For forty years, The 519 has been the centre of Toronto’s LGBTQ community, providing welcoming space and responding to emerging needs as the queer experience in Toronto moved far beyond Church Street.
Over the last couple of years, we’ve started to offer education and training services that provide Toronto employers, social services and long-term care facilities with the training and insight to create more inclusive workplaces and care environments. We’ve welcomed new members from across the GTA and around the globe as LGBTQ refugees arrive in Canada in need of community, counselling and support. And we’ve made plans to develop a second facility, The 519 Recreation Centre, which will advance inclusion in sport while providing a joyful and open space for LGBTQ leagues and community members of all ages and abilities.
Throughout this, we have remained focused on our core mandate: improving the LBGTQ experience in Toronto and beyond. We want everyone to understand what we do and why we do it, which is why we decided to launch a new logo and website that help tell this story.
It’s hard to be an LGBTQ organization without referencing the rainbow. The vibrancy and diversity of this symbol are important, and we infused our new logo with the spirit and range of the spectrum. This approach has also allowed us to expand our representations by including colours that are part of other symbols of diversity such as the trans pride flag.
Our new logo, which will officially replace our speech bubble logo on May 14, also incorporates three overlapping spaces that represent the three pillars of our organizational framework: Service, Space and Leadership. These are the elements we believe make The 519 special: the direct support we offer the community, the non-judgemental space we provide to groups and individuals, and the way we translate our expertise into tangible learning that we can pass along.
Finally, our logo proudly carves out our new and shortened name – The 519. As an organization, we are more than just one building, and our mandate as a proud city agency remains the same in every space where we work to create progress.