Women’s March – FAQ’s

Women’s March – FAQ’s

This is a brief overview of details about the march. It is our hope that this guide will answer your questions and offer an overview of how the rally/march will unfold. Please note that as a small, ad hoc volunteer organizing group we do not have the capacity to organize buses, be responsible for parking or permits and are not responsible for transit issues. We have provided this information in an effort to share resources and enhance participation and access. It is our hope that this FAQ offers quick tips to assist in your attendance at and enjoyment of the march.

GENERAL BACKGROUND

Q: When is the Women’s March on Washington – Toronto?

A: Saturday January 21, 2017, from 12:00p.m. to approx. 2:00p.m. The march will start with a rally at 12:00p.m. After a few speakers we predict the rally will leave for a short march about 30 minutes later, around 12:30p.m.

Q: Where is the starting point?

A: Queen’s Park lawn. This is located on the south side of the building towards College Street. The nearest intersection is College Street and University Avenue.

Q: I’m not a woman or I don’t identify as a woman, can I attend?

A: Yes, of course! While the organizers of the march and all of the speakers are women, or women-identified individuals, the action is open to everyone. The Women’s March on Washington: Toronto is a family-friendly march in support of people of all genders and those who don’t conform to a gender binary.

Q: Why are we marching?

A: In the spirit of saying no to hate and yes to justice, equity and social change, people around the world will be mobilizing and resisting the day after Trump has been inaugurated as US President. Our resistance sends a message that we will not be silent or idle.

The lived experiences of colonialism and anti-black racism, xenophobia, homophobia and transphobia, sexism, ableism and many other forms of oppression have existed long before Donald Trump, but we worry that the recent US election has provided a new wave that normalizes and makes hate acceptable. May our voices be heard to clearly say no to hate.

Q: Who is organizing this?

A: We are volunteers! A small ad hoc group of women came together to organize an action in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington. We are a diverse group of women/women-identified people that have multiple identities, and we range in our race, age, sexual orientation, disabilities, experiences, religion, education, class and social location. A small group came together after two women happened to apply for a permit for Queen’s Park for a similar type of event. Our organizing was organic and we are attempting to do our best to make this an inclusive and accessible action. Please bear with us as we are learning and growing from this organizing experience and we will make mistakes.

Q: Why a march here in Toronto?

A: It was important for the women in the organizing group to connect what was happening in the US to struggles happening right here in Toronto. This march joins an international action with communities across the globe—we will stand shoulder to shoulder for the protection of our human rights, our safety, our health, and our families. The strength of our identities and experience is essential to creating vibrant, diverse and strong communities. We will rally together in solidarity with each other and women around the world to push for equity, inclusion and an end to oppression. 

Q: How can people who are unable to attend support the march?

A: Thank you for your support! We will miss you in Toronto! You can support us by posting about the march on social media with the hashtag #WhyIMarch or #WomensMarchTO and talking about the march with your friends and family.

DETAILS ON THE MARCHMarch RouteQ: Where is the starting point?

A: The starting point will be at the south end of Queen’s Park on the lawn. There will be speakers and a short rally before we begin the march.

Q: What is the route?

A: The march will proceed south along University Avenue, with a brief stop at the U.S. Consulate at 360 University Avenue. The march will then proceed east along Queen Street West, finishing at Nathan Phillips Square/City Hall with one last speaker and a local connection to what is happening right here in our city.

Q: What is the program itinerary? Who is speaking? How long will it last?

A: The Women’s March on Washington: Toronto is working hard to create a dynamic and diverse program of speakers. Please note that our small organizing group simply does not have the capacity to hire and assist local artists and musicians who have kindly asked to participate. We are however encouraging folks to make the march an inclusive, accessible and lively experience. So we encourage you to bring your own signs, noise makers and have fun during the march and rally.

Please check our Facebook page for updates.

Q: Who do I contact if I need help or have questions during the march?

A: We will have women and women-identified people available to assist you during the march. The marshals will line the outside of the march, along the sides and at the front and back. Marshals will be clearly identified by orange vests or toques, or special arm-bands. Marshals can help direct you to volunteer medics, and to the accessible vehicles (please note that once the accessible vehicles have been filled to capacity and have started following the march, they will not be able to stop to pick up more passengers). Please speak to a marshal if you need assistance.

We are planning a peaceful demonstration. We encourage all participants to observe the principles of this action and to be mindful that this is a family-friendly event rooted in non-violence and saying no to hate if you wish to participate in this march.

Q: Should I bring my child/children?

A: Including your child or your children in the March is a personal choice. In your planning, consider the length of the route (1.7km), the size of the crowd, and the limited access to restrooms along the way.

ACCESSIBILITY AT THE RALLY/MARCH  

Please keep in mind that from start to finish we expect the rally and march to take about two hours in total, from 12:00p.m. to 2:00p.m. If you are attending the march we respect people’s personal choices to come and go from the march as their personal needs require.

We are committed to working together to include everyone and make things accessible for individuals to participate. We do also ask that all participants act collectively and inclusively to support the flow and access during the march, and work together to offer support to include people with disabilities or limited mobility as we march.

 Q: Will there be a modified route for people with disabilities or limited mobility?

A: In an effort to promote accessibility and include all women in the march, we have selected a route that is on a flat surface that goes directly from one point, starting at Queen’s Park, to our destination point at City Hall.

