Yonge, Danforth Responders Honoured

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 1:40 p.m. June 18, 2019

Mayor John Tory and members of Toronto City Council recognized First Responders to last year’s Yonge Street and Danforth tragedies prior to the start of their council meeting on June 18.

A group  of people in TPS uniform shaking hands
Chief Mark Saunders and senior officers take the opportunity to thank officers involved in the response to the Yonge St. and Danforth Ave. tragedies in 2018

On April 23, 2018, a man allegedly used a van to target pedestrians on the busy city thoroughfare.

A total of 10 people were killed, 16 injured and many left with psychological trauma from the incident.

An 18-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl were killed while 13 other victims – ranging in age from 10 to 59 – were treated in hospital after the Danforth tragedy on July 22.

“These were two very traumatic events in the life of the city and they showed us the very best in the city in terms of our resilience and the professionalism, courage and compassion of our First Responders,” said Mayor Tory.

“The safety of the city along with its security and well-being in, many different ways, were threatened and you all worked extraordinarily hard to protect the city and its residents on those occasions and in the days that followed to care for those directly and indirectly affected by those traumatic events. Your exemplary service and dedication to service are appreciated not just on those days, but every single day of every single year.”

A group of people in TPS uniform shaking hands
Constable Ken Lam, who made the arrest of the man accused of targeting pedestrians on Yonge St. April 23, 2018, shakes hands with Chief Mark Saunders at City Hall

Specially designed recognition plaques were presented to Chief Mark Saunders, Toronto Fire Services Chief Matthew Pegg, Toronto Paramedic Services Acting Chief Gord McEachen and Toronto Transit Commission Transit Enforcement Unit Chief Special Constable Alan Cakebread. 

Saunders said the Service is honoured by the recognition.

“When the public counts on us the most, we step up to the plate and collectively are able to do the very best we can do to have the most successful outcomes in very dark moments,” he said. “This is a good gesture for the officers that are here today. It is, however, a small representation of our men and women that were necessary to have the successful outcomes we had at both events.”

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