Hundreds of friends and family lined the pews of a century-old church in Montreal's Little Italy to pay their final respects to the son of a man reputed to be Canada's most powerful mobster.

Nick Rizzuto, 42, was shot dead in broad daylight in Montreal's Notre-Dame-de-Grâce district last Monday. He was standing next to a black Mercedes when at least one gunman approached and fired several shots.

He was the son of Vito Rizzuto, who is serving time in the United States on racketeering charges related to three Mafia murders.


The casket bearing the remains of Nick Rizzuto is carried out of the church following funeral services Saturday. ((Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press))

The funeral was held under heavy police surveillance. Rizzuto's pale casket was brought into the church followed by close family.

The Church of the Madonna della Difesa was so filled with mourners that many had to stand because of a lack of seats. The priest, dressed in fuchsia robes, addressed the sombre crowd in Italian.