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Want to be a part of history and represent your nationality in the hug? 

The current record for most nationalities in a group hug is 72 and given Toronto's diversity, we know we can set a new record but we need you! Participation in the hug is free, open to all ages and optional.

You can also witness the hug and participate in our family friendly programming that is intended for us to reset our feelings of disconnection due to the pandemic. 

There are other ways to participate too if you don't want to be a part of the hug but want to help create or witness history. Keep reading below!

The world record for most nationalities in a group hug is 72.
As of noon on September 29th, we have 59 nationalities signed up to participate, so far. We're almost there!
Please note, there is no limit to how many people from a nationality can participate so don't hesitate to sign up even if you already see your nationality listed! ​


  • Guatemala

  • Guyana 

  • Greece

  • Haiti 

  • Holland 

  • Indonesia 

  • Iran

  • Ireland 

  • Italy 

  • India

  • Jamaica

  • Kazakhstan

  • Kenyan

  • Korea

  • Lebanon

  • Mexico

  • Métis

  • Nigeria

  • Pakistan 

  • Philipines 

  • Portugal 

  • Russia

  • Saudi Arabia

  • Scotland

  • Senegal 

  • Spain 

  • Sri Lanka

  • Saint Lucia 

  • Saint Kitts

  • Slovakia

  • Sudan 

  • Syria 

  • Taiwan

  • Tanzania 

  • Trinidad

  • Ukraine

  • Uganda 

  • USA

  • Wyandot

  • Zambia 

  • Afghanistan

  • Armenia

  • Bangladesh

  • Barbados 

  • Bermuda 

  • Brazil 

  • Britain 

  • Burundi

  • Cameroon 

  • Canada 

  • China 

  • Chile

  • Colombia 

  • Costa Rica 

  • Cuba

  • Czechoslovakia

  • Ecuador

  • Eritrea

  • Ethiopia

  • German

Why are we doing this?

Our vision is to organize a one-day event where the primary attraction would be to set a world record for most nationalities in a group hug. The current record is 72 nationalities but we believe that Toronto has a great chance of setting a new record given the number of people in this city who belong to Indigenous and other nations. 

We believe this has the potential to create a powerful symbol of both racial and pandemic-era unity that could inspire our city, country and world - let alone those who participate or witness the hug. 

Given the ongoing pandemic, we acknowledge that a big hug may feel jarring but for that same reason, we feel strongly about this project. We need to bring intention to our reconnection with each other.

While the concept of nationalities are often employed to talk about what unites people - it’s important to note that the concept is also highly divisive, especially in colonial projects like Canada. Our government has not recognized Indigenous Nations' requests for their sovereignty, along with their right to self-determination. We also don't afford the privilege of citizenship to everyone, meaning there are those who identify as Canadian, but are not legally considered Canadian and the rights associated with it. 

There is much more complexity related to nationalities and we hope that this event sparks dialogue on the topic to foster a better understanding of what unites and divides us.  

What better catalyst for this dialogue than one big hug?

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Want to collaborate on One Big Hug?
Email and let's have a conversation.

How does a group hug work in a pandemic?

Given the ongoing pandemic, we acknowledge that a big hug has the potential to be unsafe and requires protocols to minimize risks. The hug will not be one where everyone is pressed together, but we will be in a wide circle similar to image below from the existing world record (photo credit: Thomas Angus). Masks are optional and celebrated. The event will be outdoors and those not feeling well will be asked to not participate.


More Information

Please feel free consult our FAQ document which has more details about One Big Hug or click on some of our most frequently asked questions. 

Click on any of the above or see our complete list of rolling questions  by clicking on the box below!

Volunteer at One Big Hug

The window for volunteer applications closed on September 19th. Thank you to everyone who applied!

Would you like to volunteer at One Big Hug?

We will be selecting up to 20 volunteers ​and will be providing a $200 honorarium for each person who volunteers.

We are currently recruiting for two volunteer opportunities:

  1. Hug Hype Squad - supporting the organizing team ON THE DAY OF THE EVENT to get people formed in a hug and cheering people on as we set the new record. 

  2. General Event Support - supporting the organizing team on a range of activities on the day like welcoming people, way-finding, registration,  set-up and tear-down. 


Eligibility Requirements

  • No previous experience necessary.

  • We will be prioritizing applications from current or former residents from the Little Jamaica neighbourhood where One Big Hug is occurring. However, we encourage everyone to apply. 

  • You must be able to attend our in-person training on Sunday, September 25th from 12pm-4pm at 634 Vaughan Road in Little Jamaica. 

  • You must attend One Big Hug on Saturday, October 1st from 11am - 5pm.

Please apply by Monday, September 19th at midnight. We will reach out to confirm whether you've been selected by Wednesday, September 21st.

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