One year after the horrific van attack that killed 10 people and injured 16 more, Toronto will mark the anniversary with several vigils and commemorations.
On April 23, 2018, a van drove down the sidewalk on Yonge Street between Finch and Sheppard, plowing through pedestrians and indiscriminately hitting almost everything in its path. The driver was apprehended by a single officer, Const. Ken Lam, shortly after at Yonge and Sheppard.
In the days that followed, the victims were identified and included a student from South Korea and a man from Jordan:
Ji Hun Kim, 22, of South Korea
So He Chung, 22, of Toronto
Anne Marie D’Amico, 30, of Toronto
Andrea Bradden, 33, of Woodbridge
Chul Min ‘Eddie’ Kang, 45, of Toronto
Beutis Renuka Amarasingha, 45, of Toronto
Dorothy Sewell, 80, of Toronto
Geraldine Brady, 83, of Toronto
Manir Abdo Habib Najjar, 85, of Jordan
Mary Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Forsyth, 94, Toronto
Alek Minassian, 26, of Richmond Hill, is facing 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder. He will stand trial in January 2020.
The day of remembrance will begin with a special message from Mayor John Tory, delivered at City Hall.
Many of the vigils are set to take place at Olive Square and Mel Lastman Square — the two locations that became memorial sites following the attack.
Therapy dogs and trauma care counselors will be present throughout the day at both locations.
Residents will be invited to use sidewalk chalk to “Reclaim Yonge with Colour” by leaving drawings and messages of love along the west side of Yonge Street starting at 9 a.m.
In the afternoon, Music Heals will be bringing musicians to both squares, with a moment of silence being observed at Olive Square around 1 p.m.
A commemoration of the 10 people killed and the 16 injured will be held at Mel Lastman Square. They will also be honouring first responders, including Const. Ken Lam, who was hailed a hero for his calm and non-violent arrest of the suspect.
Members of the community will gather at the end of the day for a final vigil, also at Mel Lastman square. There will also be free community dinners held after the vigil.
CityNews will be live-streaming both commemorations and the community vigil as well as Mayor John Tory’s address. You can watch them all live here: CityNews livestream
Schedule for events on Tuesday:
9 a.m.: Mayoral Address
9 a.m.: Reclaim Yonge with Colour
9: a.m.: Therapy dogs and counselors at Mel Lastman and Olive Square
12 p.m.: Music Heals begins
1 p.m.: Moment of silence at Olive Square
1:30 p.m.: Victims and First Responders commemoration at Mel Lastman Square
6 p.m.: Community Vigil at Mel Lastman Square
6:45 p.m.: Free community dinners
Click here for more details about the events: WeLoveWillowdale.