On September 24, 2021, Fridays for Future TO held a climate strike in the city’s downtown core. The march began at Queen’s Park, went down University Avenue, across Queen Street, up Bay Street, and concluded back at the park (see map below). This event went from 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm.
Before the official marching began, a crowd gathered at Queen’s Park, where speakers riled up the crowd, having them chanting “for our future, for our life, for our planet, climate strike!” – getting them excited and ready to go. It was here that our team set up with our own homemade signs, camera, tripod, and snacks – and began interviewing participants on their own opinions regarding climate change, the climate action taken (or not taken) by our government, and the strike in general. While we are going through the editing process for our interview videos, here are a couple of photos of our talented team member, Raquel Margulies, interviewing attendees (see figures 1-3).
Figures 1 -3 – Interviews
In addition to carrying out interviews with participants, we walked around talking to people and taking pictures of some of the amazingly creative signs marchers created. Some of our favourites are included below:
Unfortunately, the Toronto climate strike did not garner as much attention and participation as it had in recent years or in other cities across the country and the globe. In 2019, Toronto’s climate strike attracted approximately 15K people; then since it didn’t happen in 2020 due to the pandemic, a large turnout was expected when it returned in 2021. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case.
According to the attendees we spoke with, one reason for this was the lack of advertising done for the event throughout the city and its communities in anticipation of the event. In order for events like these to be truly successful and make a difference, they must be inviting to all community members, not just those already invested in the climate crisis. In future, Fridays for Future TO and the other organizations working to bring us this amazing event should look into alternative methods for advertising and marketing, in an effort to reach a larger number of Torontonians.
Keep an eye out for the interviews we carried out at the Climate Strike!