Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27 Toronto Centre-Rosedale) joined City staff, members of the community and local luminaries yesterday to celebrate the renaming of Cawthra Square Park to Barbara Hall Park.
The renaming honoured Barbara Hall’s career to date as a former Mayor of Toronto, a committed champion of human rights and tireless supporter of the LGBTQ2S community, and current Ontario Human Rights Chief Commissioner.
“As a young lawyer, Barbara Hall defended a number of gay men arrested in the 1981 bath house raids,” said Councillor Wong-Tam. “As a ward councillor, she fought for HIV/AIDS funding, tenant rights, women’s equality, arts investments and responsible development. As Mayor of Toronto, she guided the city through unprecedented growth and was the first big city mayor to march proudly in the Pride parade when others refused.”
Councillor Wong-Tam continued, “As the Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, Barbara introduced a new policy preventing discrimination based on gender expression and gender identity. This ally’s political and emotional connection with the LGBTQ2S community runs deeper than almost anyone I know.”
“This honour from my city is humbling and thrilling,” said Hall. “This special park will be a constant reminder for me of the struggles for human rights I have been part of as it motivates me to continue to work towards a city that is inclusive, safe and healthy for every one of us”…