Happy couples take part in a Grand Pride Wedding at Casa Loma in Toronto on Thursday June 26, 2014. A total of 110 couples were married in the group ceremony, the largest group ceremony of its kind. (Dave Abel/Toronto Sun/QMI Agency)
Angela Hennessy, Toronto Sun
Published on Mon June 26 2014
TORONTO – Over 100 same-sex couples said “I do” at Casa Loma Thursday afternoon.
The Grand Pride Wedding saw 110 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) couples from around the world tie the knot at a monumental and historical event that celebrated both love and the ongoing WorldPride event in Toronto.
“This is really an honour to be part of history like this and to be part of this event,” said Inae Lee who married her partner of two years, Jen Chang Ho. “This is super amazing that they are having this for us and everyone has been so welcoming.”
There were over 1,000 guests who joined in celebration that also welcomed couples from countries that still do not allow gay marriage, such as Ghana and Australia.
“I feel so blessed to be in Canada and to get to marry the one I love,” said Jennifer Smith from Toronto, who married her long-time partner, Cheryl Taylor.
The Casa Loma grounds were fabulously decorated for the sunny outdoor wedding and champagne was served to guests while a brass band serenaded the crowd.
Also in attendance were city officials, Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly as well as city councillors Josh Matlow, Mary Fragedakis and Kristyn Wong-Tam.
“What a fantastic day for the city,” said Wong-Tam who later joined Kelly in front of the crowd to congratulate the couples.
The ceremony was officiated by leaders from 12 different religious denominations including the United Church, Judaism, Buddhism and Islam.
Each leader gave the crowd well wishes before officially pronouncing the couples married and then encouraging them to kiss the one they love.
The event was hosted by Liberty Group and CEO Nick Di Donato said the event was also a “coming-out” for Casa Loma.
The landmark in Toronto has inspired little excitement in past years, but Di Donato said that is going to change.
“We see Casa Loma as watching over part of the transformation of the city,” said Di Donato. “We are proud because it makes Torontonians realize how really privileged we are to live in such a great city.”
Jennifer Smith and Cheryl Taylor arrive during a Grand Pride Wedding at Casa Loma in Toronto on Thursday June 26, 2014. (Dave Abel/Toronto Sun/QMI Agency)
Ina Lee and Jen Chang-Ho arrive during a Grand Pride Wedding at Casa Loma in Toronto on Thursday June 26, 2014. (Dave Abel/Toronto Sun/QMI Agency)