Toronto’s Greektown neighbourhood was packed on Wednesday evening as the community gathered for a candlelit vigil to honour the victims of a deadly shooting.
Hundreds of mourners gathered at the corner of Danforth Avenue and Bowden Avenue to start the procession, which ended at the nearby Alexander the Great Parkette.
“We’re starting the walk where the attack ended,” said Howard Lichtman, a spokesman for the Danforth Business Improvement Association, which co-organized the walk.
WATCH: Rendition of ‘Hallelujah’ sung to honour victims of Danforth shooting attack
Lichtman said he hopes the walk gives the community a chance to “re-claim” the neighbourhood after Sunday’s attack.
“This walk is for those that were senselessly killed and injured, and it’s a thank you to the first responders,” he said.
WATCH: Moment of silence held at Toronto vigil for Danforth shooting victims
Ten-year-old Julianna Kozis of Markham, Ont., and 18-year-old Reese Fallon of Toronto were killed in the shooting, and 13 other people were injured. Five patients remained in hospital as of Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, neighbours and friends said Kozis’ father, Donny, was among the 13 others injured in the attack.
Before the vigil began, Reverend Sarah Miller said she hoped the incident did not “stigmatize those with mental health issues.
“And we recognize that this doesn’t represent the Muslim community or the practice of Islam,” she said.
Among those in attendance at Wednesday’s event were Toronto Mayor John Tory, Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti and Ontario Premier Doug Ford. City councillors Mary Fragedakis and Paula Fletcher, whose wards include parts of the Danforth neighbourhood, led the walk.
“It’s just heartbreaking, but it shows how the community comes together,” Ford told Global News Wednesday evening.
“Our prayers and thoughts are with the victims’ families.”
At the parkette, a moment of silence was held to honour Kozis, Fallon and those injured. A rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” brought some in the crowd to tears.
On Wednesday evening, the CN Tower was to be lit blue and white in support of the Greektown neighbourhood.
— With files from Nick Westoll