Queen Elizabeth II was the longest reigning Sovereign in modern Canadian history and the longest reigning female Queen Regnant in world history. The Queen surpassed the length of Queen Victoria’s reign on September 9, 2015, and was the longest serving Head of State in the world.
The Queen and the late Duke of Edinburgh were the longest married royal couple in our history, having marked over 73 years together prior to Prince Philip’s death on April 9, 2021.
Canada and Toronto marked Her Majesty’s Silver (1977), Golden (2002), Diamond (2012) and Platinum (2022) Jubilees. The Queen, with the Duke, visited Toronto on seven occasions, starting in 1951 and finally in 2010. Several of her visits marked important milestones in Toronto.
Flags have been half-masted at all City facilities, parks and vessels throughout the mourning period.
A State Funeral for Her Majesty The Queen was held in London on September 19.
September 8, 2022
“On behalf of the people of Toronto, I offer heartfelt condolences to The King and members of the Royal Family as well as to the many people throughout the Commonwealth who will be feeling a profound sense of loss as we mark the passing of our Queen, Elizabeth II.
So many of us have known no other Queen. She was the one constant and reassuring presence in our own country and on the world stage – a beacon of eloquence, stability and commitment to duty – over so many decades.
Our city has had a long and warm relationship with The Queen, our longest-serving monarch. This relationship began in October of 1951 when a young Princess Elizabeth visited Toronto in place of her ailing father, King George VI. During this visit, she and Prince Philip were greeted by excited crowds and experienced a quintessential Toronto tradition – watching a Leafs game at the storied Maple Leaf Gardens.
Over the course of her more than 70-year reign, The Queen’s sense of duty and devotion to public service was unflagging. She traveled more than any other monarch, and Canada was the country she most often visited. She even referred to Canada as her second home.
Her Majesty’s first visit to Toronto as our Head of State was in 1959 during a tour of Canada. The Queen and Prince Philip arrived in HMY Britannia, attended the 100th running of the Queen’s Plate at Woodbine racetrack and visited City Hall, where they were shown a preview of the design for the new City Hall which she visited in 1973 and 1984. She returned to Toronto in 1973, 1984 (to celebrate Toronto’s 150th birthday), 1997, 2002 and 2010.
On her visit to Toronto in 1973, The Queen praised our city’s diversity. She was interested in learning more about our neighbourhoods. During her Royal Tour in 1984, she visited Corso Italia, where 20,000 people came out to greet her. Her last visit to Canada ended in Toronto in 2010.
We are thankful for the time she was able to spend here in our city and in Canada. Many people, including me, had the privilege of having met The Queen and to a person appreciate that opportunity to witness her quick wit, grace and wonderful smile.
The Queen will be profoundly missed. We will be reminded of her through landmarks around our city, including the Queen Elizabeth II Building and Queen Elizabeth Theatre at Exhibition Place, rose gardens named in her honour at Queen’s Park and Grange Park and the Diamond Jubilee Promenade. The City recently planted 70 trees in Rowntree Mills Park to mark her Platinum Jubilee, a living tribute for the public to enjoy for many years to come.
Her legacy will also live on through her relationship with this country, province and city over the years and the length of time she has been our Queen, together with her commitment to the Commonwealth.
Today, as we mourn The Queen’s passing we are thankful for the long life she has lived, devoted to our service and the service of the entire Commonwealth. We pray that she has now found rest and peace everlasting.
Across Toronto, our thoughts are with the King and all the members of the Royal Family at this sad time.”
Mayor of Toronto
A National Commemorative Ceremony that was organized by the Government of Canada was held in Ottawa on September 19. It is available online. For more information, visit Commemorative events on the Government of Canada website.
A Memorial Service organized by the Cathedral Church of St. James in Toronto was held on September 20. For more information, visit the Cathedral Church of St. James’ website.
Toronto City Council will officially consider a condolence motion and the Mayor will speak at the next Council meeting on September 28.
There will be several commemorations on September 19 at 1 p.m. in Toronto and throughout Canada as we join people throughout the Commonwealth in mourning the long reign of The Queen. These include:
These initiatives coincide with the Provincial Moment of Silence which will be observed throughout Ontario on September 19 at 1 p.m. and are based on the City of Toronto’s custom and tradition.
Send a message of Condolence through the National Electronic Condolence Book.
Send a written message:
His Majesty The King
London SW1A 1AA
Letters may also be sent through the Governor General’s Office, asking that they be sent on to the Palace. Postage to the Governor General’s Office is free of charge. Send your letters to either of the two addresses below
1 Sussex Drive
Department of Canadian Heritage
State Ceremonial and Protocol Directorate
25 Eddy Street
Gatineau Quebec K1A 0M5
Canadians who wish to extend their condolences privately by email may do so at the following email address: email@example.com
There is no official arrangement for flowers or making donations in memory of The Queen.
However members of the public who wish to make a donation as a tribute to Her late Majesty may wish to give to a charity of their choosing or one of the charities or organizations which The Queen supported in her public duties.
The Queen visited Toronto seven times between 1951 and 2010, and often referred to Canada as her second home. For a detailed account of her visits to Toronto, visit the Queen City: Her Majesty in Toronto webpage.
The Peace Garden was formally dedicated by The Queen in 1984 (the sod was turned by the Prime Minister, the flame was lit by Pope John Paul II on separate occasions). It is meant to stand as a commitment of Torontonians to the principle of world peace.
Completed in 1956 as the Women’s Building and renamed in honour of Her Majesty during the Royal Tour of 1959, The Queen Elizabeth II Building at the Exhibition Place was designed by the architectural firm Page + Steele Inc., with Peter Dickinson as its lead designer. The Queen Elizabeth II Building was one of the seven major structures added to Exhibition Place between 1948 and 1962, exemplifying the modernist architecture movement in Toronto. The building is composed of three sections: a two-storey administration building, the 1,300 seat Queen Elizabeth Theatre with a glass-walled foyer and sculptural spiral staircase, and a one-storey exhibition hall. The Exhibition hall continues to play an important role during the Canadian National Exhibition as home of the arts, crafts, and hobbies displays.
On May 22, 2012, The Prince of Wales visited the site of the Pan-Am athletes’ village as part of his visit to Canada to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty. At the event, Premier Dalton McGuinty announced that the Official Gift of the Government of Ontario would be to name a portion of this street as “Diamond Jubilee Promenade”.
70 trees were planted in Rowntree Mills Park to mark the Platinum Jubilee on June 5, 2022.
Where possible, all flags at the following locations will be flown at half-mast from September 8 to September 20 (the date of the State Funeral), to mark the passing of Her Majesty The Queen:
Flags will remain at half mast until the end of the day on September 21, to mark the death of a Toronto Police Constable.
The Canadian Flag at City Hall was flown at full mast on September 10, the date of the Proclamation of the Accession of King Charles III in Canada, according to custom.
The Toronto sign was dimmed on September 8, 2022. It will be lit in Royal Blue (in rotation) as part of the National Illumination Tribute Initiative to honour Her late Majesty through to September 19. The Princes’ Gates at Exhibition Place will also be lit in Royal Blue as part of this initiative.
Photographic and painted portraits of The Queen should be marked with a black diagonal ribbon at the top left and bottom right throughout the official mourning period.
Owners of flagpoles may wish to half-mast their flags, at their discretion.
Contracts with the City will be unaffected as they are signed with the City of Toronto rather than Her Majesty in right of Canada or Ontario.