Residents commemorate Danzig shooting anniversary with community event
Codi Wilson, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, July 16, 2014 12:16PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 16, 2014 4:57PM EDT
Two years after a deadly mass shooting devastated residents of Toronto’s Danzig Street, the east-end neighbourhood is commemorating the tragic incident with a community event Wednesday.
The event, which is being held in the same area where the shooting took place, will feature guest speakers and music.
Two people were killed and more than 20 injured on July 16, 2012, when a pair of rival gangs opened fire at a block party in the neighbourhood, located near Morningside and Lawrence avenues.
Police have referred to the incident as an “unprecedented” episode of violence in Toronto.
But over the last two years, the community has been able to turn the tragedy into something positive with the creation of Our Space, a youth drop-in centre.
The community centre, which provides various programs and hot meals for area youth, was created thanks to a $150,000 donation from a local entrepreneur after the shooting.
“There has been a lot of changes… It has been drastic,” said John Jack, a youth outreach worker at Our Space.
“With any high-crisis situation, something wonderful usually comes out of it.”
Tyrone Charles, whose 14-year-old granddaughter Shyanne was killed in the shooting two summers ago, has also tried to move past the incident and maintain an optimistic outlook.
“Right now I look at the world through Shyanne’s eyes. She was a loving, caring child … Me getting mad is the last thing she’d want to see,” Charles told CP24 Wednesday afternoon.
“Today is a good day.”
Mayor Rob Ford dropped by the event Wednesday afternoon, touting his long-term commitment to supporting marginalized members of the community.
“We have to support the people in these communities. “Nobody supports them more than I have,” Ford told reporters.
“I’ve gone door to door. I’ve helped out the most vulnerable people in Toronto. People know that. People in Toronto Community Housing know they can contact me at any time and I’ll be there to serve them."