Toronto van attack: memorials continue one month later
A month after an attacker driving a white van ran over and killed 10 pedestrians in north Toronto, memorials for the dead and injured continue to be visited and tended by volunteers.
“You kind of feel an attachment to this area, you try to maintain it because there are still people in tears, still bringing flowers,” said a man named Omar, who didn’t want his last name used.
Sweeping dead flowers from the fringe of an area filled with photographs, hand-printed messages and drying bouquets, Omar reflects when asked how he’s feeling about what happened on that April 23 afternoon.
“It’s still fresh, you read [the messages] and people do care,” he says, going back to the cleanup after the interview is finished.
A hundred metres away, artist Victor Fraser freehands another watercolour tribute on the sidewalk in front of Mel Lastman Square, in an area where some of the victims were killed.
“It’s very important to show love to acts of hate,” said Fraser, who painted the word “love” in five languages: English, French, Farsi, Chinese and Korean.
“One man can do something so twisted — another can do something in love.”
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Twenty-five-year-old Alek Minassian is facing 10 charges of murder and 16 charges of attempted murder in connection with the events on Yonge Street. It is alleged Minassian intentionally drove a rented van along the sidewalk on the street in order to inflict harm on pedestrians.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 14.
The memorials for the victims will be allowed to stand for another two weeks, according to Toronto Mayor John Tory.
After that, “efforts will be undertaken to preserve some of the material created by Torontonians, which has now become part of the history of this sad chapter,” Tory added.
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