Pride crosswalks painted downtown Orangeville

June 17, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

Monday (June 14) marked a day of great significance for the local LGBTQ+ community here in Orangeville.

Residents woke up to see two freshly painted rainbow crosswalks at the intersections of Broadway/Wellington and Broadway/Mill Street.

“They’re rather beautiful, they’re joyful and it’s an important symbol of support for the LGBTQ2S community,” said Mayor Sandy Brown. “They’re fun, they throw a splash of colour and everybody knows what it means, that the support of that community is strong in Orangeville. I just think it’s a great addition to our downtown streetscape.”

Jim Waddington, founder of Celebrate Your Awesome, also shared his excitement about the two new crosswalks, having advocated for their installation over the past few years.

“I think it’s an absolute tribute to us LGBTQIA+ community. I think it’s an absolutely wonderful addition to Orangeville and to Dufferin County as a whole,” he enthused.

“I think Orangeville has certainly been a leader when it comes to diversity and equity and inclusion and this, I think, during Pride Month, was very fitting to have these two crosswalks installed…I think it put a smile on most people’s faces.”

Waddington added that the location of the two crosswalks couldn’t have been better.

“The one on the corner of Mill Street and Broadway, which is between Moguls in Mocean and the library – that’s where Celebrate Your Awesome Pride and Diversity Day in Dufferin began,” he explained. “That’s where we’ve had our two shows so far and hopefully where we will continue next year.”

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Celebrate Your Awesome has teamed up with Theatre Orangeville to film a virtual event, which goes live on August 7, instead of hosting in-person celebrations on Mill Street.

When looking at the other crosswalk’s location, at Wellington and Broadway, Waddington said its fantastic for visibility as it goes right across Orangeville’s main street, entering into the downtown core.

“We are continuing to strive for inclusion and diversity and I know a lot of people are using those words these days, but we now have them permanently embedded on the street,” he remarked.

Mayor Brown noted that while the Wellington and Broadway location is great for welcoming people downtown, it also helps to improve safety.

“Not only is it symbolic of supporting Pride Month and the LGBTQ2S community, but I think from a safety standpoint, it’s really drawing attention to that crosswalk,” said Mayor Brown. “I know there was a pedestrian that was hit by vehicle, I think down that way earlier this year, and that crosswalk now is much more pronounced.”

The original plan for the rainbow crosswalks was to have them installed last spring, but it was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In total, the two crosswalks costed approximately $12,000.

Sadly, on Wednesday morning, it was discovered that the Mill Street and Broadway crosswalk was vandalized with black spray paint.

In a social media post yesterday morning, Coun. Lisa Post said, “I am extremely saddened at the vandalism that occurred to our brand new rainbow crosswalk last night.”

She added, “For those who think that actions like this are still acceptable, you should know: the OPP have been notified and are reviewing video footage from the area. Don’t worry Orangeville – it’s going to take more than a little spray paint to dim our inclusive spirit. The team at public works is working to get this cleaned up and brightened ASAP.”

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.