The march route is a straight line down University Avenue, turning east onto Queen Street West, and ending at City Hall/Nathan Philips Square. This is a flat surface and there are no stairs. We encourage all marchers to be observant on the streets as we cannot be responsible for any potholes.

Our marshals will do a walk-through of the route in the morning prior to the march, and during the march will provide information and announcements as required. Marshals will help to secure off-road areas that may have issues and provide information to marchers as we go.

Q: What if I don’t want to march on the street?

A: While we encourage people to take the streets in an effort to reclaim space, we respect that there may be access concerns and that for some this is a personal decision.

The march goes along major streets and there are sidewalks. As an attendee you could also travel with the march using the sidewalks that run parallel to the march if this is more suitable for your personal access, for any reason.

Q: Is there an accessible vehicle during the march?

A: Yes, we have secured three vehicles. Part of our fundraising initiative was to secure funds for these vehicles because we wanted to ensure access for people to attend. One vehicle will accommodate those with wheelchairs and scooters, and the other two vehicles will have seats.

Should you require access to one of the three vehicles please come directly to the vehicle when you arrive at the march, at Queen’s Park. A marshal can assist you in locating the vehicles, but the vehicles will be near the front stage.

Q: Will there be ASL interpreting services? Who provides these?

A: We are committed to and working to hire ASL interpreters.

Q: What if I need support during the march?

A: There will be a team of marshals that will surround the outside of the march on the left and right, the front and the back. Marshals will be wearing either vests, arm-bands, or orange toques. This group of volunteers can assist you in accessing support, locating the accessible vehicles, and answering questions.

 LOCAL PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Please note that as a small volunteer organizing group, we do not have the capacity to organize buses or be responsible for parking or permits, and cannot be responsible for transit issues. We have provided this information in an effort to share resources and offer some quick tips to assist in your attendance at the march.

We strongly recommend that, where possible, you consider public transit. As our numbers and interest continue to grow, we worry that the downtown core and surrounding area will be packed and that parking in the surrounding area will be full.

Travelling By Pubic Transit (TTC)

Q: Which subway stations are the closest to Queen’s Park?

A: The closest subway station is Queen’s Park station, which is on the south edge of the lawn at College Street. There are also Museum station (to the north of Queen’s Park) and Wellesley station (to the east)—both of these stations average about a ten-minute walk away. The Avenue Road 5 bus and Wellesley Street 94 bus both stop at Queen’s Park. The 506 College Street streetcar stops just south of Queen’s Park at University Avenue.

Accessibility note: Queen’s Park subway station has an elevator to street level. Buses on both the Avenue Road and Wellesley Street routes are accessible.

 Q: What is the cost for public transit? And what’s a Presto card?

A: Cash fare is $3.25(for one way) for adults and $2.10 for Seniors and Students. Children under 12 ride free. If you plan on using public transit, you do not need a PRESTO card. Some stations/vehicles may ask if you have one but you can simply pay cash and you will still be able to buy and use Metropasses, tickets and tokens.

 Coming in a group? Buy a TTC Pass

TTC offers a Group/Family Day Passes at a cost of $12.50. Group/Family Day Passes are available for use on Saturday, Sunday, or statutory holidays. Passes can be bought at a station only and are valid from the date shown on the pass until 5:30 a.m. the next day.

Further information is at http://ttc.ca

BY CAR:

Q: Will there be designated “drop-off” points for cars to drop passengers off near the march site?

A: There is no designated drop-off area at Queen’s Park, and given the increasing numbers we expect that there might be delays in getting to the rally, so please plan your arrival accordingly.

Q: Is there a good place for me to park my car?

A: We are not responsible for parking arrangements; these are some suggestions. Paid public parking is available at several lots within a ten-minute walk from Queen’s Park.

Paid public parking is also available at Nathan Phillips Square

BY BIKE:

Q: Can I bike to the march?

A: Yes of course! You are welcome to ride your bike as transportation to the march. However, we are not responsible for securing locked areas for bikes.

WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO THE MARCH?

Q: Will there be signs? Can I bring my own?

A: Yes! We will have a few signs on hand, but we are encouraging you to make your own and bring it to the march. One thing to note is signage or slogans are better remembered when they are brief, just a few words. Also consider that this will not only be seen in person at the march, but pictures and video will capture the march as there is an incredible amount of interest.

Q: What should I wear?

A: We advise you to check the weather regularly. Layers are always a good idea! The end of January can be cold. Please plan accordingly and dress for the weather and remember we will be outside for at least two hours. Even if the temperatures are higher than normal, being outside for hours at a time will affect you.

Q: Is there a single colour we can wear to unite us?

A: We are not planning to wear anything in particular except VERY WARM CLOTHING. Please do the same and have fun planning ways to connect visually with your friends, groups and family members.

CONNECT WITH THE WOMEN’S MARCH

Q: What is the best way to stay connected?

A: Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Q: What are the hashtags for the march?

A:  We use the hashtags #WomensMarchTO and #WhyIMarch to tell the various and unique stories that bring people to our movement.

Q: Where do I send WHY I MARCH photos?

A: Please post your photos to social media and include @womensmarchTO!

Thanks for reading this and for being an agent of change!

Happy marching.

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