Toronto Sign to commemorate the Year of the Poppy this Remembrance Week

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The Royal Canadian Legion's Virtual Poppy Drop on Parliament Hill (CNW Group/The Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Command)
The Royal Canadian Legion's Virtual Poppy Drop on Parliament Hill (CNW Group/The Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Command)

TORONTO – NEWS – Toronto Mayor John Tory says, “Toronto unites with all Canadians to remember the courage and sacrifice of those who have served, and continue to serve, our country. I encourage all Torontonians to take time throughout Remembrance Week and on Remembrance Day to pay tribute to the fallen and honour our veterans. Wear a poppy, learn their stories, and participate in the City’s commemorations throughout Remembrance Week.”

Today, Mayor John Tory and a representative from the Royal Canadian Legion unveiled a new illuminated poppy that has been added to the Toronto Sign to commemorate the Year of the Poppy during Remembrance Week, November 5 to 11.

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This year marks the Year of the Poppy, which honours 100 years since the poppy was adopted as a symbol of remembrance in Canada.

Bruce Julian, Royal Canadian Legion Dominion President adds, “The strong support from the City of Toronto is amazing. The city’s unique visual reminders of Remembrance are a very welcome part our 2021 campaign. We thank all donors in the Toronto region for their support of our Veterans, their families and communities.”

The 1.5 metre by 1.1 metre poppy will be part of the Toronto Sign in Nathan Phillips Square this year during Remembrance Week and part of future Remembrance Week commemorations.

Remembrance Week is a time for Torontonians to reflect on those who gave their lives for their country, as well as honour all Canadians who have fought for peace and those who continue to serve. The week concludes with Remembrance Day on November 11.

In-person Remembrance Day ceremonies will be held on Thursday, November 11 at Old City Hall, the Scarborough War Memorial, Etobicoke Civic Centre, East York Civic Centre, York Civic Centre and Fort York Historic Site. Members of the public are also able to watch the livestream of the City’s Remembrance Day Ceremony at Old City Hall, which will be available on Thursday, November 11 starting at 10:55 a.m. at toronto.ca/Remembrance.

The City will adhere to provincial regulations and public health guidelines, which require anyone attending an outdoor event to wear a mask or face covering where physical distancing of two metres cannot be maintained. Toronto Public Health reminds individuals to stay home if they are sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Following these health and safety guidelines will allow the City to safely and respectfully conduct its Remembrance Day ceremonies with dignity and solemnity.

Additional Remembrance Week commemorations and programming includes:

• On Monday, November 8, Mayor Tory will proclaim Indigenous Veterans Day to honour First Nations, Inuit and Métis veterans, as well as those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

• On Monday, November 8, Jay Soule (aka Chippewar), Toronto-based multi-media artist from the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, will unveil artwork in honour of Indigenous Veterans Day. The temporary art project is part of Toronto History Museums Awakenings program and will be available for the public to view for free at the Fort York Historic site from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. that day. A video that provides a fuller experience of the project will be available later that week at toronto.ca/museums.

• On Thursday, November 11, the Toronto sign will be lit red.

• The City will fly two significant flags on November 11: the Canadian flag that flew at Vimy Ridge in 2020 will be raised at Coronation Park and the City of Toronto flag that flew at Juno Beach in 2019 on Vimy Day will be raised at City Hall.

• All Toronto Transit Commission vehicles will stop for two minutes on November 11 at 11 a.m. In addition, “Lest We Forget” window cards will be placed in TTC vehicles prior to Remembrance Day.

• Decals will be placed on City of Toronto vehicles with a poppy symbol to mark the Year of the Poppy.

• Throughout Remembrance Week, the City will share videos and stories of the wartime experiences of Toronto residents and veterans from a variety of backgrounds.

• The City will host virtual workshops for newcomers to Canada to learn about the significance of Remembrance Day and Toronto’s commemorations.

For more information about the City’s Remembrance Week commemorations and programming, and to discover stories of Toronto veterans, visit toronto.ca/Remembrance.

The City of Toronto’s Year of the Poppy Commemorative Project was funded by the Government of Canada through Veterans Affairs Canada’s Commemorative Partnership Program.