Toronto is preparing for June's Pride festivities, including the Pride Parade at the end of May. Earlier this month the Pride flag was raised at City Hall and for this year's celebration, the Toronto Health Authority is adding something new.
The health department is planning to unwrap a city-branded condom ahead of the Pride celebrations and is following the lead of American cities such as New York and Los Angeles. The Toronto design won't be unveiled until early June.
Just under 300,000 of the condoms will be distributed over the summer months. The condomTO will be available in bars, clubs, hotels and clinics across the city.
A representative of Toronto Public Health, Barbara Macpherson, says the condoms are inspired by Pride events, but won't be directly linked to them. She says the design is something that officials believe will be acceptable to the gay community.
The city hands out about 3.4 million condoms a year. If this pilot project is successful, Macpherson says the health department will always try to provide a number of city-branded versions. A statement from Toronto Public Health says that when condoms are more accessible and available, their tends to be wider use.
Toronto's Pride Parade has become one of the biggest in the world drawing more than one million visitors to the city each year.