michelle ross toronto death

People in Toronto mourning loss of beloved Canadian drag icon Michelle Ross

People in Toronto are mourning the loss of Canadian drag icon Michelle Ross, who passed away Sunday after blowing audiences away with her captivating performances and loving disposition for nearly 50 years. 

The beloved drag queen got her start performing at Toronto's Club  Manatee back in 1974, according to Pride Toronto, and she was known for her acts as female entertainers including Dionne Warwick, Gloria Gaynor and Diana Ross. 

"Michelle was a proud Jamaican-Canadian who reigned the local drag scene for over four decades," wrote The 519 in a statement on Twitter. "Through her performances and personal interactions, she was known to exude kindness and warmth." 

Ross frequently performed at a number of venues in Toronto's Church and Wellesley Village, including Woody's and Crews and Tangos — where a memorial featuring flowers, photos and cards has been set up in her honour.

She also performed in a number of high-profile events all over the world, including in Japan, Paris, London, New York City, Chicago, Texas, Florida and her native land of Jamaica.

Members of Toronto's 2sLGBTQ+ community have been taking to social media to share photos, videos and memories of the queen in the wake of her death, the cause of which is not yet known.

"The passing of Michelle Ross marks a significant loss in our community," wrote city councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam on Twitter Sunday

"She was a trailblazing icon who touched and changed so many lives. May we remember her always - fierce, kind and embracing of all. To our queen and most gifted artist, may you rest in community power."

Lead photo by

Pride Toronto

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People in Toronto mourning loss of beloved Canadian drag icon Michelle Ross