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Toronto sign and CN Tower go dark as city mourns death of Queen Elizabeth II


Toronto Mayor John Tory is paying tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II as a “beacon of eloquence, stability and commitment to duty” following her death at age 96.

In a lengthy statement issued on Thursday afternoon, Tory offered his “heartfelt condolences” to the Royal Family as well as “the many people throughout the Commonwealth who will be feeling a profound sense of loss” in the wake of the Queen’s death.

He said that the Queen was, in many ways, the “one constant and reassuring presence in our own country and on the world stage” for decades.

He also pointed out that Toronto has had ” a long and warm relationship with The Queen” dating back to October, 1951 when she travelled to the city in place of her ailing father, King George VI and took part in the then “quintessential Toronto tradition” of watching a Leafs game at Maple Leaf Gardens.

She ultimately embarked on six visits to Toronto as head of state, the most recent coming in 2010.

“Over the course of her more than 70-year reign, The Queen's sense of duty and devotion to public service was unflagging,” Tory said. “She traveled more than any other monarch, and Canada was the country she most often visited. She even referred to Canada as her second home.”

Tory said that while the Queen will be “profoundly missed,” residents will be reminded if her through landmarks across Toronto, including the Queen Elizabeth II Building and Queen Elizabeth Theatre at Exhibition Place.”

He also noted that the city recently planted 70 trees in Rowntree Mills Park to mark her Platinum Jubilee, which will now serving as a “living tribute” to the long-serving monarch.

“Today, as we mourn The Queen's passing we are thankful for the long life she has lived, devoted to our service and the service of the entire Commonwealth. We pray that she has now found rest and peace everlasting,” Tory said.

Tory is not the only local official paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth II and remembering her many visits to this part of the country.

On Thursday afternoon, Ontario Premier Doug Ford also delivered a statement to a pool camera from his Queen’s Park office, in which he credited the queen for teaching us “the true meaning of selfless service.”

“Even with her many responsibilities, the Queen always held a special place in her heart for Canada, having made 22 official visits to our shores throughout her life,” he said.

The City of Toronto has said that flags have been lowered to half-mast at all city facilities, parks and vessels. The Toronto sign was dimmed Thursday evening in honour of the Queen, as was the CN Tower.

Meanwhile, Mirvish Productions has announced that it will be dimming the marquee lights at the Royal Alexandra Theatre and the Princess of Wales Theatre at 8 p.m. Both theatres are venues for the Toronto International Film Festival, which gets underway today.

Tory told CP24 that it is possible that the city will also pursue other ways to honour the Queen in the coming days.

"We are looking at other plans in conjunction with the other governments to make sure that we appropriately honour this great life and the outstanding example that she provided to us," he said. Top Stories

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