Hours after a van jumped a sidewalk and plowed into a North York crowd, killing 10 and injuring 15, there was a hockey game in downtown Toronto Monday night. The pregame ceremony, and particularly the playing of “O Canada,” sent a mournful message of perseverance.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, our first responders, and to all those affected,” the Leafs announcer said. “All of Toronto is with you.”
After a brief moment of silence, fans sang along with Martina Ortiz-Luis, with the words “we stand on guard for thee” drawing huge cheers.
The incident did not prevent a crowd from milling outside Air Canada Centre after the Maple Leafs forced a Game 7 with a 3-1 victory over the Boston Bruins in their first-round playoff series.
The Maple Leafs announced before the game that they were “keeping all of those impacted by the tragic incident in Toronto in our thoughts and prayers.” Noting that their organization “continuously works in close partnership” with Toronto police to ensure fan safety at all events, the team said authorities would be implementing “a number of additional measures” around the arena.
It is unclear whether security will continue to be stepped up Wednesday, when the Raptors host the Washington Wizards in Game 5 of an NBA playoff series that is tied 2-2. Not long after the incident, a suspect, identified as 25-year-old Alek Minassian of Richmond Hill, Ontario, was taken into custody.
“We lost a little bit of our innocence,” John Filion, a city council member who represents the area where the incident occurred, told The Post on Monday. “We often think of ourselves as being somewhat excluded from the violence and craziness that goes on in other parts of the world. You just kind of don’t think of Toronto as a place where that kind of violence will come to.”
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