While I was at work, radio hosts started getting word about a van that drove into pedestrians in North York with multiple injuries. My gut sank and I started to feel uneasy. I work in a suburban area outside of Toronto, however I have many friends in this city. I was in total shock as to how something like this could happen in my city.
I moved to this city six years ago after graduating university for reasons like many people do, it’s the city of plentiful opportunities. It has given me years of experience in the field I graduated in.
I love exploring Toronto and all that it has to offer.
The amazing parks and trails,, the thrift shops, the bookstores, the incredibly diverse cuisine this city has to offer is unlike anything in Canada.
This is the place I call home.
This place I call home and I have always felt safe in. Until a few days ago when a man decided to take the lives of innocent people, simply living their lives on a pleasant Monday.
A pleasant day turned into a nightmare that none of us will ever forget.
Unfortunately the thing about Toronto is how massive it is. We have a population of over 2.8 million people. Although the city was shutting down in North York to give way to a police investigation, life continued as usual as it could be to the rest of the city.
I was on my way home from work when I noticed my street was blocked off by multiple police, ambulance and fire trucks. My gut sank, again. I thought this must have to do with the event that took place. I contacted my roommates who live with me trying to place what was happening. My fears turned worse when nothing was shown on the internet or social media about this incident. My roommate quickly saw that there was a bomb squad outside our house exploring the land behind us where there is railways and subway lines under where we live. I contacted my family who became very worried. I thought the worst case scenario -this is some sort of terrorist, they planted something and it has to be related to the incident earlier. I was trying to calm my nerves thinking that perhaps police were taking things very seriously that day.
Although many people had thought the incident was the only thing that day, many many other incidents were occurring simultaneously with it.
My roommates and I sat in my bedroom petting my roommates cat trying to calm our nerves by keeping each other company. We sat together as news broke that the death total included ten people and multiple other injuries.
All of us felt strange. All of us felt uncomfortable and unsure of what was going on outside. Not only did we share a house but we shared this strange experience together. We continued to sit and wait for news as to what was happening outside.
Thankfully after 3 hours, the bomb squad outside found the package as safe and public safety was not at risk.
Bloor St + Lansdowne Av
-CBRNE team have investigated package
-No danger to public
-Scene has been opened
— Toronto Police OPS (@TPSOperations) April 24, 2018
We were finally safe.
Safe until we realized that so many people that day who’s lives weren’t safe, who’s lives were suddenly taken from them. Parents suddenly without a child. A sister suddenly without a brother. Families suddenly broken apart.
I went to the nearest blood donation clinic today and donated my blood. Many people on that day lost a lot of blood and I knew that I could help out in that way. The blood donor clinic was filled with so many people. Companies brought in multiple employees, first time donors who were anxiously smiling when given their “first time donor” pin. This is how Canadians continue on after a tragedy. We hold each other close and help each other out. This is what it means to be a Canadian, to be a Torontonian.
Featured Image via Yesi Kangrang on Unsplash