 2024 as “International Women’s Day” in the City of Toronto.

Toronto Francophonie Week

March 18 – 24, 2024

WHEREAS during Toronto Francophonie Week, we celebrate our city’s vibrant French-speaking community which includes the Franco-Ontarian community, the largest Francophone population in Canada outside of Québec.

This week is an opportunity to highlight the French language, culture, and history through a series of events that will promote intercultural dialogue between French speakers from different backgrounds.

The United Nations marks French Language Day on March 20 the date of the founding of the International Organization of La Francophonie, to acknowledge French as one of the UN’s official languages, celebrate multiculturalism and raise awareness of cultural and linguistic diversity among the international community.

We acknowledge, with gratitude, the many significant socio-economic and cultural contributions that the Francophone community has made and continues to make to our city. The French-speaking community is an essential part of Toronto’s rich cultural mosaic and forms an important part of our city’s motto: “Diversity Our Strength.”

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim March 18 – 24, 2024 as “Toronto Francophonie Week” in the City of Toronto.

Semaine de la francophonie de Toronto

Du 18 au 24 mars 2024

ATTENDU QUE, pendant la Semaine de la francophonie de Toronto, nous honorons le dynamisme de la communauté francophone de notre ville, qui comprend les Franco-Ontariens, soit la plus grande population francophone du Canada à l’extérieur du Québec.

Cette semaine est l’occasion de mettre en valeur la langue, la culture et l’histoire françaises à travers une série d’événements qui favoriseront le dialogue interculturel entre francophones de divers horizons.

Les Nations Unies célèbrent la Journée de la langue française le 20 mars, date de la création de l’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, afin de reconnaître le français comme l’une des langues officielles de l’ONU, de célébrer le multiculturalisme et de sensibiliser la communauté internationale à la diversité culturelle et linguistique.

Nous tenons à exprimer notre reconnaissance envers les importantes contributions socio-économiques et culturelles que la communauté francophone a apportées et continue d’apporter à notre ville. La communauté francophone est un élément essentiel de la riche mosaïque culturelle de Toronto et sa vitalité reflète la devise de notre ville : « La diversité est notre force ».

IL EST RÉSOLU QUE je soussignée, la mairesse Olivia Chow, proclame au nom du conseil municipal de Toronto que la semaine du 18 au 24 mars 2024 sera la Semaine de la francophonie de Toronto.

Two-Spirit and Indigenous LGBTQ+ Celebration and Awareness Day

March 19, 2024

WHEREAS today we observe Two-Spirit and Indigenous LGBTQ+ Celebration and Awareness Day.

We acknowledge and celebrate the diversity and strength of Two-Spirit and Indigenous LGBTQ+ identities, expression, and experiences, their beauty and resilience, while acknowledging the challenges that still exist.

The City of Toronto recognizes and acknowledges with gratitude the valued contributions of all 2SLGBTQ+ communities, and Two-Spirit and Indigenous LGBTQ+ communities in particular, to the social, cultural, political and economic fabric of our city. We continue to reflect and reaffirm our commitment to truth and reconciliation, and to protecting the rights of these communities in our city.

We are stronger as a city when we work together to create a welcoming and inclusive city that values the diversity of our residents.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim March 19, 2024 as “Two-Spirit and Indigenous LGBTQ+ Celebration and Awareness Day” in the City of Toronto.

Dietitians Day

March 20, 2024

WHEREAS today we highlight the valued contributions of dietitians, regulated health professionals who translate the complex science of nutrition into healthy eating solutions. They work in various settings to provide their expertise in food, nutrition and health.

Thank you to dietitians for collaborating with other healthcare professionals, undertaking scientific research, driving innovation in the food industry, and informing public policy to encourage individuals and communities to embrace food, understand it and enjoy it.

The City of Toronto gratefully acknowledges the valued contributions of organizations and individuals who work hard to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim March 20, 2024 as “Dietitians Day” in the City of Toronto.

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

March 21, 2024

WHEREAS today we are called to firmly denounce racial discrimination and hatred in all its forms. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and have the potential to contribute constructively to the development and well-being of their societies.

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on the date when 69 people were killed during a peaceful demonstration against apartheid “pass laws” in Sharpeville, South Africa, on March 21, 1960. Today we commemorate the lives lost and remember those who were wounded, as we are reminded of the struggles in ending the apartheid in South Africa. It is also a time to highlight the importance of equity, respect and inclusivity, and to support the global elimination of all forms of racial discrimination.

We recognize that people all over the world still face injustices and prejudices fueled by racism and racial discrimination today. As one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, the City of Toronto strives to cultivate a city where differences are embraced, and diverse residents can live together peacefully.

