Jack Layton memorial anniversary

Toronto marks first anniversary of Jack Layton's death

The chalk was back at Nathan Phillips Square yesterday, as well-wishers marked the one year anniversary of Jack Layton's death. A steady stream of people left condolences and messages of hope throughout the day leading up to an official ceremony at 6 p.m. While not as extensive as the display witnessed last year, yesterday's outpouring was still a touching tribute to a political figure whose commemoration has crystallized around intertwined messages of hope and optimism.

As much as the day was an occasion to acknowledge Layton's political legacy — federal and provincial NDP leaders Thomas Mulclair and Andrea Horwath were in attendance — perhaps the most emotionally charged moments were those that addressed Layton's death in more personal terms. Rather than an occasion for solemnity, however, the collective spirit of those in attendance tended towards celebration rather than anguish.

This was probably best captured by the chalk message offered by Oliva Chow. "Alive in our hearts," she wrote before the evening ceremony got underway — a sentiment no doubt shared by many one year after Layton's death.

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Photos by Jesse Milns


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