Toronto remembers Jack Layton

There have been many discussions in the CCE office in the last week since Jack Layton’s death about his impact on the city, the country, and about the marvellous thing that happened at Nathan Phillips Square this week. In an incredible display of civic engagement, the entire square has been transformed into a memorial:

Image by Flickr user Jackman Chiu

Jack Layton chalk memorial, Image by Flickr user andreawrites

Image by Flickr user andreawrites

The square has become Toronto’s memorial space. It has been a place for people from all over the city, from many groups and languages, to come together to share and mark their sorrow and joy, their determination and their hopes.

It has rained many times this week, removing all of the chalk. Each time, messages fill the square again within a few hours.

Image by Flickr user andreawrites

Image by Flickr user andreawrites

This is one of the many functions of a city’s public square. It provides a space for us to come together when we need to, whether we need a place to stand up and be counted or to bend down and write a message for a loved one.

Image by Flickr user J_P_D

Image by Flickr user ian.munroe

If you have a chance, we encourage you to visit Nathan Phillips Square this week to read the messages there. They will tell you all you need to know about Toronto’s civic engagement, unity in diversity, and determination to keep working for a better Toronto and a better Canada.