The City of Toronto is committed to eliminating racism, discrimination, and xenophobia, while empowering individuals and communities to stand up against hatred and intolerance. Racial equality and inclusivity are fundamental human rights for every resident of our city, and we will continue to uphold and protect these essential values. The Toronto For All program is a public education initiative that generates dialogue among Toronto residents. The campaign helps create a city that says “no” to all forms of discrimination and racism, including systemic racism.

We are stronger as a city when we work together to foster inclusivity for all residents, and we are united in our stand against hatred and intolerance.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim March 21, 2024 as the “International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination” in the City of Toronto.

International Nowruz Day

March 21, 2024

WHEREAS International Nowruz Day marks the first day of spring and represents the beginning of the new year for many around the world, including many residents here in Toronto. The word “Nowruz” (whose spelling and pronunciation may vary by country) means “New Day” and it is an opportunity to embrace the natural cycles of renewal as nature reawakens after the winter.

Nowruz has been celebrated in many regions around the world for over 3,000 years, and it is recognized by many different cultures, each with their own unique traditions. Today, more than 300 million people around the world gather to celebrate this special occasion with family and friends.

The rich diversity of cultural communities in Toronto strengthens the socioeconomic, political and cultural fabric of our city and contributes to our city’s motto: “Diversity Our Strength.”

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim March 21, 2024 as “International Nowruz Day” in the City of Toronto.

World Water Day

March 22, 2024

WHEREAS water is our most precious resource and a human right that is essential for every aspect of life. The United Nations theme for World Water Day 2024 “Water for Peace”, raises awareness of the need to use water to peacefully lay the foundation for the future. As climate change impacts increase, and populations grow, there is an urgent need, within and between countries, to unite around protecting and conserving our most precious resource, water. Public health and prosperity, food and energy systems, economic productivity and environmental integrity all rely on a well functioning and equitably managed water cycle.

Toronto Water manages the city of Toronto’s critical water, wastewater and stormwater services, and ensures more than 3.6 million residents and businesses in the city and surrounding areas have access to safe drinking water, safely treated wastewater, and stormwater management. This year, we acknowledge and recognize with gratitude Toronto Water’s 150 years of vital work in caring for the city of Toronto’s water supply.

On World Water Day, we celebrate our most valued resource, water and recognize that it is fundamental to every aspect of life.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim March 22, 2024 as “World Water Day” in the City of Toronto.

Agnes Macphail Day

March 24, 2024

WHEREAS today marks the birthday of trailblazing politician, Agnes Macphail, whose refusal to accept the status quo broke down barriers for women and changed the face of politics in Canada.

Agnes Macphail was a pioneer of her time and made history as the first woman to be elected as a Member of Parliament in Canada. She was one of the first two women elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and was the first Canadian woman delegate for the League of Nations, the precursor to the UN.

Agnes exhibited a steadfast commitment to the issues she believed in throughout her life. During her time in elected office, she championed many issues including increasing representation of women in politics, raising the status of women in Ontario, pensions for seniors, support for farmers, labour rights, prison reform, disarmament, and equal pay legislation. She passed away in Toronto in 1954, shortly before she was to be appointed to the Senate of Canada.

As a pioneering woman in politics, Agnes often faced opposition and discrimination yet her determination to stand up and fight for her beliefs never wavered. In 1994, the former Borough of East York recognized Agnes’ contributions in furthering the role of women in Canadian society, as well as her national and international achievements. Today, the City of Toronto continues to honour her important legacy through the annual Agnes Macphail Award, which recognizes residents from the East York Community who have exemplified causes that Agnes Macphail championed throughout her life. Her legacy is also recognized across Toronto with the naming of: Agnes Macphail Public School, Agnes Macphail Square, Macphail Avenue, and the Agnes Macphail House, which has been designated as a property of cultural heritage value under the Ontario Heritage Act.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim March 24, 2024 as “Agnes Macphail Day” in the City of Toronto.

World Tuberculosis Day

March 24, 2024

WHEREAS today we raise awareness of tuberculosis, commonly referred to as TB, one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases. TB is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis that was discovered by Dr. Robert Koch on March 24, 1882. This bacteria usually attacks the lungs but can also attack other parts of the body such as the kidneys, spine, and brain.

In 2022, 1.3 million people lost their lives because of TB, much of it due to limited access to diagnosis and treatment. In Toronto, it is estimated that 300 people fall ill with TB each year.

While progress has been made over the last few decades in decreasing cases of TB, many gaps still exist in detection and treatment. The theme for this year’s World Tuberculosis Day, “Yes, We Can End TB!” is a message of hope that also acts as an affirmation, while encouraging us to work collectively to eliminate all cases of TB by 2030.

Through Toronto Public Health’s Tuberculosis Program, the City of Toronto works with health professionals and the community to offer a variety of resources for individuals with TB and their families.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim March 24, 2024 as “World Tuberculosis Day” in the City of Toronto.

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

March 25, 2024

WHEREAS today we observe the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, a tragic time characterized by unprecedented mass human trafficking, degrading economic transactions and unspeakable human rights violations.

