Mayor Rob Ford made his first appearance at a Pride Week event Monday, as he surprised a large crowd at a city hall ritual.

Ford, who is frequently accused of ignoring Toronto’s LGBQT community for skipping Pride Week events, showed up at a rainbow flag-raising ceremony during the noon hour.

Ford addressed a crowd of hundreds as he read a proclamation on behalf of city council.

“In a world often marred by clashes between people who see differences as a reason for conflict, Pride Week is a time to celebrate diversity, inclusiveness and understanding,” Ford said as he read the proclamation.

Before the event, it was unclear if Ford would attend alongside Premier Kathleen Wynne and fellow city council members.

After the event, Ford declined to answer reporters’ questions.

His brother, Coun. Doug Ford, joined him at the flag-raising ceremony and got into the spirit by waving a rainbow flag.

The mayor is often criticized for skipping Pride Week events, including a massive parade that caps the multi-day festival.

In his defence, the mayor says he always spends the Canada Day weekend at his family’s cabin.

Meanwhile, when this year’s parade takes place Sunday afternoon, Wynne will make history when she becomes the first sitting premier to march in the event.

Wynne, who is married to Jane Rounthwaite and has three children and two grandchildren, told The Canadian Press attending gay pride activities is an annual event for her.

Wynne, who attended Monday's flag-raising ceremony, is Ontario’s first openly gay premier.

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