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Generations of 2SLGBTQI+ people in Canada have been abused, excluded and criminalized because of who they are, who they love and how they express and identify themselves. 


The Thunderhead monument is being built to recognize this historic discrimination, including the colonial roots of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia and the cruelty of the Canadian government during the LGBT Purge. It will celebrate the resilience of all queer and trans communities and serve to inspire the change still needed in Canada.


Called Thunderhead, this monument reflects the strength, activism and hope of queer communities. A thunderhead is a dynamic cloud of unstoppable energy. In Anishinabe teachings, thunderclouds are home to the Thunderers whose storms renew the land and make things right. 


Thunderhead will sit on unceded and traditional Anishinabe Algonquin Nation territory. Come summer 2025, we will all be honoured to use this land to dance, protest, cry, march and write the stories yet to come.


The monument is being paid for with proceeds from a 2018 class action settlement won against the Government of Canada. 


The lawsuit was launched by survivors of the LGBT Purge – a government campaign that systematically hunted, harassed and fired 2SLGBTQI+ members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the RCMP and the federal public service between the 1950s and mid-1990s. 


These funds would have gone to LGBT Purge victims had they lived long enough to make a claim. Their legacy lives here. Learn more about the government’s hateful campaign at

Rendering of the monument

This monument, and its words, were developed with input from thousands of 2SLGBTQI+ community members. The vision for the monument was first guided by the monument’s Advisory Committee and Indigenous Circle. The interpretive content drew on centuries of community stories, diverse expertise and experience and collaboration with the monument’s Education and Interpretation Committee. 

The monument’s Healing Circle emerged through a process guided by Indigenous Elders. Its thirteen stones were chosen by Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer people from each province and territory in Canada.


Thunderhead is being developed by the LGBT Purge Fund, in collaboration with Canadian Heritage and the National Capital Commission.


Rendering of the monument


Within a landscaped park, a column is being broken apart by the thunderhead cloud inside, just as 2SLGBTQI+ communities have risen up to break barriers and demand justice and equality. Inside, thousands of mirrored tiles reflect diverse identities and hold the memory of queer lives that ended too soon.


Also, in this place, a sugar maple will grow for those who served this country. A healing circle and medicinal garden will make space for Indigiqueer journeys. And a fruit orchard will reclaim the language of oppression and highlight the beauty and joy of queer communities.

This monument was designed by Public City Architecture, Elder Albert McLeod and artists Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan.

Site map



Follow us to see Thunderhead rise and to learn how this historic monument emerged through relentless determination and the hearts and minds of thousands.

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