Between the 15th and 19th century, over 13 million men, women and children of African descent were forcibly removed from their homes in continental Africa and sold across Europe and the Americas, where they were subject to the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery. This time marked one of the most horrific and traumatizing eras in human history.

Since 2007, March 25 has been designated by the United Nations as a day of remembrance and to raise awareness of the horrors experienced by Africans during the Transatlantic Slave Trade. This day serves as a reminder of the consequences of racist ideologies against people of African descent and provides an opportunity to remember and honour those who suffered and died in the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

This year’s theme, “Creating Global Freedom: Countering Racism with Justice in Societies and Among Nations”, highlights the importance of acknowledging the fundamental dignity, equality, and rights of people of African descent within communities, institutions, policies, laws, and governing bodies. The racial legacy of the Transatlantic Slave Trade continues to manifest in harmful prejudices and beliefs that continue to impact people of African descent. We must recognize that racial discrimination still exists and learn from these tragic events, as we continue working towards the elimination of racism in our society. We must hold ourselves accountable, and confront the legacy of anti-Black racism and prejudice that made this unjust system of suffering possible.

The City of Toronto acknowledges that for over 200 years, both slavery and the slave trade took place in our country. During these two centuries, enslaved people of African descent were traded as property in one of the darkest chapters of our history. Though slavery was formally abolished across these lands by the British Empire in 1834, racism is still prevalent in society today. The City of Toronto remains committed to fighting against racism, and through its Confronting Anti-Black Racism unit, policies, programs, and services are being constantly reviewed to ensure that they are accessible, equitable and inclusive, while providing opportunities for further education.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim March 25, 2024 as the “International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade” in the City of Toronto.

Purple Day

March 26, 2024

WHEREAS today is a day to raise awareness about epilepsy, a serious but common brain disorder, often characterized by multiple seizures.

Purple Day first began in 2008, when Cassidy Megan, a young Canadian from Nova Scotia was motivated by her own struggles with epilepsy, to get people talking about this condition. She sought to dispel any myths and wanted those living with epilepsy to know they were not alone. This grassroots movement has since grown into an international awareness campaign.

Today, people are encouraged to wear purple to show their support for people living with epilepsy, to raise awareness of this condition and to help break down any stigmas that may exist.

The City of Toronto gratefully acknowledges the valued contributions of organizations and individuals who work hard to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim March 26, 2024 as “Purple Day” in the City of Toronto.

International Transgender Day of Visibility

March 31, 2024

WHEREAS the International Transgender Day of Visibility is dedicated to celebrating trans people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by trans people worldwide. This day is an opportunity for cisgender residents to be better allies by working together towards gender equity in our city.

Anti-trans hate is on the rise in Canada. Many trans people are experiencing disproportionate levels of violence, harassment, and prejudice in their daily lives while also witnessing an increase in systemic and institutionalized discrimination.

Today we celebrate the accomplishments, and achievements of trans people as valued members of our communities, neighbourhoods, city, and country. The trans community deserves to be supported, loved, respected and welcome in Toronto, and to have all of their success and achievements recognized.

The City of Toronto is committed to promoting all fundamental human rights, by working to eliminate transphobia by dismantling barriers and through systemic change and standing in solidarity with the trans community in making their struggles and successes more visible.

It is vital that we all recognize all trans people as valued residents, who deserve to be treated equitably and feel safe and secure in our city. By continuing to apply an intersectional gender-based lens in all of its policies, programs and services, the City of Toronto strives to create an equitable and inclusive Toronto for all, where everyone is welcome.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim March 31, 2024 as “International Transgender Day of Visibility” in the City of Toronto.

Black History Month

February 2024

WHEREAS in 1979, the City of Toronto was the first municipality in Canada to proclaim Black History Month, formally recognizing the significant role Black Canadians have played in building and shaping the socioeconomic, political, and cultural fabric of our city.

Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate and commemorate the history, culture, contributions, and achievements that Black Canadians have made to our city and country. This month is also a time to recognize our shared responsibility in standing up against systemic anti-Black racism, reaffirming our commitment to being allies who promote equal rights, opportunities, and equity for Black communities. By learning about historic discrimination and marginalization faced by Black Canadians, we can have a greater understanding of how best to address and eliminate systemic anti-Black racism and oppression.

Through the Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism – developed and implemented by the City of Toronto’s Confronting Anti-Black Racism (CABR) unit –advancements have been made towards eliminating institutional barriers for Black residents. Through the Action Plan, the City continually strives to develop a culture that values inclusion, opposes racism and discrimination of all kinds, and prioritizes the well-being and advancement of Black Torontonians.

