City of Toronto and interfaith groups have planned a vigil remembering the victims of last week’s van rampage near Young and Finch, north part of the City. The event is jointly organized by the City of Toronto, community groups Faith in the City and the Toronto Area Interfaith Council. The vigil will take place at Mel Lastman Square (5100 Young Street, Toronto) where the organizers are expecting to see a crowd of around 25,000. Road closures will be in effect.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Kathleen Wynne and Mayor John Tory, Governor General of Canada Julie Payette, Ontario’s Lt.-Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, and Federal Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer are expected to be among the attendees. Leaders of all major faith groups are also expected to attend and speak at the event praying for peace of the departed souls.
Toronto Transit Commission released an announcement saying that starting at 8:00am on April 29, Toronto Police Services will begin a series of road closures to support a vigil honoring the victims of Monday’s tragic event. Wheel-Trans buses will have access to local east/west streets terminating at Yonge Street. Police are expected to reopen Yonge Street and affected residential roads at approximately 10 p.m. The city is recommending people take public transit since parking will be “extremely limited,” and road closures will be in effect in the area for most of the day. The venue is easily accessible from Sheppard, North York Centre, or Finch subway stations.
Southbound lanes on Yonge Street will be closed between Park Home Boulevard to North York Boulevard between 8 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. All lanes of Yonge Street between Finch and Sheppard will have “rolling closures” between 4 and 10 p.m. for community marches and the vigil. Hillcrest Avenue, Elmwood Avenue, Hollywood Avenue, Greenfield Avenue, Spring Garden Avenue, North York Boulevard, Upper Madison Avenue, Elmhurst Avenue, and Harlandale Avenue will be closed at Yonge between 4 and 10 p.m.
Meanwhile, #TorontoStrongFund, a partnership of the City of Toronto and a local registered charity to collect funds for those most affected by the van attack, has seen generous donations pouring in. The money raised through the fund will be used to support victims, their families, first responders and anyone else who was seriously impacted by the incident, which resulted in 10 deaths and 15 injuries. “We are seeing a tremendous generosity of spirit and an outpouring of public support across Toronto, Canada and from around the world,” said Mayor John Tory in a press release announcing the fund.