Sep 08, 2022

By Christine Ross

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford says the Queen taught people the true meaning of selfless service. In a statement issued after the Queen’s death, Ford says the monarch was respected for her sense of duty and commitment to charity.

“Reigning as the longest serving Monarch in the history of our nation, 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,” said Ford.

The premier expressed his condolences to the Queen’s eldest son who is now King.

“While I express my sincere condolences to the King Charles III, I also congratulate His Majesty on his ascension to the throne of the United Kingdom and wish him great success in continuing his Mother’s legacy.”

Long live the King!” Ford wrote in his statement

Toronto Mayor John Tory also released a statement and mentioned Her Majesty’s first visit to Toronto in 1959.

Mayor John Tory’s statement on the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

“On behalf of the people of Toronto, I offer heartfelt condolences to The King and members of the Royal Family as well as to the many people throughout the Commonwealth who will be feeling a profound sense of loss as we mark the passing of our Queen, Elizabeth II.

So many of us have known no other Queen. She was the one constant and reassuring presence in our own country and on the world stage – a beacon of eloquence, stability and commitment to duty – over so many decades.

Our city has had a long and warm relationship with The Queen, our longest-serving monarch. This relationship began in October of 1951 when a young Princess Elizabeth visited Toronto in place of her ailing father, King George VI. During this visit, she and Prince Philip were greeted by excited crowds and experienced a quintessential Toronto tradition – watching a Leafs game at the storied Maple Leaf Gardens.

Over the course of her more than 70-year reign, The Queen’s sense of duty and devotion to public service was unflagging. 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.

Her Majesty’s first visit to Toronto as our Head of State was in 1959 during a tour of Canada. The Queen and Prince Philip arrived in HMY Britannia, attended the 100th running of the Queen’s Plate at Woodbine racetrack and visited City Hall, where they were shown a preview of the design for the new City Hall which she visited in 1973 and 1984. She returned to Toronto in 1973, 1984 (to celebrate Toronto’s 150th birthday), 1997, 2002 and 2010.

On her visit to Toronto in 1973, The Queen praised our city’s diversity. She was interested in learning more about our neighbourhoods. During her Royal Tour in 1984, she visited Corso Italia, where 20,000 people came out to greet her. Her last visit to Canada ended in Toronto in 2010.

We are thankful for the time she was able to spend here in our city and in Canada. Many people, including me, had the privilege of having met The Queen and to a person appreciate that opportunity to witness her quick wit, grace and wonderful smile.

The Queen will be profoundly missed. We will be reminded of her through landmarks around our city, including the Queen Elizabeth II Building and Queen Elizabeth Theatre at Exhibition Place, rose gardens named in her honour at Queen’s Park and Grange Park and the Diamond Jubilee Promenade. The City recently planted 70 trees in Rowntree Mills Park to mark her Platinum Jubilee, a living tribute for the public to enjoy for many years to come.

Her legacy will also live on through her relationship with this country, province and city over the years and the length of time she has been our Queen, together with her commitment to the Commonwealth.

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.

Across Toronto, our thoughts are with the King and all the members of the Royal Family at this sad time.”

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