This effort coincides with the United Nations’ declaration of the International Decade for People of African Descent from 2015 – 2024. Now in its final year, the International Decade for People of African Descent encourages the global community to recognize people of African descent as a distinct group whose human rights must be promoted and protected. Recognizing that more work needs to be done, the City of Toronto remains committed to ensuring that its policies, programs, and services are free from anti-Black racism and discrimination.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim February 2024 as “Black History Month” in the City of Toronto.

World Interfaith Harmony Week

February 1 – 7, 2024

WHEREAS World Interfaith Harmony Week is rooted in the work of A Common Word initiative which began in 2007. It seeks to bring together interfaith groups and people of goodwill in a beneficial partnership focused on building ties through engagement and cooperation. This partnership, along with mutual respect is essential for helping to cultivate a culture of peace in our communities.

During World Interfaith Harmony Week, we raise awareness of the need to foster partnerships and continue dialogues that nurture a sincere understanding and respect for people of all faiths and those with no faith.

This week also provides a platform for the city’s places of worship to create a welcoming environment for everyone, especially those who wish to learn more about Toronto’s multifaith society. World Interfaith Harmony Week is an opportunity to meet your neighbours in an effort to find commonalities and help foster a spirit of friendship.

World Interfaith Harmony Week offers hope, optimism, and a path forward for our city and for all people to recognize our common values. This global initiative is supportive of Toronto’s goal to be a model city where all communities feel welcomed, supported, and respected, as they collectively work towards a more harmonious and tolerant society for all.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim February 1 – 7, 2024 as “World Interfaith Harmony Week” in the City of Toronto.

International Development Week

February 4 – 10, 2024

WHEREAS throughout the first week of February, we highlight important Canadian contributions to eradicating poverty and to building a more peaceful, inclusive, and prosperous world. International Development Week (IDW) is a call to action for all Canadians to come together and reaffirm their commitment to universal and sustainable development.

Since 2020, the theme for IDW continues to be “Go For The Goals,” which is a callback to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 2030 Agenda is a 15-year global framework adopted by Canada, and other UN member states in 2015 outlining goals spanning the entire spectrum of the human experience to cover topics such as poverty, food inequity, gender and racial inclusivity, climate action, and wildlife preservation. With such a wide range of themes and subjects, every contribution no matter how small, makes a difference.

International Development Week provides an opportunity for communities around the world to learn more about the 2030 Agenda and its goals.

IDW is also a shared opportunity to inform, inspire and involve Canadians and partners of key local organizations to global issues, and to build increased solidarity and momentum, as global citizens.

The City of Toronto is committed to working with its residents, and all Canadians in our roles as active global citizens who must work together to create a better world, by 2030.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim February 4 – 10, 2024 as “International Development Week” in the City of Toronto.

Bob Marley Day

February 6, 2024

WHEREAS each year on this day, we honour the music and legacy of Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley, an advocate for universal love, acceptance, and social change.

Bob Marley is acknowledged as one of the pioneers of reggae music, helping to popularize it worldwide. He began his career with his band, Bob Marley and the Wailers, where he blended American style R&B with Caribbean music unique to Jamaica like mento, ska, and rocksteady. This mixing of genres helped expose reggae to global audiences, propelling Marley to super stardom. He toured the world, including here in Toronto, where he performed at Massey Hall and Maple Leaf Gardens.

More than a musician, Bob Marley was also known as someone who firmly believed in peace, universal love, and tolerance. His positive messages continue to resonate and impact people around the world.

Bob Marley is recognized as one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century, whose legacy continues to inspire and uplift millions worldwide.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim February 6, 2024 as “Bob Marley Day” in the City of Toronto.

211 Day

February 11, 2024

WHEREAS today we raise awareness of 211, a nationwide service that connects people to numerous social services, programs and supports in their communities.

211 provides information and resources for government and community based non-clinical health and social services. It is a free and confidential service, which is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week, in over 200 languages by phone. The service is also available online and through text, chat, and email.

Thank you to everyone involved with the 211 service, for the important work you do in providing services that aid the people of Toronto. The City of Toronto gratefully acknowledges its valued partnership with 211, that helps to support the wellbeing of our residents.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim February 11, 2024 as “211 Day” in the City of Toronto.

Wear Red Canada Day

February 13, 2024

WHEREAS today we wear red to raise awareness about women’s heart health.

Heart disease is the number one killer of women worldwide and the leading cause of premature death in Canadian women. Although cardiovascular diseases affect 1 in 3 women, women are under-diagnosed, under-treated and often unaware of their cardiovascular health.

There is hope as heart disease is preventable and 80 per cent of a woman’s risk factors are within her control. Early detection, a healthy lifestyle and management of medical conditions can all help reduce the risks of heart disease.

We can advocate for better health outcomes for women by beginning the conversation and encouraging them to be proactive in managing their heart health and wellness.

The City gratefully acknowledges organizations that help to raise awareness of diseases and conditions that impact our residents, while offering them supports to live with these diseases.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim February 13, 2024 as “Wear Red Canada Day” in the City of Toronto.

