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)

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

Corsac the cat is up for adoption at Critteraid.
Critteraid hosts three adoption Sundays

More than 40 cats looking for their forever homes

Abigail McCluskey is in the Netherlands training to compete in the World Cup next month. She joins 12 Canadian speedskaters for the international competition later this month. (Dave Holland CSI Calgary)
Penticton speed skater in Netherlands for World Cup

Abigail McCluskey will be skating the long track in the international competition

Summerland Middle School
COVID exposure at Summerland Middle School

The person who tested positive was at school Jan. 11

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Salmon Arm and Vernon see increase in new COVID cases, curve flattening elsewhere

The rate of new cases is levelling off in Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

(Vernon Search and Rescue/Facebook)
Vernon Search and Rescue responds after family gets UTV stuck on SilverStar trails

The family activated their SOS beacon around 3 p.m. once they realized they could be facing a night alone in the mountains

Dastkar, a new furniture store in Vernon, features handmade, unique furniture carved from wood and inlaid with brass in the Chiniot style. The business located on 43rd Avenue was started in December 2020 but is currently unstaffed due to COVID-19 staffing shortages. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Vernon’s hidden handmade furniture store

Owners of Shahi Pakwan Indian restaurant opened the South Asian furniture store in December 2020

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

The organizer of a Kelowna protest against COVID-19 restrictions was fined by the RCMP for the third time Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19: Organizer of Kelowna anti-restriction protest ticketed for third time

The individual’s latest ticket for $2,300 was handed out by RCMP at an anti-lockdown rally Saturday

Mount Boucherie Secondary School is one of three Kelowna schools with confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to an update from the school district Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at 3 Kelowna schools

Interior Health has confirmed exposures at Mount Boucherie, Springvalley and South Rutland schools

Most Read