Home National ‘Toronto Strong’: Trudeau, Wynne and Tory join thousands at vigil mourning victims of van attack

‘Toronto Strong’: Trudeau, Wynne and Tory join thousands at vigil mourning victims of van attack

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Thousands of mourners attended a vigil in Toronto Sunday evening where religious leaders lit candles, sang songs and laid flowers to remember those killed and injured nearly a week earlier when a van plowed through dozens of pedestrians along a busy street.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and Toronto Mayor John Tory all attended the “Toronto Strong” vigil at Mel Lastman Square, near the site of last Monday’s attack in the city’s north end.

The square echoed with thousands of people singing O Canada as the end of the event drew to a close Sunday night.

Before the vigil, thousands took part in what was billed as a walk of “healing and solidarity,” roughly following the route of last Monday’s attack that left 10 people dead and more than a dozen injured.

One volunteer said around 200 people worked to prepare for tens of thousands of mourners to show up.

“It’s been a great help so far — just by the numbers, the support, the encouragement,” said Joachin.

“Today’s event is a great demonstration, not just to the community here, but to Toronto, that we are strong, and we will move forward together.”

Jennifer Ludlow, who attended the march along with her church, had many friends who witnessed the attack and tried to help in the aftermath.

“It’s amazing how on this one stretch of street, so many people are connected and affected by it,” said Ludlow.

“To come together as a large group really does bring us all together, and shows us there is hope on the other side.”

Speakers at Sunday’s event included rabbis, an imam and a Buddhist monk.

Many used the event to commend emergency service personnel on their work the day of the incident, including the officer who was able to arrest the suspect without firing his gun.

On Friday, officials released the names of all eight women and two men who were killed in the incident.

They ranged in age from 22 to 94, and included a student from South Korea and a man from Jordan.

By Sunday morning, a city-organized fundraiser for the families of those affected had raised more than $1.7 million.

Alek Minassian, 25, of Richmond Hill, Ont., has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder in the incident.

Police say another three attempted murder charges are imminent.

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