Layton vigil held in Calgary

More than 300 people took part in a vigil at Tomkins Park to honour NDP leader Jack Layton who died earlier this week.
More than 300 people attended the vigil in Calgary's Tompkins Park to honour the memory of Jack Layton. (CBC)

Hundreds of people attended a memorial in Calgary to remember Jack Layton, who died earlier this week.

More than 300 took part in the vigil held in Tomkins Park Wednesday night, many holding candles and wearing the colour orange in homage to the NDP leader.

Party supporters and politicians spoke about their memories of Layton.

"I really miss him," said former Calgary alderman John Schmal. "I know what he did was for the average Canadian and he did a lot for them."

One mourner said Layton had inspired him to get involved in politics.

"Since Grade 5 I feel like Jack Layton was my hero so I felt that I should come down and show my respects for Jack," he said. "I want to become an MP and help finish what Jack started."

Organizer Erin McFarlane said the event gave people the opportunity to mourn collectively.

"We just wanted to come together to celebrate who he was and also grieve a little bit and give people the opportunity to connect with others," she said.

"This was a guy that cared about Canada deeply and cared about its people and cared about making Canada better," McFarlane said.

Many signed condolence books which will be sent to Layton's family.

CBC reporter John Spittal said the most memorable moment came during a moment of silence.

"More than 300 Layton supporters with candles lit were alone with their thoughts of Jack Layton," he said.

Layton, who led the NDP to official opposition status in the party's best electoral showing, died early Monday morning. A state funeral will be on Saturday in Toronto.

Similar vigils have been held in cities across the country including Halifax and Montreal.