The City of Toronto will commemorate those who lost their lives and were injured during the Yonge Street Tragedy of April 23, 2018, with a ceremony at the Mel Lastman Square Amphitheatre on Tuesday, April 23. The Willowdale community organization We Love Willowdale is also planning commemorative activities throughout the day.

All are invited to attend a Commemorative Ceremony at the Mel Lastman Square Amphitheatre. The Ceremony coincides with the time, one year ago, when the tragic incident took place along Yonge Street. The Ceremony will include music, remarks and a moment of silence.

  • Date: Tuesday, April 23, 2019
  • Time: 1:30 p.m.
  • Location: Mel Lastman Square Amphitheatre (5100 Yonge Street)

Commemorative Ceremony Program

Prelude:

  • St. John’s York Mills Handbell Ringers

Ceremony (1:30 p.m.):

  • Indigenous Remarks by Cat Criger, Knowledge Keeper and Elder-in-Residence at University of Toronto Mississauga, joined by Gabe Gaudet
  • Remarks by Chaplain Hugh Donnelly, Toronto Fire Services
  • Reading of Victim Names
  • Moment of Silence
  • In Remembrance by Eleanor Daley performed by a joint Cardinal Carter Academy and Earl Haig Secondary School Choir
  • Honouring the injured
  • Reading by Albert Moritz, Toronto’s Poet Laureate
  • Closing remarks
  • O Canada

Remembering and Healing

The Willowdale community is undertaking commemorative activities along Yonge Street from Olive Square Park to Sheppard Ave. throughout the day. If you would like to learn more about the planned activities or to volunteer visit We Love Willowdale.

Sidewalk Chalk

Reclaim Yonge Street with colour by leaving drawings and messages of love along the west side of Yonge Street. Chalk will be available along the street.

Music Heals

Musicians will bring music to Mel Lastman Square and Olive Square Park throughout the day. A piano has been set up at Mel Lastman Square for the public to play. Local musicians are welcome to sign up for a slot by visiting We Love Willowdale.

Community Gatherings

A moment of silence will take place at 1 p.m. at Olive Square Park for the local community and those working in the office towers. A Community Vigil to remember the victims will take place at 6 p.m. at Mel Lastman Square.

Community Dinners

Free community dinners will follow the 6 p.m. community gathering at Mel Lastman Square. Register for a meal by visiting We Love Willowdale.

Trauma Care

A commemoration of the Yonge Street Tragedy may trigger challenging memories and emotions. Trauma Care Councillors will be available at Mel Lastman Square and Olive Square Park:

The #TorontoStrong Fund was a partnership between the City of Toronto and Toronto Foundation, advised by a volunteer steering committee, to help support the victims and survivors of the April 23  Yonge Street Tragedy and the July 22 shooting on the Danforth. The fund was created to ensure the generous outpouring of philanthropic support was collected and distributed to those affected in an accountable and transparent manner.

In December 2018, the Fund completed distributing more than $4 million donated to the 41 victims and families of the Yonge Street van attack and the Danforth shooting. The Fund is currently closed to donations.

To distribute the collected funds, the pro bono fund administrator, former Toronto mayor Barbara Hall, met with bereaved families, survivors, medical and social service personnel, reviewed best practices from around the world and received guidance from the #TorontoStrong Steering Committee to create a disbursement framework. The review process also took into account the short- and long-term physical and psychological injuries sustained by survivors, as well as the impact of loss of life on families left behind.

Following the disbursement of all the donations to the victims, Toronto Foundation announced the creation of The Barbara Hall Community Resilience Fund. Working in partnership with the Wellesley Institute, this new initiative will develop and support a network of crisis responders to ensure strong coordination and collaboration between organizations.

To mark these tragic events and memorialize the victims, the City of Toronto will launch consultations with survivors, bereaved families and impacted communities on permanent memorials in early 2019.

Partner