The Bathhouse Raids by Christiano De Araujo is a mural on Church Street just south of Carlton.
Completed in the fall of 2013, it was the largest of the Church St. Mural Project pieces commissioned for WorldPride 2014.
The following photos were taken with a very wide angle lens
because of the size of the mural and because there are always cars parked in front of it.
On the 5th of February, 1981, Toronto police raided four bathhouses in what was known as ‘Operation Soap’.
Around 300 men were arrested. Most charges connected to the incident were eventually dropped or discharged, although some bathhouse owners were fined.
The event marked a major turning point in the history of the LGBT community in Canada.
The raids led to protests – the night after the raids, 3,000 people marched on 52 Division police headquarters and on Queen’s Park, smashing car windows and setting fires. That spring the city held its first Pride Parade.