Toronto mayor considering permanent memorial to van attack victims: spokesman

TORONTO — A week after 10 people were killed and another 16 injured in a van attack in north Toronto, there’s word there may be a permanent memorial of the tragic incident.

Thousands have visited makeshift memorials that sprang up in Olive Square and Mel Lastman Square after a van drove down the sidewalk on Yonge Street on April 23, mowing down pedestrians.

Don Peat, a spokesman for Toronto’s mayor, says John Tory thanks everyone who has attended the sites to pay their respects and leave messages of love and support.

Peat says Tory will be speaking with the community and the local councillor about a permanent recognition of the tragic event and says Tory is encouraging people to continue to visit the memorial sites.

He says the city typically leaves memorials in parks for 30 days, but in this case it is too early to say what will happen with the temporary sites.

Peat says city staff have promised they will treat the memorials respectfully and with great care.

Thousands of people, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, gathered on Sunday evening in Mel Lastman Square at a vigil for the victims.

Religious leaders of multiple faiths led the speakers’ list at the event, all of them sharing messages of support and strength.

Many of them also commended emergency service personnel on their work the day of the incident, including the officer who was able to arrest the suspect without firing his gun.

Alek Minassian, 25, of Richmond Hill, Ont., has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder in the incident.

Police have said another three attempted murder charges are imminent.

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