Justin Trudeau is first Canadian PM to march in Toronto's Gay Pride parade

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau (middle, in pink shirt and white trousers) marching in the Pride Festival parade on July 3, 2016 in Toronto.
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau (middle, in white trousers) marching in the Pride Festival parade on July 3, 2016 in Toronto.PHOTO: AFP
Spectators in Yonge Street at the annual Pride Festival parade on July 3, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.
Spectators in Yonge Street at the annual Pride Festival parade on July 3, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. PHOTO: AFP

MONTREAL (AFP) - Mr Justin Trudeau made history on Sunday (July 3) by marching with tens of thousands of people in Toronto's Gay Pride parade, becoming the country's first sitting prime minister to participate.

Thunderous applause greeted Mr Trudeau as he paraded down a main Toronto artery, waving a Canadian maple-leaf flag bordered with a rainbow.

The youthful politician, whose popularity is soaring, donned a salmon-coloured, button-down shirt and white jeans, taking selfies and shaking hands with those lining the parade route.

The colourful procession observed a minute of silence to pay respect to the victims of the June 12 nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida that left 49 dead.

The city tightened security, but kept the enhanced measures discreet to maintain a festive spirit. Toronto police have not released an official attendance count, but organisers had expected one million attendees.

Mr Trudeau also walked in the annual parade last year as head of the Liberal Party, then the opposition leader facing former president Stephen Harper's conservative government.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne - Canada's first openly gay head of a province - and Toronto Mayor John Tory marched alongside Mr Trudeau. 

The three politicians attended an outdoor worship service on Sunday morning in the city's gay district.