Today, the City of Toronto commemorates the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day), which officially marked the end of the Second World War in Europe on May 8, 1945. It was a day celebrated by many in Canada, Europe and other Allied Nations around the world. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and consideration for public health and safety, the City is recognizing this significant milestone through online tools and symbolic gestures.
To pay tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the Second World War, Mayor John Tory placed a wreath at the Old City Hall Cenotaph at dawn. To celebrate the victory this day represents, a large Canadian flag has been raised on Nathan Phillips Square. The Toronto flag that flew at Juno Beach is also placed on the podium roof flag pole at City Hall. The Toronto sign and City Hall tower lights will be lit in red, white and blue – three colours commonly represented in many Allied nations’ flags during the Second World War. Photos and videos of these symbolic activities will be available on the City’s corporate social media accounts.
Residents are encouraged to commemorate this day of celebration and resilience by remembering the veterans and raising or displaying the Canadian flag at home. Torontonians can also view the official proclamation, read the history of V-E Day and access Toronto Archives’ photo exhibits, a virtual Golden Book of Remembrance and additional resources on the City’s virtual commemoration web page at toronto.ca/VEday75.
“This milestone V-E Day is an opportunity for us to recognize and thank our veterans who protected Canadians during the war and secured a hard-fought victory in Europe. Although we cannot gather in person to honour those who fought in the war and those who are still here with us today, I urge people to take part in our virtual commemoration and to celebrate the 75th anniversary of V-E Day. On behalf of Toronto residents, I want to thank all those who fought in the Second World War and all those who supported the war effort that helped lead to V-E Day. We will never forget your service to our country, your bravery, and your sacrifices.”
– Mayor John Tory
“We all know that this is a difficult time and it prevents us from celebrating the 75th anniversary of VE Day more formally. However, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Second World War veterans for their bravery and selfless commitment in securing the freedoms we enjoy now through unimaginable sacrifices.”
– Councillor James Pasternak (Ward 6 York Centre)
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