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We honour and remember: Remembrance Day ceremonies encapsulate the weekend

Last Updated Nov 10, 2017 at 10:35 am EDT

Second World War veteran Don Hughes, 89, pins his poppy on a wreath during a Remembrance Day ceremony at the Sunnybrook Veterans Residence in Toronto on Nov. 11, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

“To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.”

For the Fallen (Laurence Binyon, September 1914)

We always seem to be busy these days, and in the midst of all our running around, we often forget to look to beyond ourselves. This Saturday, which is Remembrance Day, Canadians will be taking the time to stop what they are doing and observe two minutes of silence.

Canadians will pause to remember and pay their respects to soldiers and military personnel who fought and died in past wars, and those who are serving in missions around the world.

Remembrance Day in the GTA

Several ceremonies will be held across the the city and the GTA, including at the Old City Hall Cenotaph and Queen’s Park. Both ceremonies start at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday. Earlier in the morning, a sunrise service will be held at Prospect Cemetery at 8 a.m.

A Remembrance Day sunrise ceremony at Prospect Cemetery in Toronto on Nov. 11, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
A Remembrance Day sunrise ceremony at Prospect Cemetery in Toronto on Nov. 11, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette


War veterans at the Sunnybrook Veterans Centre will be honoured with the annual planting of Canadian flags for Operation Raise a Flag. Around 30,000 flags will be planted on the centre’s lawns on Friday. You can still purchase a flag for $25, and proceeds will go to veteran care and the centre’s Grant a Wish program.

The Royal Regiment of Canada will also be holding a service at St. James Church at 10:30 a.m. There will be a wreath-laying and march after the service. A gathering will also be held at Fort York Armoury for families of Dieppe veterans and other guests.

On Friday, the City of Mississauga will hold a Remembrance Day ceremony at the Mississauga Civic Centre Community Memorial from 10:45 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. The service includes two minutes of silence, a poetry reading and the laying of wreaths. Army cadets from the 105-7th Toronto Regiment will also be holding an overnight vigil at the Streetsville Cenotaph.

Click here for a list of services in Toronto, and here for memorials in the GTA.

On Saturday, TTC vehicles will pause for two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. across its entire network. Veterans, along with current members of the Canadian Armed Forces, will be able to travel for free with a companion on TTC vehicles. Veterans and current members of the military can also travel for free with a companion on GO Transit.

What’s open and closed

  • LCBO stores will be open at noon on Saturday, click here to locate the hours for your store
  • Beer Store locations will also open at noon on Saturday, with the exception of these stores that will open at 12:30 p.m.
  • Since Remembrance Day falls on a Saturday, federal and provincial government offices, along with banks, will be closed on Monday
  • No mail delivery on Monday

Other events

Baby show
It’s all about tiny humans this weekend as the Metro Toronto Convention Centre plays host to the BabyTime Show. If you and your partner are expecting, or have a new infant at home, you won’t want to miss what’s been dubbed Toronto’s best baby event. From prenatal to preschool, the show – put on by Babies”R”Us – has dozens of exhibitors under one roof. You can check out all the major baby brands and innovative products, and even get advice from some top parenting experts. New this year: the healthy moms marketplace – a dedicated area to health and wellness products geared towards moms and their little ones. The BabyTime Show takes place from Friday to Sunday.

Stock image of babies sitting on the floor. GETTY IMAGES/Blend Images
Stock image of babies sitting on the floor. GETTY IMAGES/Blend Images

Beatles tribute concert for charity
“She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah.” Beatlemania hits Koerner Hall in Toronto this weekend, and it’s all for charity. Organizers are inviting people to come out and groove to their favourite Beatles songs, as part of a tribute concert in support of Canada Cares and the Alzheimer Society of Toronto. The hope is to raise awareness and support for caregivers. It’ll definitely be an evening to remember, complete with surprise guests and a chance to win great prizes. Attendees are also being encouraged to dress up as their favourite Beatle. The Jukebox Beatles tribute band takes the stage at 8 p.m.

Gem expo
Are you crazy for gems, minerals, beads, amber and pearls? Well, the Gem Expo – Canada’s premier bead and jewellery show – is for you. Local jewellery designers and artisans will be on hand, and many of the vendors also work with healing crystals that are said to help improve overall well-being. Attendees can also take part in one of several classes being offered. A silent auction is also taking place to help support a local Toronto charity. The Gem Expo runs Friday to Sunday at the Hyatt Regency Toronto on King Street West.

TTC and road closures

Partial Line 1 shutdown
As you make your way down to Remembrance Day events, keep in mind subways won’t be running on Line 1 (Yonge) between St. Clair and Lawrence stations this weekend. The closure is due to track work. Shuttle buses will running and Wheel-Trans service will be provided.

Road closures
Several roads will be closed for Remembrance Day ceremonies and prep work for the launch of the King Street Transit Pilot on Sunday. Click here for a full list.