Ontarians gather to mark Remembrance Day with ceremonies across the province

TORONTO — Crowds gathered at Remembrance Day ceremonies across Ontario on Friday to pay their respects to those who fought and died for Canada.

Outside the legislature, Premier Doug Ford highlighted the sacrifices of those who gave their lives for the country, while also recognizing service members past and present.

"The illegal invasion being waged by Russia on the people of Ukraine shows us all the dangers that still exist in this world," said Ford, who spoke as cannons periodically fired in the distance.

"As we stand here, brave Canadian service people are deployed across the globe, providing vital supports to our friends and allies."

Brigadier-General J.J. Major, Commander of the 4th Canadian Division, said Canada has participated in major wars, peacekeeping missions and international operations for more then 150 years.

"It is simply beyond words to express our gratitude to our fallen and their families for this sacrifice," he said.

In downtown Toronto, a crowd packed the area outside Old City Hall for a ceremony taking place before a cenotaph.

Mayor John Tory said the city has lost nearly 10,000 Torontonians to war, peacekeeping operations and other missions around the world.

"Together, we honour the many who gave their lives in service to our country to protect the peace and freedoms that we enjoy today and which are increasingly under threat elsewhere in the world," he said.

Alistair Stark, 73, was one of the veterans standing in uniform near the cenotaph for the city’s ceremony.

"(My father) landed at D-Day, I’m very proud of him” said Stark. "My uncle served in Italy for the Black Watch (of the Royal Highland Regiment) and he was killed just outside Monte Cassino."

Stark said he served in the military reserves for 16 years as part of the 48th Highlanders.

A ceremony also took place at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, featuring remarks by Gov. Gen. Mary Simon and Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov.11, 2022.

The Canadian Press