2020 in photos: Toronto stories that moved us

2020 was a year that kept CBC News photographer Evan Mitsui very busy.

From the COVID-19 pandemic to Black Lives Matter protests and the anxious return to school this September, he was there to capture some of the biggest stories in Toronto over the last 12 months. 

Scroll down to see some of his most memorable images. 

Mourning victims of UIA Flight PS752

A woman cries as she lights a candle at the North York Civic Centre on Jan. 9, during a vigil to mourn those lost in the crash of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752. The plane was shot out of the sky in Iran, killing 176 passengers and crew — 138 of whom were headed to Canada.

(Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Life and death during a pandemic

On April 1, Toronto Mayor John Tory announced a 12-week plan to fight the spread of the coronavirus — leading to eerily empty streets in the city’s downtown core. 

(Evan Mitsui/CBC)

A patient believed to have COVID-19 lies in the ICU at North York General Hospital on May 26.

(Evan Mitsui/CBC)

A midwife working for a City of Toronto initiative to temporarily house homeless women who are pregnant or new mothers puts on PPE before visiting clients during the pandemic in May.

(Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Liya was newly homeless and nine months pregnant when she contracted COVID-19. CBC News concealed her identity to protect her safety.

(Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Paramedics leave with a resident of Toronto’s Fairview Nursing Home on Sept. 29 — the same day Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced a plan to scale back visitations to care homes to help curb a spike in COVID-19 cases. Fairview was in the midst of an outbreak. 

(Evan Mitsui/CBC)

In mid-December, the province’s first vaccines arrived. Registered pharmacy technician Tamara Rumsey prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at the University Health Network, which was holding a clinic for personal support workers at Ontario care homes hard-hit by COVID-19.

(Evan Mitsui/CBC)

In solidarity with George Floyd and Black lives 

Demonstrators march in Toronto on June 5, after George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was killed by a police officer in Minnesota on May 25.

(Evan Mitsui/CBC)

The June 5 demonstration was held in solidarity with the George Floyd protests, calling for change and honouring Black lives lost at the hands of police.

(Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Family and friends of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, 29, release doves on July 25 outside her apartment building at a public memorial. Korchinski-Paquet fell to her death from a balcony on May 27 while police were in her apartment unit, adding to growing calls in Toronto to fund community organizations rather than police, and to send mental health professionals on mental health-related calls instead of armed officers. 

(Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Students return to the classroom

Blue circles painted on the pavement at Portage Trail Community School help keep students physically distanced as they head to their classrooms on Sept. 15. 

(Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Five-year-old Nancy Murphy wears a full mask and face shield as she waits for her kindergarten class to enter Portage Trail Community School. 

(Evan Mitsui/CBC)

A moment of normalcy: school children cheer on salmon in the Humber River attempting to jump over a dam at Toronto’s Étienne Brûlé Park on Oct. 14.

(Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Supporting Indigenous communities

Protesters supporting Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in their opposition to the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline project blocked rail lines in Toronto on Feb. 25.

(Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Haudenosaunee land defenders remain on a parcel of land dubbed 1492 Land Back Lane on Oct. 28 — Day 102 of the occupation of a proposed housing development in Caledonia, Ont.

(Evan Mitsui/CBC)

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