The City of Pickering says it will not be holding Canada Day celebrations following the recent discovery of unmarked graves at former residential schools across the country.

In a news release issued Friday, the city is instead asking residents to join the mayor, councillors, and staff on July 1 "in focusing on education, reconciliation, and reflection" in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples.

"Members of Pickering Council are shocked, angered, and deeply saddened by the identification of hundreds of children's remains at former residential school sites. We have reached out to our Indigenous leaders to offer our solidarity and support," said Mayor Dave Ryan in a statement.

"While there are many aspects of our nation to be proud of, it is abundantly clear that there are many dark and disturbing injustices that need to be meaningfully addressed if we are truly sincere about truth and reconciliation."

Since the unearthing of the remains of 215 Indigenous children at a B.C. residential school last month, there have been growing calls to cancel Canada Day activities to show support to victims and survivors. Earlier this week, at least 751 unmarked graves were discvovered at the former residential school site in Saskatchewan.

Several Canadian municipalities, including Wilmot Township in the Waterloo Region, have already scrapped their July 1st activities.

On Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada Day should be a time of reflection in the wake of remains of Indigenous children being located.

"I think this Canada Day, it will be a time of reflection on what we've achieved as a country, but on what more we have to do," he said at a news conference.

The City of Pickering is inviting residents to participate in its Contemplate Canada program to "learn more our shared history, and ways to take meaningful action."

The city said it will be flying the flag of the Mississaugas of Scugog First Nation and will lower all city flags from dusk on June 30 until the dawn of July 2.

Residents are also being urged to leave on a porch, patio or balcony light during the same time to remember the victims of the residential school system.

The Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program has a hotline to help residential school survivors and their relatives suffering trauma invoked by the recall of past abuse. The number is 1-866-925-4419.

- with files from The Canadian Press