"It's a big deal for us even though it's a full five years away," says Mark Singh, the co-chair of Pride Toronto. Singh led the committee that submitted the bid on September 8, and will pitch the idea in full at the InterPride conference in October.
Hosting World Pride and the conference, he says, would trigger significant change around the world for LGBT human rights.
Pride has come under criticism in recent years for losing its activist roots; emphasizing LGBT causes globally might be an answer to that critique.
The organization estimates that 1.3 million people attended this year's festival and that it generated at least $100 million - the largest tourist draw in the city.
But, according to founding Pride organizer, Gary Kinsman, back when the parade was just starting up, economic spinoffs weren't the main concern.
"The first Pride march in Toronto was actually held after the 1981 bath raids [where police arrested hundreds of men in gay bathhouses]. It was clearly a political event," Kinsman says.
Is bringing World Pride to Toronto "going to be used for [fighting] global queer struggles or is this just an opportunity for people to have more queer tourist dollars?'' he asks.
Earlier this year Xtra published an article declaring Pride Toronto was distancing itself from politics.
The piece referenced a conflict between activist group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid and groups supporting Israeli policies, which resulted in Pride releasing a statement in May, 2009, saying it is a non-partisan group and exists only to put on the parade.
Singh emphasizes the statement declares that the organization has no affiliations to any political entities or causes. This had to be done, he says, because there was immense pressure put on Pride to ban groups talking about Israel. Instead, groups representing both sides of the mideast conflict were allowed to march in the parade.
"If we had [banned either group], in effect, we would've taken a political stand on the issue and those are not our issues to talk about. We'll speak out about issues that are relevant to us. So international human rights is one of those things we said we have a duty to speak out on. But the question of Israel and Palestine and all that kind of stuff, has nothing to do with us," he says.
In Kinsman's opinion, however, all global issues should be relevant, especially if Toronto hosts World Pride. He says "it will have to deal with issues including struggles in Palestine and around the world."
Since 2006, Pride Toronto has had an international grand marshal; somebody from outside of Canada who is in the forefront of LGBT advocacy in their home country. This year's was Victor Musaka a prominent queer rights activist from Uganda.
The inclusion of global LGBT activists is necessary for Pride says immigration lawyer and founder of queer Muslim group, Salaam, El-Farouk Khaki who was last year's Pride parade grand marshal.
"I don't know how you can talk about gay/lesbian issues without talking about human rights," he says. Especially since the queer community has rapidly diversified. "When you came to the [Toronto] village 15, 20, years ago it was predominately male and predominately white," Khaki says.
"But now you hear Persian being spoken, Spanish being spoken, you hear reggae beats on Church Street.The auditory environment has grown but not everybody necessarily understands what somebody else is going through or has gone through to get to this place."
If World Pride does come to Canada, Khaki is hoping that there will be discussions around how class, immigration, HIV and gender all intersect in the queer rights movement.
Pride Toronto hasn't released many details about their World Pride pitch at the International Association of Lesbians, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Pride Coordinators world conference next month but one thing's for sure, the organization has not forgotten about its past.
2014 marks the 45th anniversary of the New York City Stonewall riots, the first uprising against queer-targeted police raids. If Pride Toronto gets to host the World fest, organizers plan to make a wall of remembrance where people can leave pictures and share memories which will be given to Heritage Pride New York once the festival is over.
But even if the pitch gets rebuffed, Pride Toronto will continue to expand its LGBT human rights campaign.
"This is how we're getting back to our activist roots," says Singh. "Those elements of our program will continue to grow. [But] I don't think we'll be chanting at Queen's Park. I don't think we are that organization any more."