Scugog has unveiled its first permanent rainbow installation, and it comes after concerns over cost and safety stalled a similar crosswalk.
But it appears as though projects focused on inclusivity are once again gaining traction.
Port Perry’s waterfront view has received a new burst of colour as a rainbow bench has been unveiled in Palmer Park.
“The bench, to all of us, means welcome. It means inclusivity; it really reflects the warmth of this community,” said Martha Casson.
Martha Casson is a Port Perry resident. It was she and her friends — a group calling themselves the Port Perry Golden Girls —who stepped in to pay for the bench after Scucog council delayed a rainbow crosswalk.
“We just think that everybody should feel as welcome and accommodated as we do, regardless of backgrounds,” Cassons said.
“It just gives me great joy, gives us great joy to take a look at that bench and see that it really is a rainbow of a community.”
WATCH: (Sept. 14, 2018) Fleming College unveils rainbow crosswalk
Mayor Bobbie Drew notes how much more vibrant the new bench makes the park. She says she’s grateful for the group’s generosity.
“That’s a representative of our community and the heart that we have in our community and our character — we’re a very giving and welcoming community,” said Drew.
Since the region’s first rainbow crosswalk was laid down in May, many more permanent Pride symbols have been popping up around Durham during the last few months.
“Having [communities] coming up with these alternatives is amazing, and this particular one, where you’re looking over the beautiful waterfront, it’s peaceful and it is a busy, busy area so we’re not hiding away,” said Jake Farr, PFLAG Canada Durham Region President.
“We’re saying here, ‘Look at us, we’re proud to be in Port Perry.'”
Port Perry now has one rainbow bench and the mayor says two more will be installed around the community in the coming days, one at Old Flame Brewing Company and the other at The Anglican Church of the Ascension.
She also says that the conversation hasn’t stopped on other rainbow projects.
“Who knows? Maybe we could have a bench in every park in Scugog Township eventually, and isn’t that better than one crosswalk because they are so expensive?” said Drew.
“But we’ll look at all options over the next year or so.”