'We pull together as a community': Trudeau opens Taste of the Danforth
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, August 10, 2018 9:45PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 10, 2018 10:34PM EDT
TORONTO -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau honoured the victims of the fatal Fredericton shooting during a visit to Toronto's Greektown -- the scene of an other rampage last month -- to help open a popular street festival.
Trudeau told the crowd to send love and support to those reeling in Fredericton after two police officers -- Const. Robb Costello and Const. Sara Burns --and two unidentified civilians were killed earlier Friday.
The annual "Taste of the Danforth" celebrates the Toronto area's many restaurants and diverse food and drink offerings.
The Danforth Avenue area was where a man began spraying bullets last month, killing a teenager and a 10-year-old girl.
It remains unclear what motivated the shooting, but the suspect's parents have said their son suffered from severe mental illness.
The opening of the festival also included a minute of silence and acknowledged the efforts of first responders, including the many people who rushed to help the victims.
"While there are many who assisted the dying and the wounded, they will be represented by Tanya Wilson, who runs a tattoo shop on the Danforth," organizers said in a release.
Wilson helped treat two of the injured in her store.
In anticipation of the event, police have closed off the major road and security is expected to be tighter than normal.
Organizers say the weekend "Taste of the Danforth" is expected to draw more than a million visitors despite the shooting -- a far cry from the 5,000 who attended the first festival 25 years ago.
The festival, begun in 1993, has expanded beyond food to include various entertainment, music and dancing.
This year will feature a benefit concert for victims of the shooting. Three memorials that include flowers, cards and other items that sprang up in the aftermath of the shooting have been relocated to a nearby area.