Candlelight vigils sprang up in many Canadian cities on Sunday evening after a mass shooting that left 50 people dead and injured dozens more at a gay nightclub in Florida.
The violence left Canadians reeling in a country widely seen as a global leader of LGTBQ rights, spurring impromptu evening vigils from Vancouver to Toronto to commemorate the victims.
An estimated 3,000 to 5,000 people, including Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Toronto Mayor John Tory, attended an evening vigil at Barbara Hall Park in the heart of Toronto’s gay village.
“What happened in Orlando happened to all of us,” said Ms. Wynne.
Ms. Wynne cautioned the crowd against believing that LGBTQ rights have reached full acceptance in Ontario.
“Let’s not pretend we have no homophobia, no transphobia. Let’s not pretend that there isn’t hate trying to divide us,” Ms. Wynne said.