Toronto marks 5th anniversary of van attack with memorial

Toronto residents and public officials are expected to gather in a north-end community today to mark the fifth anniversary of the city’s devastating van attack.

Ten people were killed and 16 others were injured when a man deliberately drove a rental van down a busy sidewalk on a stretch of Toronto’s Yonge Street on April 23, 2018.

The attack, which stunned the city, was one of Canada’s worst mass murders.

Read more: ‘Incel’ threat is growing 5 years after Toronto van attack: expert

An indoor memorial ceremony is set to be held this afternoon, before an outdoor commemoration at Mel Lastman Square, where flowers are set to be laid at a temporary memorial plaque.

Family members of victims, community members and politicians are expected to attend.

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Betty Forsyth, Ji Hun Kim, Sohe Chung, Geraldine Brady, Chul Min Kang, Anne Marie D’Amico, Munir Najjar, Dorothy Sewell, Andrea Bradden and Renuka Amarasingha died in the April 2018 attack.

Amaresh Tesfamariam died from her injuries more than three years later.

Read more: Toronto van attack: 5 years later, Anne Marie D’Amico’s legacy is powerful

Alek Minassian was found guilty of 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder in the attack.

He claimed at his trial to be angered by women who wouldn’t sleep with him and radicalized on the internet _ the presiding judge found he carried out the van attack to achieve notoriety.

Minassian was sentenced to life in prison last year with no possibility of parole for 25 years. He’s appealing his conviction.

Toronto residents who live and work in the area where the attack took place five years ago say they still have vivid memories of the rampage and the devastation it brought.

The City of Toronto says plans for a permanent memorial honouring the lives lost in the attack are still being finalized.

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