On Monday, a rented van driven by one man purposely jumped the sidewalk at Yonge and Finch in Toronto and hit several pedestrians. The tragic event has so far left 10 people dead and 15 in hospital with serious injuries. As those involved in the horrific ordeal and the rest of the country continue to mourn, we look for solace in actions that reinstate the values of Canada as a welcoming and loving place to all.
In 1983 during a special titled Mister Rogers Talks With Parents, everyone’s favourite neighbour gave one of his greatest quotes when he spoke to parents about what to tell their children when inexplicable tragedies occur. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world,” said Rogers. As we continue to mourn those lost on Monday, we also look for the helpers.
In the wake of Monday’s tragedy, there have been shining moments of human kindness shared on social media. One couple handed out water to people who were re-routed in the wake of the investigation.
Amazing Canada: This thoughtful couple with their adorable daughter offering water to people trudging along Beecroft road, as sheppard station is closed due to the tragedy at Finch-Yonge. I was a grateful recipient of their generosity. Thank you! ❤🇨🇦 #lovecanada pic.twitter.com/SS1ZUUiYZw
— Yadullah Hussain (@Yad_FPEnergy) April 23, 2018
Another woman tweeted in hopes of finding the kind stranger who pulled her mother out of harm’s way.
I would like to thank the person who saved my Mother’s life today in front of shoppers drug mart on Yonge street at Madison she is 78 she was with her dog she is alive because of you. I’m so sick #Torontoattack I’m so sorry to those in my community that were killed #senseless
— Lisa Adams (@Lalisa1973) April 23, 2018
Medical personnel who were off duty quickly offered their assistance.
Very proud of my @Sunnybrook colleagues today in mass casualty incident . Called ER doc on duty offering to come help, she calmly told me all was under control. Sure our health system has big challenges, but when the chips are down, we got your back #Toronto. https://t.co/43HnqMusAE
— Michael Schull (@docschull) April 24, 2018
This police officer wanted to share something positive during a week of sorrow.
These girls wanted to share some good news #Toronto, they won the talent show! We saw a bit of routine during March Break, very talented.
Students are very aware of what happens throughout the City.
Enjoy your day friends, be safe. #FutureLeaders #TorontoStrong #ScarbTO pic.twitter.com/wkyIqwY78u
— Randall Arsenault (@PCArsenault) April 24, 2018
A man invited his delivery driver in so they could watch the news together after the delivery driver had passed by the horrific scene at Yonge and Finch.
Just had a grocery delivery. Delivery guy drove by the scene of the van attack. Was teary and shaking when he got here. I invited him in and we watched the coverage for a few minutes. It’s horrible. This is going to affect a lot of people in this city. #TorontoAttack
— Kevin Slater (@KevySlates) April 23, 2018
Some people offered their homes to those who could not get to their condos and apartments in the Yonge and Finch area.
Today was horrific and painful for victims, families, and our community. If like me you live around Yonge and Finch, you know we have a lot of condos. Many of our neighbours live alone. My friends and I are asking buildings to open party rooms and common spaces. #TorontoStrong
— Dan Fox (@torontodan) April 24, 2018
With many people looking for ways to help, blood donations have been at the top of the list.
After working a long night shift, ten members of our A platoon attended the blood donor clinic this morning in support of yesterday’s tragedy in Toronto #TorontoStrong
— Guelph Police (@gpsmedia) April 24, 2018
A makeshift memorial has been erected to honour those who died on Monday.
— Aamer Madhani (@AamerISmad) April 24, 2018
A somber cartoon by Michael de Adder was published on Tuesday as a reminder for Canadians to come together during times of need.
— Michael de Adder (@deAdder) April 24, 2018
The TTC streetcar driver who made sure everyone got home safely.
A shout out to the 501 streetcar driver in Toronto tonight who stopped the vehicle at Ellis Ave. and walked down the aisle to make sure everyone understood that the last stop would be South Kingsway. “I just don’t want anyone to miss their stop,” he said. #TorontotheGood
— Leviana Coccia (@levianacoccia) April 24, 2018
The teacher who took solace in knowing that her young students wanted to help those in need.