National Day of Action Honouring Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Trans, and Two-Spirit People (MMIWG2S+)

February 14, 2024

WHEREAS, on this day we observe the National Day of Action Honouring Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Trans, and Two-Spirit People (MMIWG2S+). This observance includes annual memorial marches in cities across Canada and the United States that serve as a solemn tribute and remembrance of those who have gone missing or were murdered. This day of action originated in Vancouver, British Columbia as a memorial for Cheryl Ann Joe, an Indigenous woman who was murdered in 1992.

In Toronto, the Indigenous community-led Strawberry Ceremony takes place annually to bring together Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit individuals and their allies to participate in a ceremony led by an Indigenous Elder. The 19th Annual Strawberry Ceremony for Indigenous Women, Girls, Trans, and Two Spirit People will take place today at Toronto Police Headquarters. This event includes the distribution of strawberries, known as ode’min in Ojibway, symbolizing the heart and water, followed by prayer in memory of the victims. The ceremony provides a communal opportunity for remembrance and prayer, while raising awareness of the ongoing issue of violence against Indigenous women and girls.

The City of Toronto acknowledges the ongoing attempted genocide through generations of systemic violence against Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit people as gathered in the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The City of Toronto also recognizes there is an urgent need for justice for those who were harmed, and that actions are needed to prevent future violence.

The City of Toronto is committed to advancing truth, justice, and reconciliation with Indigenous communities. Through the City’s Reconciliation Action Plan, we aim to restore trust in local governance. A key aspect of this commitment is the implementation of Action 12 from the plan, responding directly to the relevant Calls for Justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Collaborating closely with Indigenous communities and organizations, we strive to amplify the voices of the individuals and their families impacted by the crisis and to enhance the safety and well-being of Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse individuals in our city.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim February 14, 2024 as “National Day of Action Honouring Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Trans, and Two-Spirited People (MMIWG2S+)” in the City of Toronto.

Freedom to Read Week

February 18–24, 2024

WHEREAS Freedom to Read Week is an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed to them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The freedom to read is the essence of free inquiry and essential to democratic decision making. Reading inspires the spirit of exploration and the pursuit of knowledge for all.

Freedom to Read Week is organized by the Freedom of Expression Committee of the Book and Periodical Council. To mark Freedom to Read Week, Toronto Public Library will promote awareness of public libraries’ role as a force for democracy. Public libraries provide universal, uncensored access to knowledge in collections and programs that represent a wide variety of topics, beliefs and opinions.

Toronto Public Library endeavours to build collections that reflect the diversity of interests, cultures and languages in our city, in addition to the library’s ongoing commitment to offer a full range of fiction and non-fiction materials in a variety of formats.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim February 18–24, 2024 as “Freedom to Read Week” in the City of Toronto and encourage everyone to use the public library this week and throughout the year.

International Mother Language Day

February 21, 2024

WHEREAS International Mother Language Day raises awareness of linguistic diversity and multiculturalism, as a means of promoting, protecting, and preserving the global diversity of languages and cultures.

Today also marks the day the language protest that took place in the city of Dhaka, Bangladesh on February 21,1952, when the people of Bangladesh fought to officially keep using their mother language, Bangla. Sadly, four students lost their lives when the protest became violent. Following this protest, International Mother Language Day was established in Bangladesh, and has since also been adopted by the United Nations.

The city of Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in the world. It continues to be a welcoming place for culturally diverse residents to openly speak their mother tongues. Our city is strengthened by the diversity of culture and languages spoken that form a rich cultural mosaic that is unique to Toronto and contributes to its motto: “Diversity Our Strength”.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim February 21, 2024 as “International Mother Language Day” in the City of Toronto.

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

February 22, 2024

WHEREAS today we raise awareness of the magnitude of human trafficking in Canada and bring attention to actions that can be taken to end this generally hidden, but serious form of abuse.

Today is also an opportunity to learn more about human trafficking; how it happens, the warning signs, and how to support the victims and survivors who require assistance to move forward.

The City of Toronto condemns the horrific crime of human trafficking.
The City’s work in assisting survivors falls into the four main categories of the anti-human trafficking lens, where the person being trafficked, or who is at risk of being trafficked, is put at the centre, and their safety, well-being and human rights are prioritized.

The City of Toronto is committed to supporting the survivors of this horrific crime, while working in collaboration with other agencies, corporations, community partners and other levels of government in ongoing efforts to prevent human trafficking.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim February 22, 2024 as “National Human Trafficking Awareness Day” in the City of Toronto.

Language Advocacy Day

February 22, 2024

WHEREAS on Language Advocacy Day, we raise awareness of the importance of equitable language access and promote universal linguistic rights. Language rights help ensure the rights of individuals and groups are protected in choosing their language of preference in private as well as in interaction in public services. Today on Language Advocacy Day, we highlight the importance of securing equal access to quality information for everyone.

