Skip to main content

Protests are being held across Canada today in support of the Women's March on Washington. Organizers say 30 events in all have been organized across Canada, including Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

Thousands of Canadians, many waving signs and wearing pointy-eared pink hats, gathered in cities and towns across the country Saturday to show solidarity with the massive Women's March in Washington.

A day after Donald Trump's inauguration as U.S. president, large cheering crowds of women, men and children turned out at the dozens of Canadian events organized in support of women's rights and human rights.

Many of the protesters said they wanted to send a message to politicians on both sides of the border that Trump-style politics, which they see as misogynist and divisive, are not welcome in Canada.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: Highlights from women's marches around the world

Read more: Women descend on Washington to push back against Trump presidency

Read more: Hats off to the women: the knitted pink headpieces help make history

In photos: Protesters rally at women's marches around the world

In Montreal, many wore pink hats with ears, painted whiskers on their faces and carried signs with messages such as "our rights aren't up for grabs," – a reference to Trump's remarks about grabbing women that were captured on tape and surfaced during the election campaign.

New York City native Ellen Goldfinch, who wore a pink baseball cap that read "no going back," said she was worried about the erosion of women's reproductive rights and access to health care under a Trump presidency.

"I'm very concerned that my provincial and federal governments know that we will not allow those kinds of values to filter north of the border," said Goldfinch, who now lives in the Eastern Townships region just outside Montreal.

Story continues below advertisement

Outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto, Cleo Corcoran, 87, held up a sign reading: "I did the 50s, we are not going back."

"Women are half the population and yet we are so often pushed to the back of the crowd. Now we've got to come in front," said Corcoran, a former nurse.

Marchers moved at a snail's pace down a major Toronto street as they went from the legislature to city hall. Streetcars sat still at intersections, unable to pass through the crowd. Toronto police said the crowd was at least 6,000.

Police in Ottawa estimated that between 6,000 and 8,000 people attended a massive demonstration in that city that started at the human rights monument at the corner of Lisgar and Elgin streets.

In city after city, speakers criticized Trump's stances on abortion, climate change, and immigration, and stressed the importance of including people of diverse genders, races, backgrounds and abilities in the protests.

There was a sea of pink in downtown Halifax as hundreds of protesters carrying signs of every creed turned out in a show of solidarity with their neighbours to the south.

Story continues below advertisement

The diverse lineup included musical performance, a Mi'kmaq smudging ceremony and a spoken word tribute to women-led resistance from former Halifax poet laureate El Jones.

While demonstrators were kept off the streets of St. John's, N.L., due to blizzard conditions, organizers held a "virtual" rally on social media featuring live-streamed speeches and protest sign selfies.

"We may be the only place in the world that is snowed out of our own rally, but we won't let a bit of weather stop us," organizers wrote in a Facebook post.

Officials in Washington estimated that at least 500,000 turned out for the march in the U.S. capital.

Roughly 600 Canadian travellers, most of them women, also made the overnight trek on chartered buses from Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Windsor, Ont., to join that march.

There are also hundreds of protest marches organized in more than 30 other countries.

Story continues below advertisement

During last year's presidential campaign there were accusations of sexual misconduct against President Donald Trump, while he also came under attack from those who felt some of his comments toward women in general were disrespectful.

Despite being separated by a border, Canadians can't afford to get complacent about what happens in the U.S., said one woman who attended the protest in Edmonton dressed as the Statue of Liberty.

"I think that (Trump) has inspired a lot more vocal sexism and racism, and I have experienced that personally," Lori Webber said.

Another Edmonton protester, Shane Halfyard, noted that Canada often follows trends in the U.S.

"If it's happening there, there's a large chance it will happen here," Halfyard said.

Toronto's Annabel Vaughan created a silkscreen logo in advance of the Women's March on Washington. See how she and her partner Jane Farrow plan to show Canadian solidarity in an expected crowd of 200, 000 at Saturday's march
Report an error
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter