November 9, 2018

City of Toronto Remembrance Day Ceremonies 2018

  • The City of Toronto organizes seven Remembrance Day Ceremonies. Six services take place on November 11, the seventh service, located in Scarborough, takes place the Sunday before Remembrance Day (November 4).
  • The City of Toronto has updated programming so that it is more representative of all of Toronto’s communities in a more secular way and includes young people as well as members of today’s Canadian Armed Forces. However, the Remembrance Day services’ basic outline has not changed.
  • The City works closely with local community groups and branches of the Royal Canadian Legion to provide Remembrance Day programming that honours and respects those who have made the ultimate sacrifice protecting our rights and our freedoms in Canada as well as those who have and continue to serve.
  • The Royal Canadian Legion (RCL) supports the services. Their level of support varies depending on the service.
  • The Toronto City Council representative sharing official remarks represents the 2014-2018 Council term.
  • Wreaths on behalf of Governments and the Canadian Forces, cadets, the Royal Canadian Legion and veterans groups are placed in precedence based on the order established by the Legion (one wreath per organization). Following that, wreaths placed by not for profit and private sector organizations and individuals are placed.  Wreaths placed by non-profit groups and citizens are not individually announced.
  • The City of Toronto reviews the ceremonies each year to ensure that all programs and events are inclusive and reflect the diversity of our city.

Old City Hall Remembrance Day ceremony

  • Approximately 250 soldiers of 32 Brigade, 4th Canadian Division, under the Command of Lieutenant Colonel Garry Moore and Chief Warrant Officer Frank Atyeo, Sergeant Major will attend the Old City Hall service.
  • The Old City Hall ceremony includes representation from several communities: First Nations, Francophones, Youth, Woman and a Korean War veteran as well as religious groups. Messages conveyed by representatives of all groups are intended to foster inclusivity and diversity. Due to timing, not all groups have a speaking role but most have a participatory role (i.e. lay wreaths).
  • Girl Guides will be distributing the programs at Old City Hall.
  • A cadet will accompany all wreath layers to the cenotaph and assist them in laying their wreath, if required.
  • Weather permitting, the Harvard Aircraft Association will conduct a flypast of the Old City Hall ceremony and the East York Civic Centre Ceremony.
  • For those unable to attend in-person, the City will host a livestream of the Old City Hall event on the City’s official YouTube Channel. It will feature closed captioning and be available to anyone with an internet or mobile connection.
  • Road closures will be in effect from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.:
    • Queen Street West between Yonge Street and Osgoode Lane
    • Bay Street between Dundas Street West and Richmond Street West (with restricted access between Dundas Street West and Albert Street).
    • James Street between Queen Street West and Albert Street

Other 2018 Remembrance Week events

2018 marks 100 years since the end of the First World War, also known as the Great War. To mark this significant moment in history, the City of Toronto has organized:

Canadian Armed Forces parade: Starting at 10:10 a.m. on Nov 11, 500 members of the Canadian Armed Forces will parade north on University Avenue from Union Station to symbolize the return of soldiers from the First World War. 250 will witness the ceremony at Old City Hall and the remainder will attend the Queens Park service.

  • The following rolling road closures will be in effect:
    • Bremner Boulevard, from York Street to Lake Shore Boulevard West, will be restricted from 8:45 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. for parade formation.
    • University Avenue, from York Street to Queen’s Park, will experience rolling road closures starting at 10 a.m.

Great War Book of Remembrance: The City created a book of remembrance for those who died during the First World War and were members of Toronto-based regiments. The public can view the book in the Toronto City Hall rotunda, following the Old City Hall service.

Bells of Peace: “At the going down of the sun” on November 11 (4.56 p.m.), bells across Toronto will ring 100 times to commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War, an event organized by the Royal Canadian Legion.

  • While not exempt from the City’s noise by-law but the Municipal Licensing & Standards Division does not require an application for exception because the bells do not constitute a violation.

Etobicoke Remembrance Day ceremony

  • In order to make the service more accessible to the public, the whole service will be held outdoors at the cenotaph. This will provide a less obstructed view and increase the number of people that can attend.
  • Accessible seating will be available via the council chamber hallway, where there will be an audio broadcast of the outdoor service.
  • To coincide with all other City services, the Etobicoke service will begin at 10:45 a.m. (in previous years it began at 10:15 a.m.).

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Media contact: Hannah Stewart, Strategic Communications, 416-392-2708, Hannah.Stewart@toronto.ca