The City of Toronto is committed to removing language barriers for those accessing city services. The City’s Multilingual Information Provisions Policy aims to ensure that information about the City’s programs, services and engagement activities reflect the linguistic diversity of the City and helps the public to engage, participate and be informed of City services, programs and engagement activities. The City recognizes that providing information in languages other than English allows diverse communities to better access City services and programs, helps improve engagement with the City, and fosters inclusion for residents, groups and organizations. Residents can call 311 to access City services in more than 180 languages.
The City of Toronto’s website can also be translated into many languages using the translate tool.

Toronto is one of the world’s most multicultural cities. On Language Access Day, we celebrate the rich linguistic diversity that is found in our city and which contributes to the City’s motto “Diversity Our Strength”.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim February 22, 2024 as “Language Advocacy Day” in the City of Toronto.

World Thinking Day

February 22, 2024

WHEREAS on World Thinking Day, Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from 150 countries celebrate the Global Guiding movement and international friendship.

The theme for this year’s World Thinking Day, “Our World, Our Thriving Future,” explores important global issues such as environmental sustainability, gender equality, peace and poverty. This year marks the final year of a three-year journey to encourage and empower Girl Guides and Girl Scouts to be environmentally conscious leaders.

Thank you to Girl Guides and Girl Scouts for helping enrich the lives of our young residents.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim February 22, 2024 as “World Thinking Day” in the City of Toronto.

Pink Shirt Day

February 28, 2024

WHEREAS Pink Shirt Day is a day to promote anti-bullying efforts. Today we encourage everyone to wear pink to help raise awareness of the collective need to prevent bullying and to promote acts of kindness and inclusion.

The first unofficial pink shirt day took place at a school in Nova Scotia in 2007, after a new student was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. Two students who witnessed the bullying, decided to stage a protest at the school. They purchased pink shirts for themselves and for the student body to encourage everyone to wear pink in support of the bullied student. This act of kindness has since inspired a global anti-bullying movement and in Canada, the last Wednesday in February is known as Pink Shirt Day.

We can all play a role in recognizing how our own behaviour might contribute to the problem. We can actively choose be part of an inclusive society that eliminates bullying in all its forms.

The City of Toronto is continuing the important work of becoming a place where everyone feels welcomed, respected and free to live without fear of intimidation through bullying. The City of Toronto also supports individuals and organizations committed to promoting anti-bullying efforts. Today, we wear pink in collective support of this anti-bullying movement.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim February 28, 2024 as “Pink Shirt Day” in the City of Toronto.

Rare Disease Day

February 29, 2024

WHEREAS today on the rarest day of the year, we raise awareness of those who live with a rare disease, which is defined as a condition that affects fewer than 1 in 2000 people. Approximately 1 in 12 Canadians, many of them children, live with a rare disorder that impacts them, their families and their caregivers.

There are over 7000 known rare diseases with a broad range of common symptoms that vary from patient to patient. Because of the rarity of these diseases, early diagnosis and screening of each condition becomes increasingly difficult. A risk of misdiagnosis is also greater for people with rare diseases.
The medical profession’s understanding of these conditions is also limited and incomplete, and research opportunities are extremely scarce.

Treatment options for rare diseases are also limited and only available for a small percentage of these conditions. When treatments are available, they tend to be expensive and out of reach. As a result, patients with rare diseases may have trouble accessing treatment programs and supports that target their specific needs.

Rare Disease Day is an opportunity to advocate for equitable health systems in our city and around the world. While progress has been made here at home and internationally, there is still work to be done to offer better treatments for those living with rare diseases.

The City of Toronto extends its appreciation to organizations that raise awareness of disorders, illnesses and conditions that impact our residents, while offering supports and programs that can help improve their health and well-being.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim February 29, 2024 as “Rare Disease Day” in the City of Toronto.

Crime Stoppers Month

January 2024

WHEREAS Toronto Crime Stoppers partners with local communities, the Toronto Police Service and the media to help create a safer city for all.

Toronto Crime Stoppers is also involved in crime prevention through effective awareness campaigns, and education programs to keep the public up to date on potential signs of criminal activity. It has also created a renewed community engagement approach to crime prevention, channeling much-needed resources and money back into the communities it serves, to improve overall community safety.

The City of Toronto prioritizes the safety of all residents and is committed to maintaining safe and healthy neighbourhoods for all.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim January 2024 as “Crime Stoppers Month” in the City of Toronto.

Tamil Heritage Month

January 2024

WHEREAS this month we celebrate the Tamil community in Toronto, and in Canada, which is home to one of the largest Tamil diasporas in the world.

Tamil Heritage Month is an opportunity to learn more about the history and culture of the diverse Tamil community. The month coincides with the celebration of Thai Pongal, one of the most important festivals for the Tamil community, celebrating the end of the harvest season.

