Ten people were killed and 16 injured on April 23, 2018, when a man drove a rented van down a busy sidewalk on Yonge Street in north Toronto. (The Canadian Press)

‘We will not be broken,’ Toronto mayor says on deadly van attack anniversary

Mayor says the city will never forget those who died and were injured that day

The second anniversary of the deadly van attack in Toronto is even more difficult this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent shooting rampage in Nova Scotia, Toronto Mayor John Tory said Thursday.

The mayor started a day of virtual commemoration for the 10 people killed and 16 injured on April 23, 2018, when a man drove a rented van down a busy sidewalk on Yonge Street in north Toronto.

“We will not be broken,” Tory said live on YouTube. “Let us take inspiration, both from those we lost, and from the heroes who responded to the tragedy, as we rise to the challenges of today.”

A local community group will host a virtual vigil Thursday night rather than gathering at the site of the attack, and Tory has asked mourners to avoid gathering or placing flowers and other items near the site.

Shortly after his arrest two years ago, Alek Minassian told police he committed the attack for retribution against society after being shunned by women for years.

The judge overseeing the trial, which has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said it will turn on Minassian’s state of mind — not whether he carried out the attack.

Tory said the city will never forget those who died and were injured that day.

READ MORE: Witnesses still struggling one year after deadly Yonge Street van attack in Toronto

Ten lit candles, representing those who died, will be placed in the mayor’s office window to face toward the city hall square, where the flags will be lowered to half-mast and the Toronto sign dimmed to honour the victims.

Ji Hun Kim, So He Chung, Geraldine Brady, Chul Min Kang, Anne Marie Victoria D’Amico, Mary Elizabeth Forsyth, Munir Abdo Habib Najjar, Dorothy Marie Sewell, Andrea Bradden and Beutis Renuka Amarasingha died that day.

“I know that can make it more difficult for some to bear,” Tory said. ”That will not stop us from remembering all the lives that were lost on April 23, 2018.”

He said the city is also mourning the loss of life after a shooting rampage in Nova Scotia left 22 people dead.

“This year is especially difficult for many people as we experience as a nation another senseless act of violence and loss of life in our sister province of Nova Scotia,” he said.

“We continue to mourn with the residents Nova Scotia and I want them to know that Toronto is with you during this time and will continue to support you in any way that we can.”

Liam Casey, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kootenay jogger barely escapes bruin attack

Man spends two hours up in tree, bear not located

Young farmers find a home through land-matching program

Young Agrarians links would-be farmers with landowners who have land to spare

Morning start: A history of the Arrow Lakes

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Wednesday, May 27

Restorative pole project underway in Edgewood

The pole was made almost 50 years ago to pay respect to local First Nations

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Risk of COVID-19 low in schools, Interior Health states

Medical Health Officer reassures parents as some children and staff head back to class June 1

Most Read