Jane-Finch community at BBQ to remember 3 teens who died in Brampton crash

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Andrea Tabnor, the founder of the Jane Finch Unity BBQ, says: 'Those three children grew up in Jane and Finch and their mother and father are close family members to each and everyone of us in Jane and Finch.' (CBC - image credit)
Andrea Tabnor, the founder of the Jane Finch Unity BBQ, says: 'Those three children grew up in Jane and Finch and their mother and father are close family members to each and everyone of us in Jane and Finch.' (CBC - image credit)

Community members who attend a barbeque in the Jane-Finch area of Toronto on Saturday will be expected to pay their respects to three teens who died in a fiery crash in Brampton last weekend, an organizer says.

Andrea Tabnor, the founder of the Jane Finch Unity BBQ, said a moment of silence will be held at 9 p.m. at the event to remember people who have lost their lives their gun violence. At that time, she said she would like the community to remember the three teens as well.

Tabnor said three siblings were known in the Jane and Finch area and the community is grieving.

"I want each and everyone to remember the three children who died in Brampton in the tragic accident. Those three children grew up in Jane and Finch and their mother and father are close family members to each and everyone of us in Jane and Finch," she said.

"Today, we will remember those three children and every youth we have lost to gun violence."

The teens died after the Honda Civic they were travelling in hit a tree and caught fire near the corner of Conestoga Drive and Elmvale Avenue.

Two family friends identified the three as 19-year-old Tirzah, 17-year-old Judah and 15-year-old Pharaoh Blackman-Lall.

Keith Burgess/CBC
Keith Burgess/CBC

The barbeque itself is hailed as an event for community healing. The event, which began at 1 p.m., runs until 11 p.m. at Oakdale Park behind the Oakdale Community Centre at 350 Grandravine Dr.

Tabnor said she started the event more than a decade ago to promote peace and unity in a community that's been historically stricken by discrimination, poverty and gun violence. Saturday was the 11th time that the event is being held.

On Saturday, community members along with Toronto Police officers from 31 Division gathered to listen to music and eat good food. The event includes activities for children and education demonstrations.

"The importance of this BBQ is to bring healing to a community that has been plagued by gun violence and has been traumatized, and coming together once a year, we get to see familiar faces that we haven't seen in so many years," Tabnor said.

"Without unity, we wouldn't have any strength. And in this community, we do have strength," she said.