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

Newly elected Nazko Chief Leah Stump penned a letter explaining the scope of the project. (Photo submitted)
Nazko seeks approval to build housing for members facing lengthy medical visits in Quesnel

The First Nation is looking to build nine units in West Quesnel to help members staying in the city

The trek was made without spectators on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2021. Organizers are planning a second run for February, when they hope public health restrictions are lifted. (Tammy Raynor - Submitted Photo)
As mushers deliver, sled dog mail run organizers announce second event

The dogs made the trip from Quesnel to Barkerville, delivering envelopes of mail for Canada Post

The driver of this truck received minor injuries after it careened off the highway. (Quesnel RCMP Photo)
Semi-truck crashes down 200-foot embankment off Highway 97

The truck also spilled diesel fuel into Cuisson Creek

Operating Room nurse Tammy Solecki, Clinical Practice Leader Joanne George, and Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Van Zyl, stand alongside new equipment G.R. Baker’s shoulder surgery extension. (Submitted photo)
New shoulder surgery program at G.R. Baker Hospital in Quesnel already getting rave reviews

The $200,000 program could support nearly 100 surgeries a year at G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
Canadians divided over Keystone pipeline, despite U.S. president’s permit pullback

Two-thirds of Canadians think Biden’s decision was a “bad thing” for Alberta

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
5 big lessons experts say Canada should learn from COVID-19

‘What should be done to reduce the harms the next time a virus arises?’ Disease control experts answer

A Vancouver Police Department patch is seen on an officer’s uniform as she makes a phone call. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver man calls 911 to report his own stabbing, leading to arrest: police

Officers located the suspect a few blocks away. He was holding a bloody knife.

Most Read