The City of Toronto staged a virtual commemorative ceremony Sunday night to remember the more 2,700 Torontonians who lost their lives to COVID-19 in the past year.

The sunset vigil comes on the first anniversary of the very first coronavirus-related death in the city.

Candles were lit across the Nathan Phillips Square skating rink to mark each of the 2,750 lives lost to the virus as 12 bell tolled for the number of months that have passed.

“The loss experienced in our city over the past 12 months will forever be ingrained in our city’s history,” said Tory. “More than 2,750 people have died, representing our mothers, fathers, grandparents, friends, neighbours and colleagues. We must take time to reflect and mourn each and every person who is no longer with us and use light to help guide our city through these tragic times.”

“The memory of our loved ones will live through the darkness of night, through the burden of grief and into the light of a new day.”

“We’re almost there. And we know how good it can be when we get there.”

Tory said he would also seek public input into how to honour Torontonians who have died as a result of COVID-19.

Toronto-based blues vocalist and actress Shakura S’Aida read from the poem, “Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep” by Margaret Elizabeth Frye, before singing “Amazing Grace” to close the ceremony.

Torontonians were encouraged to turn on a porch and/or balcony light or place a light in the window in remembrance of those whose lives have been lost as a result of the pandemic.



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