UPDATE (April 24, 2018):
I have been both touched and astounded by the outpouring of offers from residents to offer their time or services to assist others during our current time of need in the Willowdale area. Thanks to all who have sent in thoughtful messages of support.
As we move forward, our priority has been to allow first responders and the Toronto Police to continue doing their important work on Yonge. About half of their work area has now been re-opened to the public and I am made to understand that the remaining areas of Yonge should be open later this evening. Buildings including the North York Civic Centre will be open for business tomorrow morning, and subway service will resume at North York Centre station.
The City of Toronto’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has also been activated and is working with emergency service providers in the area to assist the in recovery efforts. Victims Services has had teams deployed to local hospitals to assist individuals and families affected by the attack. Local residents who may be struggling with what they have witnessed or been a part of yesterday can also contact the Toronto Distress Centre at 416-408-4357.
For those interested in making a donation, the City of Toronto has partnered with the Toronto Foundation to start the #TorontoStrong Fund. This fund is designed to amalgamate the many crowd funding campaigns that have started in the past 24 hours. More information is available here.
For those interested in helping out in their community, a good place to start is with our local businesses. Many local shops and restaurants have been badly impacted over the past two days. Let’s support our local retailers and help them through this difficult time as well.
I will keep in touch on other volunteer opportunities that may arise and keep you informed of community events and gatherings to reflect together and mourn those who have been lost. This starts tonight with a prayer vigil and walk meeting in Olive Square at 6 PM.
ORIGINAL POST (April 23, 2018):
We’re all still in a state of collective shock and sadness tonight over the senseless loss of lives in Willowdale this afternoon.
As of this evening, the Yonge Street area remains closed for an ongoing Police investigation. In speaking with the Mayor and his staff this evening, we are told that Yonge will remain closed for at least tomorrow, and possibly beyond based on need.
For any residents affected by this tragedy, a reception centre has been set up at Mitchell Field Community Centre (89 Church Ave). Red Cross and staff from the City’s Office of Emergency Management are there to assist.
Victims are still being identified. However, anyone missing a friend or family member can call Toronto Police at 416-808-8085.
Police are also looking to speak with members of the public who may have witnessed this incident. Anyone with information is asked to please call the investigative hotline at 416-808-8750. A web portal has been opened for anyone who is able to submit photos and/or videos of the incident, please click here.
Police are also asking the public to please refrain from calling 9-1-1 unless they are in a life or death emergency.
As reported in the media, the van used in the attack has been seized and the driver is in custody.
My thanks to the tireless efforts of Toronto Police, Fire, EMS and others who rushed in to protect our community today I’ve heard stories of incredible kindness and bravery about local residents giving first aid on the scene.
Words cannot express the sense of loss tonight. I know you will join me in sending thoughts of support to the many victims and their families.
I will be updating our e-mail list as I learn more.