The City of Toronto will virtually commemorate the second anniversary of the Yonge Street Tragedy that happened on April 23, 2018. This year’s commemoration will take place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic and consideration for public health and safety.
In remembrance of the people who lost their lives, survivors and all those impacted by the tragedy, the City will live stream a statement by Mayor John Tory at 9 a.m. on Thursday, April 23. Later in the evening, there will be a virtual vigil led by community groups, We Love Willowdale and Willowdale Interfaith Coalition.
To mark the time of the incident, flags on Nathan Phillips Square and Mel Lastman Square at North York Civic Centre will be lowered to half-mast at 1:30 p.m. for the remainder of the day. The Toronto Sign will also be dimmed just before sunset.
We Love Willowdale and Willowdale Interfaith Coalition, two community groups in North York, will lead a virtual vigil at 6 p.m. on the We Love Willowdale Facebook page. This vigil will bring together the community, provide support for those impacted and offer a space for people to interact and leave messages.
As this commemoration may bring back painful and traumatic memories, those who require support or counselling are advised to call 211 to access support from the Ontario Psychological Association who is offering free mental health services.
To help keep our community safe during the COVID-19 crisis, residents are respectfully requested to adhere to public health orders and refrain from gathering to lay flowers or other memorabilia at the incident sites.
The City recognizes the challenges the current pandemic and physical distancing measures poses to individuals experiencing trauma as a result of this tragedy. People are encouraged to continue to take care of one another and connect with loved ones, friends, and vulnerable members of the community online or by phone who may be impacted.
The City of Toronto will live stream Mayor John Tory’s commemorative statement on the City of Toronto YouTube channel: youtube.com/user/thecityoftoronto.
The community-led virtual vigil can be accessed on the I Love Willowdale Facebook page: facebook.com/WeLoveWillowdale.
More information about the City’s virtual commemoration can be found at: toronto.ca/city-government/awards-tributes/tributes/commemoration-of-the-yonge-street-tragedy.
Camera pool feed
The City Hall Pool Feed is available remotely to all media who currently have access to the pool feed used for City Council meetings. It is also available via the media bulk head box on the second floor of City Hall outside Committee Room 1 and 2.
Global News will also provide pool coverage of media briefings and distribute at Toronto TOC or Dejero Multipoint as part of the Network COVID pools distribution plan. For further information on this option, contact Global Resources at 416-446-5400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“My thoughts are still with the families and loved ones of the ten people who were killed and 16 injured in the senseless attack that took place on Yonge Street in North York. Through this trauma, we witnessed Toronto’s strength and resilience in providing compassion and support for all those who have been impacted. As Toronto now faces another crisis with COVID-19, I know how difficult this day may be for those still experiencing trauma. And while we must continue to stay apart to stay united in our fight against this virus, I urge everyone to reach out to loved ones, family and friends to check in on one another and let them know they are not alone during these difficult times.”
– Mayor John Tory
“This Thursday, as on every April 23, the Willowdale community will pause to remember the victims of this tragedy. While this event is a reminder of a senseless act that caused so much pain for so many, it also reminds us that our community is strong and can stand as a symbol of hope as we unite through our healing and continue to offer support for one another.”
– Councillor John Filion, Willowdale (Ward 18)
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