June 27, 2017
What does it say about our city? While some Torontonians make millions off a skyrocketing housing market, homeless deaths have nearly doubled.
On the second Tuesday of every month, friends and family of those who have died on our city’s streets join together on the steps of the Church of the Holy Trinity to acknowledge and mourn their passing. On June 13, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa and I were there to witness the addition of three new names being added to the list of the dead. The names read out were, as is too often the case, John and Jane Does.
The attendees are a colourful group of people with lived street experience, family and friends of the deceased, homeless advocates and allies, and church volunteers. Through poetry and song, rants and statements, they demonstrate their grief and their rage in ways that were both respectful and disruptive. Anger is an appropriate emotion here.