The Tamil community forms an important part of Toronto’s motto: “Diversity Our Strength.” During this month, we acknowledge with gratitude the many significant socio-economic and cultural contributions that the Tamil community has made and continues to make to our city.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim January 2024 as “Tamil Heritage Month” in the City of Toronto.

DesignTO Festival Week

January 19 – 28, 2024

WHEREAS as one of Canada’s largest design and art events, the DesignTO Festival is a vibrant celebration of artistic creativity and innovation in Toronto. It is a dynamic hub of design and artistic expression where artists, designers, and the public can engage and network with each other at over 120 events across our city. It is also a unique opportunity for attendees to take part in free exhibitions featuring 500 original works in various design and art disciplines.

DesignTO has showed tremendous commitment to fostering cultural development and community engagement in their efforts to design a more sustainable future in our city.

The City of Toronto is proud of the many artists and designers who contribute to our collective artistic and cultural fabric. It aims to be a supportive environment where artists and creators can innovate and thrive in their field.

Thanks to DesignTO for supporting and nurturing Canadian design talent locally and internationally and creating a sustainable, just and joyful world.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim January 19 – 28, 2024 as “DesignTO Festival Week” in the City of Toronto.

Emergency Shelter and Homelessness Service Worker
Appreciation Week

January 22 – 28, 2024

WHEREAS this week we recognize emergency shelter workers and homelessness service workers and acknowledge their vital role in caring for our city’s most vulnerable residents.

Emergency shelter workers and homelessness service workers compassionately work to deliver Toronto’s 24-hour homelessness services, which include shelters, respite sites and drop-ins.

Thousands of dedicated workers also deliver services to individuals living outside as well as those living in approximately 100 emergency shelters that operate around the clock, seven days a week.

Our emergency shelter and homelessness service workers play an essential role in responding to the needs of many individuals and families. They tirelessly respond to the ongoing and increasing demands that continue to face the city’s shelter system such as an influx of refugee claimants requiring support and services, and a lack of affordable housing. These workers ensure vulnerable populations in our city are well cared for during a time of great need.

Thank you to all emergency shelter workers and homelessness service workers in our city who continue to be on the frontlines as they carry out these vital services and programs for Toronto residents.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim January 22 – 28, 2024 as “Emergency Shelter and Homelessness Service Worker Appreciation Week” in the City of Toronto.

Lincoln Alexander Day

January 21, 2024

WHEREAS today we celebrate and reflect on the life and accomplishments of the late Honourable Lincoln Alexander, a Toronto-born human rights trailblazer and a Canadian champion of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Throughout his life, Lincoln Alexander was an outspoken leader in the community who challenged the institutional and systemic racism he experienced. Whether he was serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force, or studying at Osgoode Hall Law School, Lincoln Alexander used his personal experiences to advocate for equal rights for everyone.

Lincoln Alexander is remembered for being part of many historical firsts throughout his career. He became Canada’s first Black Member of Parliament when he was elected to the House of Commons in 1968. He would go on to hold office through four more elections, and in 1979, became the first Black Canadian to serve in the Cabinet. Following his resignation, he became the first Black Canadian to be appointed Chair of the Ontario Workers’ Compensation Board.

On September 20, 1985, Lincoln Alexander was appointed the 24th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, becoming the first Black Canadian to serve in a vice-regal position in Canada. As part of his mandate, he worked hard to fight racism, advance youth issues, and advocate for seniors. It was a post he held with great respect and pride, as he visited hundreds of communities and schools and attended thousands of events in support of his work. For his outstanding contributions, Lincoln Alexander was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1992.

“Linc”, as he was fondly known to many, is recognized as a human rights visionary and champion of equity. Today, we celebrate his wonderful legacy and his enduring and significant impact on our city, province, and country.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim January 21, 2024 as “Lincoln Alexander Day” in the City of Toronto.

World Day for African and Afrodescendant Culture

 January 24, 2024

WHEREAS in 2019, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted January 24 as a day to celebrate the vibrant cultures of the African continent and African Diasporas around the world. The date also coincides with the adoption of the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance on January 24, 2006 by the Heads of State and Government of the African Union.

Today we celebrate African and Afrodescendant Culture as an essential part of the world’s heritage. We honour the cultural heritage and practices of African and Afrodescendant communities that have shaped communities around the world including communities here in Toronto.

While we celebrate the diverse heritage and rich culture of people of African descent, we also acknowledge that Black and Afrodescendant communities continue to experience daily systemic racism and discrimination. The City of Toronto remains committed to the important work of advancing social justice and inclusion policies, eradicating racism, and intolerance, and promoting human rights for our diverse communities that call our city home.

