danforth chalk memorial

Danforth shooting chalk memorial springs up in Toronto

What started as a few messages of love and peace has become a fast-growing, collaborative memorial project near Toronto's Greektown neighbourhood, where 16 people were shot — three of them fatally — on Sunday night.

City Councillor Mary Fragedakis was first to share photos of what she called a "spontaneous art installation" in Withrow Park around 11:30 a.m. on Monday.

Both Fragedakis and fellow councillor Paula Fletcher attributed the idea to Riverdale's Bain Apartments Co-operative Inc., which provides affordable housing to mixed income people, among other things.

Now, as the memorial grows, more people are arriving to write things like "community is stronger than hate!" "gun violence is a virus, let's find a vaccine," and "we stand together."

Many are scrawling "Danforth Strong" in vibrant shades of pink, yellow and blue on the stretch of sidewalk running up Logan next to Withrow Park.

Organizers hope to see it go all the way to Danforth Avenue by the end of today, according to Matt Gurney.

The phrase (or hashtag, rather) #DanforthStrong has been trending on Twitter all day as news spreads of last night's deadly, unexplained attack in Toronto's Greektown neighbourhood.

Police have confirmed that the two victims who succumbed to gunshot injuries were a 10-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman, along with the 29-year-old gunman, who has not yet been identified.

Those who wish to contribute to the work are welcome to "come and share chalk messages of love, courage and healing from Bain and Logan up to Danforth and Logan," according to local human rights activist and filmmaker Sue Enberg.

For the not-so-artistically-inclined, donations of chalk in ziploc bags can be left alongside the sidewalk. 

Lead photo by

Beach-East York Neighbourhood Voice


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