Thousands of Canadians paid their final respects Saturday during New Democratic Party Leader Jack Layton's procession and state funeral. Officials and Toronto's citizenry came to Roy Thomson Hall to bid a final farewell to Layton.
All walks of life attended the state funeral in Toronto of New Democratic Party Leader Jack Layton. Members of Parliament, Members of Provincial Parliaments, City Councillors, conservatives, liberals and former Canadian officials attended the emotional procession of Jack Layton.
A range of sentiment was felt Saturday. From the sounds of Samuel Barber’s famous “Adagio for Strings” to an impromptu street music performance of “When the Saints Go Marching In,” thousands of Canadians wept, applauded and cheered for not only Layton’s death but also his life.
Along University Avenue, thousands, many sporting bright orange colours, paid tribute Layton as his coffin was being taken to Roy Thomson Hall.
Led by his wife and fellow NDP Member of Parliament, Olivia Chow, followed by his son, City Councillor Mike Layton, and daughter, Sarah, the sombre march prompted applause and many attempting to catch a glimpse of the hearse and the family’s sadness.
Some of those in attendance included former Toronto Mayor David Miller, Interim Liberal Party Leader Bob Rae, former Liberal Party Leader Stephane Dion, Conservative Members of Parliament John Carmichael and Joe Oliver and Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.
Thousands watched the ceremony on two large screens at David Pecaut Square just outside of Roy Thomson Hall. As performers played music, men, women and children cried.
Layton will be cremated and his ashes will be scattered in three separate locations. The first location is the Toronto Islands where he married Chow in 1988. The second location will be at a cemetery in Quebec where they will be planted with a tree. The last will be buried in St. James Cemetery in Toronto.
Cities across Canada will commemorate Layton by lighting up buildings with orange. The CN Tower will be lit up orange until dusk Sunday and Niagara Falls will also be lit orange.