When your 10-year old students ask how they can help the victims of the senseless attack yesterday, it makes you realize that our world is in good hands despite it seeming like the contrary right now. Thinking of everyone who was affected by this tragedy #TorontoTheGood 🙏🏻❤
— Dana DiLoreto (@mllediloreto) April 24, 2018
The woman who shared that blood donations are full thanks to volunteers hoping to help Monday’s victims.
I can barely find a place that is open for blood donation appointments in the next few days, as they’re full. Come donate with me at a drop-in! We’re here for each other. #TorontoTheGood
— Michelle Nguyen (@elleguyen) April 24, 2018
The person who bought coffee for strangers just to make everyone’s day a little better.
— Hank (@tdot_hank) April 24, 2018
The strangers who struck up a conversation on the sidewalk.
I was on a long walk while news of the attack in Toronto was developing; I was reading emails as fast as they were coming in.
Mid-stride, an older woman stopped me to ask about streetcars.
We chatted a while. Irene said she loves Toronto. Well, Irene, I do, too. #TorontoTheGood
— Megan Robinson (@RobinsonMegan) April 23, 2018
The strangers who struck up a conversation on the subway.
On the 514 last night when a developmentally challenged man boarded at sat down at an empty seat . The man next to him immediately introduced himself and started talking with the man about the toys and games he had purchased. You could see the joy in his face. #torontothegood
— Brendan (@bholness) April 24, 2018
The store that is giving away free flowers.
This is the Toronto I know. Walked up to pay respects to those we lost yesterday and those still fighting in hospital. Thank you for all your support. 💔🌷🙏🏻
.#toronto #northyork #staystrong #torontothegood https://t.co/xMcCgkGEBp pic.twitter.com/Sb6CYNx2dL
— libby roach (@libbyroach1) April 24, 2018
And of course, to all the helpers.
more people ran to help the victims than ran away in fear. To the bystanders who called 911, held hands of the injured, performed CPR, the man who assisted the officer by stopping traffic while he made the arrest; one bad person so many more good ones #TorontoTheGood
— C Maclean (@muckypawdotca) April 24, 2018
Many celebrities and organizations from Canada and around the world also took to social media to send their love and condolences to Toronto and all those involved in Monday’s deadly event.
Today as always, proud of the men and women who serve this country. My thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims. We are saddened but not scared. #TorontoStrong 🇨🇦
— Scott Moir (@ScottMoir) April 24, 2018
All of my love to Toronto. Heartbreaking. ❤
— Shawn Mendes (@ShawnMendes) April 23, 2018
Just hearing the news of tragic events in Toronto. Our thoughts are with the victims, their families and the first responders.
— Tegan and Sara (@teganandsara) April 23, 2018
Sending love to the people in Toronto who were effected by the horrible events today. 🇨🇦
— Cobie Smulders (@CobieSmulders) April 23, 2018
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) April 23, 2018
Heartbroken to read the news coming from my home town of Toronto. Can’t imagine the pain and suffering of so many families. Sending thoughts and love from across the ocean to anyone and everyone affected by this horrific day. #toronto
— Patrick J Adams (@halfadams) April 23, 2018
— Jordan Gavaris (@JordanGavaris) April 24, 2018
I’m sending you all of my love and light, #Toronto. May nothing dim your beautiful spirit.
— Wilson Cruz (@wcruz73) April 24, 2018
Sending love to my people in #Toronto! 🇨🇦
— Donnie Wahlberg (@DonnieWahlberg) April 24, 2018
— Antonio Banderas (@antoniobanderas) April 24, 2018
Heartbroken for my hometown. #Toronto
— dan levy (@danjlevy) April 23, 2018
Nothing but love for #TORONTO 🇺🇸❤🇨🇦
— Ike Barinholtz (@ikebarinholtz) April 23, 2018
Thinking of you Toronto ❤ pic.twitter.com/CYLA3H55Hg
— Shania Twain (@ShaniaTwain) April 24, 2018
As Toronto and Canada try to rebuild after Monday’s devastating events, it’s important to take note of the support and outpouring of love from neighbours. If you or someone you know need to talk after these tragic events, there are many ways to get help. You can call the Toronto Distress Centre: 416-408-4357 or search for trauma resources online.