The City of Toronto proudly recognizes the World Day for African and Afrodescendant Culture. It is a day to stand in allyship with people of African descent in their fight against anti-Black racism, while celebrating the rich cultural diversity of Africa and African Diasporas. Through the Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism, the City of Toronto has implemented initiatives to remove barriers and make systemic changes to eliminate anti-Black racism in City services, planning, policies, and spaces. The Confronting Anti-Black Racism (CABR) Unit continues to carry out these initiatives and align its goals with those of the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim “January 24, 2024” as the “World Day for African and Afrodescendant Culture” in the City of Toronto.

Kawasaki Disease Awareness Day

January 26, 2024

WHEREAS Kawasaki disease is the leading cause of sudden, acquired heart disease in young children when they experience high fevers for several days. This rare heart condition causes a high fever and inflamed blood vessels throughout the body, impacting the coronary arteries that pump blood to the heart.

While there are no diagnostic tests and no known cause for Kawasaki disease, it tends to occur more frequently in children of Asian descent under the age of five, particularly in boys. It is thought to occur because of an intense immune response to an infection and a genetic predisposition to the disease may also be a factor.

By raising awareness of Kawasaki disease, we can give our support to the children and their families who live with this disease.

The City gratefully acknowledges organizations that help to raise awareness of diseases and conditions that impact our residents, while offering them supports to live with these diseases.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim January 26, 2024 as “Kawasaki Disease Awareness Day” in the City of Toronto.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

January 27, 2024

WHEREAS the United Nations designated January 27 as an annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. It marks the day that the Nazi Extermination Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated on January 27, 1945. The Holocaust was the genocide of European Jews by Nazi Germany and its collaborators who carried out horrific atrocities and crimes across German-occupied Europe. Today we remember and honour the victims and the survivors of the Holocaust and acknowledge the resulting intergenerational trauma that survivors continue to experience.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day is a time to listen to the voices of survivors and hear their words which offer a chilling warning about the impacts of antisemitism, racism and other forms of discrimination and prejudice. It is an opportunity to learn from the past as we work towards the goals of acceptance, understanding, allyship and friendship among people of diverse backgrounds in our city.

We have seen an alarming rise of antisemitism in Toronto that has resulted in hate crimes targeting individuals, homes, and businesses because of their identities or their beliefs as Jews. Since October, incidents such as a bomb threat to a Toronto Jewish school and the uttering of threats have impacted the immediate victims as well as the Jewish community. All acts of antisemitism, hate and violence are firmly rejected and are not welcome in the City of Toronto. Jewish people are our neighbours, friends, coworkers, and community members who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and to live in safety free from harassment and intimidation. Through the Toronto For All public education campaigns the City, in partnership with the community, aims to generate dialogue and create a Toronto that says “no” to all forms of discrimination and racism. A Toronto for All Confronting Antisemitism educational campaign brings attention to antisemitism in Toronto and calls on Torontonians to take action to confront it and eliminate it.

In October 2023, Toronto City Council condemned in the strongest possible terms all forms of hate, including antisemitism. The motion, titled “Keeping Toronto Safe from Hate,” includes actions that community organizations, places of worship, religious schools and daycares can take in partnership with Toronto Police Services, to ensure their spaces remain safe for everyone.

The City of Toronto is committed to advocating for the human rights of all residents and is working hard to ensure that our city remains a safe and welcoming place.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim January 27, 2024 as “International Holocaust Remembrance Day” in the City of Toronto.

Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia

January 29, 2024

WHEREAS on this day in 2017, a gunman entered the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec in Quebec City, and opened fired on Muslim worshippers shortly after evening prayers. This brazen and hateful act of Islamophobia – a terror attack fueled by intolerance, racism, and hatred – tragically resulted in the deaths of six Muslims, and seriously injured 19 others.

Today, we remember and honour those who lost their lives, the survivors, their families as well as Muslim communities across Canada. We stand in solidarity with them as we denounce this senseless act of violence in our country and all acts of hate in our city.

Islamophobia has no place in Toronto. In October 2023, Toronto City Council condemned in the strongest possible terms all forms of hate, including Islamophobia. The motion, entitled “Keeping Toronto Safe from Hate,” includes actions that community organizations, places of worship, religious schools and daycares can take in partnership with Toronto Police Services, to ensure their spaces remain safe for everyone.

Through the Toronto For All public education campaigns, the City in partnership with the community, aims to generate dialogue and create a Toronto that says “no” to all forms of discrimination and racism. One of these campaigns raises awareness of Islamophobia, and the hatred and fear that can translate into institutional forms of oppression and discrimination against Muslims and individuals perceived as Muslims.

Our Muslim residents make immense contributions to the social, economic, cultural, and political fabric of our city. They are welcome in Toronto and have the right to live peacefully in our city as our friends, neighbours, and community members.

By learning more about the diverse communities that call Toronto home, we can work towards living harmoniously with each other. We can all help build a city we want to see: a safe and welcoming one that respects everyone’s human rights, livelihood, and dignity.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim January 29, 2024 as the “Day of Action and Remembrance on Islamophobia” in the City of Toronto.