Hundreds of Montrealers gathered at the foot of Mount Royal Monday night to remember Jack Layton.

The NDP leader died early Monday morning after a battle with cancer. He was 61.

At a candlelight vigil in front of the Georges-Étienne Cartier monument, people sang songs and talked about their favourite memories of the man known here as Le Bon Jack.

Vigil organizer John Stuart read the letter Layton wrote to Canadians, which was released by his family just hours after his death.

It was an emotional day for many people, such as Meghan Dove.

"We've lost a little bit of our democracy today," she said.

The spontaneous vigil, organized through Facebook, invited people "to show our love and support for a man who fought the good fight."

Rebecca Munroe said Layton's views resonated with Quebecers.

"He understood how important it was for Quebecers to have certain rights and to be thought of as distinct," she said.

For Layton's supporters, his death leaves a big void in Ottawa, but his opponents will miss him too.

Liberal party member Alan Conter said Layton's political style stood out.

"Jack Layton's voice was one of the rare voices of civility in that chamber."