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Amherstburg reveals first-ever rainbow crosswalk representing inclusivity

Amherstburg, Ont. is stepping into being more inclusive with the town’s first-ever rainbow crosswalk.

Town officials and community members held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Victoria and Simcoe intersection on Thursday.

It’s not the first rainbow crosswalk in Windsor-Essex, but it’s the first in Amherstburg.

On March 14, 2022, council approved the recommendation presented by then resident Linden Crain to install a permanent rainbow crosswalk in recognition of the LGBTQ2S (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and two-spirit) and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of colour) communities.

Shortly afterwards, the Goggin family stepped forward with a contribution to support this initiative.

“Our family wanted to contribute to this crosswalk because of the importance and progress it represents to the current generation of 2SLBGTQIA+ youth. By providing a visible symbol of support and acceptance from the community, we hope all those who struggle with their identity and coming out will have a path to follow and take pride in,” said Joanne Goggin, contributing family representative.

Officials said the location was chosen in collaboration with the Goggins and that everyone agreed the location was appropriate because students and the public can see it every day.

“My brother and I are both members of the LGBTQ community and growing up in Amherstburg there wasn't a lot of symbolism or representation that we could identify with. So I think just having this at the new high school is a pathway for kids to at least have some form of outreach, go to their guidance counsellor, reach out to their friends and family and it's a conversation point and hopefully makes the coming out journey easier for even if it's for one kid,” said Dennis Goggin. “It'll change or save someone's life.”

For the crosswalk’s installation, administration considered inclusion, traffic, pedestrian safety, accessibility, visibility and sustainability. It was determined that a process whereby a preformed durable thermoplastic recessed into the roadway best meets the application of the pavement markings.

Rainbow crosswalk in Amherstburg, Ont., on Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Chris Campbell/CTV News Windsor)


“It helps to reinforce what an inclusive community is all about,” said Amherstburg Mayor Michael Prue. “I'm very proud of this town and foresight and the inclusivity that people have shown.”

Prue said they’ve received some emailed complaints, but said “99 per cent” of people in the community are supportive. Ultimately he said, it reflects on them as not only Amherstburgians but also as Canadians.

“You look around the world what's happening in some places like Uganda where it's now going to be a criminal offence, punishable by death to be gay. I mean, we have to stand up and say that this is wrong. Everybody has the same rights in this country and everybody in Amherstburg will be proud of our community and everybody who's in it,” said Prue.

“We are an inclusive community. Get used to it,” he added.


“The significance of this symbol shown today in Amherstburg breaks open closet doors as communities both large and small make the invisible visible, and it tells members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community that they are welcome, they are included and that they are valued as full and equal members of society,” said Wendi Nicholson, president of Windsor-Essex Pride Fest.

Nicholson told CTV News Windsor that it’s “amazing” for her to see smaller communities getting the crosswalks, and called it a “joyous time.”

“The 2SLGBTQIA community is not here to shove things down your throat to groom your children,” Nicholson said. “We are here to support people. We are here. Your kids are sitting there, they're questioning, even adults that are questioning, going 'I don't know where I fit in.' We're here to listen and for guidance to people.”

Nicholson noted, “We just want to be included. We want to be treated as equals.”


Meantime, the head of a local teachers’ union said there’s some disappointment surrounding rumours that students at a couple Windsor high schools were held back from attending class earlier this month as a form of protest while pride flag raising ceremonies took place.

“It was surprising to me,” said OSSTF District 9 president, Erin Roy. “At the high school level we’ve been doing it for quite a while and hasn’t really seemed to be an issue.”

Roy pointed to one incident last year where pride flags were stolen and burned in what police called “hate motivated” acts. 

“I think it speaks to some of the division that’s been growing in our society and we’re starting to see it at the school level,” Roy said. “You hear lots of comments about ‘the woke’ and it’s gone too far. I don’t really know what that has to do with the raising of the pride flag since we’ve been doing it for a long time to say we’re accepting of all.”

Residents of Amherstburg, Ont. celebrate the unveiling of the town's first rainbow crosswalk on June 8, 2023. (Source: Linden Crain/Twitter)


On Twitter, Amherstburg Coun. Linden Crain also voiced his support for the new crosswalk.

“Amherstburg has taken a colourful step forward towards inclusivity & acceptance. We are thrilled to announce the installation of the town’s first-ever rainbow crosswalk! A huge thank you to the Goggin Family for making this happen. Happy #PrideMonth!”


Prue also said he’d request a stronger police presence near the new crosswalk, should anyone damage or defame it.

“I will ask the police to monitor it carefully,” Prue said. “They do come here quite often because of the school and if they see that kind of activity then that’s called mischief to public property and it is a criminal offence.” Top Stories

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