Across Southwestern Ontario, a raft of recent anti-LGBTQ acts

London police are investigating allegations by officials that animals that were part of the festivities at a Pride event in London may have been poisoned – with two dying and a third showing symptoms, according to Little Hobby Hill Farm, whose owner told CBC they were sent a threatening email before the event, warning against participating. It's one of several incidents of alleged anti-LGBTQ conduct across Southwestern Ontario. Here are some other recent examples


Tillsonburg – a town about 60 kilometres southeast of London – has experienced multiple cases of vandalism related to Pride colours in the community. The most recent involved a rainbow-coloured boardwalk at the Station Arts Centre on Bridge Street, which was vandalized twice in two weeks: On June 9, someone riding a red-and-white dirt bike used its rear tire to damage the wood and paint of the boardwalk. Two weeks earlier, on the night of May 27, an incident also involved a rider on a red-and-white dirt bike. Last year, a rainbow crosswalk nearby was also targeted four times by vandals, resulting in the Oxford Pride committee's decision to remove the rainbow colours.


Norwich first garnered attention last year when its town council banned non-government flags on municipal property, seen by critics as way to ban Pride flags in the municipality (a decision since overturned). Oxford OPP asked for the public’s help identifying a person who damaged a Pride flag at home in the town early Saturday, just weeks after the police warned they were taking a zero-tolerance approach to would-be vandals of Pride symbols. The community of about 11,000 people south of Woodstock had a series of Pride flag thefts last year.


Oxford County’s first reported incident of Pride-related vandalism in 2024 took place in the community of Drumbo, northeast of Woodstock. In March, Oxford County OPP were asking for the public’s help identifying the driver of an older-model red pickup truck caught on video doing a burnout on a Pride crosswalk in the community. Police said the instance of vandalism left tired tread marks on the LGBTQ symbol.

Brian Williams, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press