Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders is set to publicly apologize for police raids on four bathhouses across the city more than 30 years ago, which targeted the gay community.
The raids, which took place in February of 1981, saw police officers storm Romans II Health and Recreation Spa, Club Toronto, the Richmond Street Health Emporium and the Barracks and round up those inside.
Almost 300 people were placed under arrest charged with owning or being found in a common bawdy house.
The raids sparked public outcry with some 3,000 marchers taking to the streets the following day in protest, they also led to the city’s first ever Pride event held in June of 1981.
The bathhouses were seen as a safe space for members of the city’s gay community at the time, and the raids ruined the lives of many arrested that night, with names and photos of men who were not openly gay published in the media in the aftermath.
The apology, on behalf of the entire police force will be issued on Wednesday.