The brother of van attack victim Annie Marie D’Amico says his sister would be thrilled to see that her name will be permanently linked to a one-of-a-kind community hub aimed at helping women and children escape violence and get a fresh start.
The Anne Marie D’Amico Foundation has been raising funds for a new community hub for the North York Women’s Shelter and on Tuesday, the shelter is expected to announce that the centre will be named in honour of D’Amico, who was one of 10 people killed during the Yonge Street van attack in April 2018.
“The community hub is unique. I think it is the only one in the country, definitely the only one in the city, and it is essentially a space where women in the community can access resources that they may not be able to access,” D’Amico’s brother Nick told CP24 on Tuesday morning.
“The residents of the North York Women's Shelter will be able to get there as well and use the legal resources, family resources, all sorts of different things to kind of help them rebuild and just kind of start their life anew.”
He said the foundation has set a goal to raise $1 million dollars for the shelter and they have already surpassed the $500,000 mark.
“We decided we wanted to support the North York Women's Shelter shortly after the incident and we heard about what they were doing, they were in the middle of a huge renovation, a big rebuild and we just realized that what they are doing is just so fantastic,” Nick D’Amico said.
"They are just kind of breaking the mould for how shelters are operating. This community hub is really a way to reach more people in the community so we said this is just a perfect way to get involved.”
The shelter will be unveiling the name of the new community hub at an event this evening and Mayor John Tory will be in attendance.
“Having this named after her kind of embodies who she was. I think she would be very thrilled but I think she would also say we have more work to do to continue raising funds and raising awareness for our cause,” D’Amico's brother added.
“Having her name associated with something so beautiful... it really just inspires us to keep going and really just helps us remember the person she was.”