Pallbearers carry the casket at a funeral 18-year-old Danforth shooting victim Reese Fallon, in Toronto, Monday July 30, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch

Pallbearers carry the casket at a funeral 18-year-old Danforth shooting victim Reese Fallon, in Toronto, Monday July 30, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch

Video: Mourners bid goodbye to the two young victims of Toronto shooting

Justin Trudeau was among dozens of people ranging from students to dignitaries who packed a Toronto funeral home to pay their respects.

Tearful mourners bid goodbye to the two young victims of a mass shooting in Toronto on Monday as the country’s prime minister tried to offer words of comfort to a city still grappling with grief.

Justin Trudeau was among dozens of people ranging from students to dignitaries who packed a Toronto funeral home to pay their respects to 18-year-old Reese Fallon, one of two people shot dead in the heart of Toronto’s Greektown neighbourhood last Sunday. North of the city, grieving family members converged on a Greek Orthodox church in Markham, Ont., to lay 10-year-old Julianna Kozis to rest.

Shortly after attending Fallon’s funeral, an emotional Trudeau urged those impacted by the violence on Danforth Avenue to come together as they continue to process the tragic event.

Speaking at a makeshift memorial that continues to fill up with flowers, stuffed animals and other tributes, he reflected on how watching the many teens who turned up to pay tribute to Fallon brought back personal recollections of the memorial service for his own brother, Michel, who died 20 years ago at age 23.

“I just wanted to tell those young people, and everyone who is grieving and mourning that our loved ones, particularly extraordinary, beautiful ones like the two girls we lost, will be with us forever,” Trudeau said after laying flowers at the memorial site.

The two funerals both took place out of the public eye at the request of the families, who have asked for privacy as they come to terms with the loss of their loved ones.

With police maintaining a heavy presence around the Toronto funeral home where Fallon’s memorial took place, groups of teens holding hands and exchanging hugs quietly entered to say their goodbyes.

At Kozis’ funeral, a small group of attendees watched as pallbearers lifted a white casket out of a hearse and into the ornate church. Some leaned on each other for support while others stood with their hands clasped in front of them.

Kozis, who neighbours described as an outgoing and athletic child, was on a family outing on Danforth Avenue when she was caught in a hail of bullets fired by 29-year-old Faisal Hussain.

Fallon died while enjoying a night out with friends, including fellow members of the Young Liberals youth political organization. In an obituary for Fallon, family members said the teen would be “deeply missed but not forgotten.”

Three women who worked with Fallon at an east-Toronto Loblaw’s location said the packed service featured photo collages of the aspiring nurse throughout her short life.

After the funeral, pink and purple flowers covered Fallon’s casket as it was placed in the hearse. Her friends and family cried and hugged each other as the procession drove away.

Some of Fallon’s friends, as well as Kozis’ father, are believed to be among the 13 people injured in Hussain’s attack. The gunman himself was found dead shortly after exchanging gunfire with two police officers.

The growing memorial site at Alexander the Great parkette, where some of the victims were shot, was ringed with bouquets, candles, stuffed animals and other mementoes.

Boxes of chalk were left out for mourners to leave messages of love and remembrance.

Dozens of people took photos or stood silently taking in the scene.

Related: ‘Everybody tried to save her’: Toronto shooting witness recounts violent night

Related: Funerals held for two killed in Torontos Danforth shooting

Leslie Savlov, who lives just down the street from the parkette, heard gunshots and saw people hiding in the bushes nearby on the night of the shooting.

He has mixed feelings about the crowded memorial site, he said.

“Certainly it’s necessary but in a way it’s a constant reminder of what happened,” Savlov said. “It took me a lot of days to process this, it’s very very emotional for me.”

At Cafe Demetre, a popular dessert spot where Kozis was shot, a multilingual banner proclaiming the word “peace” flew over yet another collection of floral tributes.

Nearby resident Shannon Connors, who was out of town at the time of the attack, said it’s reassuring to see the community forge ahead while still taking time to grieve and pay tribute.

“It’s … good to see it’s sort of business as usual in a way, but people are remembering and people are keeping the victims in their thoughts and hearts,” she said.

Trudeau, meanwhile, remained tight-lipped on a Toronto council motion that requested him to consider banning handguns within city limits. Toronto had experienced a spike in shootings in the weeks prior to the Greektown attack.

“There’s a lot of things that we’re looking at right now,” Trudeau said. ”Obviously there’s a lot of strong emotions going on, grieving, looking at how we can continue to be stronger and more resilient as communities. We’re looking at a broad range of things, we’re going to make the right decision for the long term, not just the short term.”

The violence on the Danforth came nearly three months to the day after another incident that plunged Toronto into shock and mourning.

A 25-year-old man allegedly drove a van down a busy stretch of Yonge Street, killing 10 people and injuring more than a dozen others. Alek Minassian is charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder in the rampage.

— With files from Alanna Rizza and Peter Goffin.

Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Asia Youngman (right) is pictured shooting another short film she wrote and directed titled Hatha. (Luba Popovic)
Peachland set to star in fantasy thriller film about N’xaxaitk’w — a.k.a. the Ogopogo

The film will follow an Indigenous teen as she navigates peer pressure, bullying and identity

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control in Electoral Area D starting next year

Most Read