Danforth shooting memorials to be relocated for weekend festival

Several memorials that sprung up in the wake of a deadly shooting in the city’s Greektown neighbourhood last month are being relocated to accommodate this weekend’s Taste of the Danforth festival.

Flowers and other artifacts that were left around a fountain near Danforth and Logan avenues in the wake of the tragic shooting on July 22 are being taken to a garden outside St. Barnabas on the Danforth Anglican Church, where they will remain until a more permanent memorial is created.

Wooden boards reading “we are Danforth strong” and “love for all hatred for none” that were removed from the front of Soulas Modern Greek Cuisine earlier this week will also be varnished and put up at the site, according to Greektown on the Danforth BIA spokesperson Howard Lichtman.

“We are going to be moving all of the artifacts temporarily and when the festival is over we are going to sit and figure out what is the appropriate thing to do on a permanent basis,” Lichtman told CP24 on Thursday afternoon. “We really want to do this right, so we are not rushing to make an announcement during the festival. It is all about being respectful to the people who passed away and the people who were injured, so we are going to take our time.”

Lichtman said that by taking some of the items left at several makeshift memorials and putting them all in one place, organizers of the festival are aiming to create a singular area where the thousands of attendees can “can come and pay their respects” this weekend.

He said that organizers will also be replacing some of the dead flowers with fresh flowers and wreaths.

The July 22 shooting claimed the lives of 18-year-old Reese Fallon and 10-year-old Julianna Kozis. A total of 13 other people were also injured.

“I think people are sad for what happened but they feel that it is not something that happened to the Danforth; it is something that happened on the Danforth. It wasn’t’ about the street and I think they are feeling the warmth of Danforth strong,” Lichtman said. “What we are hearing from lots of people is that Danforth is their neighbourhood. They may live elsewhere in the city or come from 30 or 40 kilometres away but they say ‘I own a piece of the Danforth.’ It is a very special feeling and I think we will see a outpouring of that this weekend.”

The 25th annual Taste of the Danforth festival will begin at 6 p.m. tomorrow and run through the weekend.

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