The City of Toronto and Danforth community invite all Torontonians to ceremonies on July 21 and 22 remembering those who lost their lives and recognizing those injured during the July 22, 2018 shooting on Danforth Ave.

Both events will be solemn commemorations. Media and the public are asked to respect the privacy of those impacted by the shooting. The City of Toronto Community Safety & Wellbeing Unit, Victim Services Toronto, and St. John’s Ambulance including therapy dogs, will be available for those who require emotional support or resources during the commemorative events.

Date: Sunday, July 21
Time: 1:30 p.m.
Location: Northeast corner of Withrow Park, 725 Logan Ave.

This half-hour ceremony, led by Toronto Police Services Chaplain Rev. Wendell Gibbs, will include:

  • a choral presentation from the Interfaith Choir from the Faith Community on the Danforth
  • a reading of the names of the deceased and placement of flowers in remembrance
  • a moment of silence
  • placement of flowers to wish the injured well in their continued recovery
  • a reading of a statement from the Faith Community on the Danforth
  • a reading of an original poem by City of Toronto Poet Laureate Al Moritz
  • singing of O Canada

As this event is a solemn commemoration, media and members of the public are asked to respect the privacy of those impacted by the shooting. The City of Toronto Community Safety & Wellbeing Unit, Victim Services Toronto and St. John’s Ambulance, including therapy dogs, will be available in the park for those who may require emotional support or resources.

The ceremony will take place outdoors. Those wishing to attend are reminded to check the weather and prepare for the conditions, including bringing an umbrella for rain or hats and water for hot weather. A City of Toronto water truck will be in the park and a small selection of refreshments will be provided by the Broadview Danforth BIA while supplies last.

Getting to the Ceremony

Transit

Withrow Park is approximately a 10-minute walk from TTC Line 2 Chester and Pape Stations, the 504 streetcar stop at Broadview Ave. at Withrow Ave., and the 506 streetcar stop at Gerrard St. E. at Logan Ave.

Parking

There is limited parking surrounding the park and temporary road closures may be in effect.

Date: Monday, July 22
Time: sunset (8:51 p.m.)
Location: Alexander the Great Parkette, intersection of Logan Ave. and Danforth Ave.

The sunset vigil will consist of:

  • a reading of the names of the deceased and injured
  • the ringing of St. Barnabas church bells
  • a moment of silence
  • a choral presentation from the Interfaith Choir from the Faith Community on the Danforth

The City of Toronto Community Safety & Wellbeing staff will be at the event to provide assistance to those who may require emotional support or resources. As the vigil is outside, those wishing to attend are reminded to check the weather and prepare for the conditions, including bringing an umbrella in the event of rain. Attendees are invited to bring candles.

Getting to the Ceremony

Transit

Alexander the Great Parkette is approximately a 5-minute walk from TTC Line 2 Chester and Pape Stations.

Parking

There is limited parking surrounding the parkette and temporary road closures may be in effect.

An interfaith statement from the Danforth faith community was issued on July 17, 2019.

Within our diverse community, we gather around our shared values of peace, justice and hope. We come with broken hearts, offering our support to those who are grieving and all those affected by the tragedy one year ago.

As people of hope, we come together to affirm that love is stronger than hate. On July 22, 2018 our community was shaken by unthinkable violence. Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and all whose lives were changed that day. As we mark the year which has passed we join as a community in prayer. In our pain and in our hope let us hold space for one another as we mend the world with love.

Danforth Church, Danforth Community Church, Danforth Jewish Circle, East Latvian Lutheran Church of Toronto, Eastminster United Church, Holy Name Parish, Madinah Masjid, Masjid-ut-Taqwa, Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, Riverdale & Westminster Presbyterian Church, St. Barnabas on the Danforth

Days of July: The Danforth

Al Moritz, Poet Laureate, City of Toronto

July 22, 2019—honouring the dead and wounded of last year’s tragedy, celebrating the life in our streets.

 

Along the flowering street, a face

Moves by, a glance I seem to know.

Did I see her a day ago,

A month, a year, in this same place?

 

A young woman—could she be

A student from a class of mine?

But then a small girl, maybe nine

Or ten, with her parents passes me

 

And shakes up all my wondering.

The dance of her steps makes walking play

And turns my heart the other way,

From baffled thinking to the thing

 

All around me—the Danforth, blue

And gold with flowers and the tall sky.

The people’s noise, that seemed to die,

Smothered by thought, picks up anew,

 

The sound of life comes back. How luminous

The feast this avenue serves us all!

Whether we come in a festival

Or grieving moment, the common human

 

Assent to life, to pleasure, is set

Down here in front of us. If we can,

We take it. If we’re in too much pain,

The street is content to offer and wait.

 

It seems to know dark moments come

And only those who share their meal

With the dead can grasp the power to heal

And to be healed. A quiet hum

 

Throbs in us as we see the breads,

The fruits, books, clothes—the prism of the shops—

New forms and colors nothing stops,

The juice, the shine of life that spreads

 

To all of us admiring it now

From those working to make it…who

Will stop and eat, inhale and view,

As we do, when their turn comes. Our vow

 

Is kept here, that life is good and will

Be good for all, a gift to all—

A vow that our loved ones who have fallen

Silent, make too, and with us fulfill.

 

 

 

Please respect the privacy of those impacted by the tragedy. There is no guarantee families of the deceased or those injured in the incident will choose to speak to any media.

Ensure that you are easily identifiable as a member of the media by wearing a clearly visible identification badge and/or company clothing.

Commemorative Ceremony – July 21

Set up

Consider arriving before 1 p.m. to set up. Ceremony starts at 1:30 p.m.

The ceremony will take place outdoors in the northeast corner of Withrow Park (725 Logan Ave.).

A pool feed and riser will be set up facing the ceremony stage. It will be located behind seating for victims, families, first responders, and dignitaries.

Parking

  • Broadcast trucks: paved yard of Holy Name Catholic School (690 Carlaw Ave.)
  • All other vehicles: limited parking is available surrounding the park. Please consider taking transit.

Note: Toronto Police Service will be establishing road restrictions and making some changes to on-street parking in the area before and during the ceremony.

Ceremony

A description of the ceremony can be found in the “Commemorative Ceremony – July 21, 2019” section above.

Community Vigil – July 22

Set up

Consider arriving before 8 p.m. to set up. Vigil starts at 8:51 p.m.

The ceremony will take place outdoors in Alexander the Great Parkette, northeast corner of Logan Ave. and Danforth Ave.

Parking

  • Broadcast trucks: limited parking for media broadcast trucks will be available on the north side of Danforth Ave. to the west of Logan Ave.
  • All other vehicles: limited parking surrounding the parkette. Please consider taking transit.

Note: Temporary road closures along Logan Ave. and Danforth Ave. will be in effect. Toronto Police Service will be on-site establishing road restrictions as well as making some changes to on-street parking in the area.

Vigil

A description of the vigil can be found in the “Community Vigil – July 22, 2019” section above.

Media Contact

Ray Park
Strategic Communications
416-892-9155
Ray.Park@toronto.ca