This June, the TTC is proudly honouring the history, heritage and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples in the GTHA and the region's Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, Queer and Questioning communities (2SLGBTQ+) with vehicle wraps, printed posters, digital/web messages and social media posts.
"I want to thank the TTC for launching both these campaigns to help us continue to build up an inclusive and diverse city. I encourage residents to explore the National Indigenous History Month campaign created with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and Phil Cote to showcase the history of our Indigenous communities. The TTC's Pride Month campaign is an important recognition of the 2SLGBTQ+ communities and shows our ongoing commitment to safely celebrate Pride across our city," said Mayor Tory.
"Thank you to our TTC team and external partners for developing our Pride and National Indigenous History Month campaigns. This month and every month, the TTC Board remains committed to prioritizing diversity and inclusion to ensure that all of our riders and employees feel welcome on the TTC," said TTC Chair Jaye Robinson.
To honour the rich history of Indigenous Peoples, the TTC consulted with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and an Indigenous Young Elder, Phil Cote, to create an awareness campaign. The campaign will run externally at TTC stations and internally at work locations, as well as on TTC vehicles.
The campaign showcases eight locations that highlight the cultural teachings, traditions and historical and present day influence of Indigenous peoples, helping customers and employees better appreciate the history behind the places they pass every day.
The TTC is also wrapping five streetcars with a land acknowledgement in the spirit of equity, inclusion and reconciliation. The TTC is proud to be holding itself accountable to recognize the original people of the land it operates on.
"Occasions like this give us an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the diversity in our city. These are important campaigns for the TTC - they increase awareness and ultimately remind us that we are working toward building a more inclusive society," said TTC CEO Rick Leary. "Being an inclusive employer and having a transit system where everyone feels welcome are critical steps in ensuring that the TTC continues to be the transit system that makes Toronto proud."
June is also Pride month and customers will once again notice a colourful, Pride-themed artwork-wrapped bus on the 94 Wellesley to celebrate the history, courage and diversity of Toronto's 2SLGBTQ2+ communities.
Customers and local residents near Davisville Station will also notice the Pride Flag, flying from June 1 to 14, followed by the Transgender Pride Flag from June 15 to June 30, marking the TTC's commitment to combatting homophobia, transphobia and biphobia in its workplace and on the transit system.
"I am heartened by the way the organization and its employees have stepped up to honour and celebrate these two very important and prominent communities this month," said TTC's Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Keisha Campbell. "Only once we fully recognize and celebrate the strength that diversity brings to our organization and our city, can we truly make a difference and do better in the future."
Along with these campaigns, the TTC is also bringing all of its vehicles to standstill and pausing for two minutes of silence today at 2:15 p.m. to honour the 215 children whose remains were discovered on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School in Tk'emlups te Secwepemc First Nation territory.
All subway trains will be held at station platforms. Bus and streetcar operators will stop their vehicles at a regular service stop prior to 2:15 p.m. and remain there for the duration of the pause. Wheel-Trans vehicles will be brought to a stop at a safe location. Subway station announcements and social media posts will also be suspended during this time.
TTC customers will be notified of this service interruption via onboard PA announcements and on-screen messages where possible, social media posts and TTC.ca.
The TTC and all its employees express their deepest sympathies for all those whose lives were taken at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School and all Indigenous children who never made it home, the survivors, and their families.
The TTC is proud to celebrate its employees and customers and their diverse identities. The organization continues to work hard to create an inclusive environment that Torontonians can be both proud of and feel welcomed by.