LGBT community mourns lives lost in Toronto tragedies in candlelight vigil

The Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto held a candlelight vigil in a service on Sunday to grieve the lives lost in various tragedies in the city in the past year.

Service at Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto comes during Pride month

Sunday's candlelight vigil at the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto was held to grieve the lives lost in various tragedies in the city. (Mike Cole/CBC)
The Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto held a candlelight vigil in a service on Sunday to grieve the lives lost in various tragedies in the city in the past year.

Toronto has been rocked by the investigation into alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur, the missing person-turned-homicide case of Tess Richey, the death of missing trans woman Alloura Wells and the van attack on Yonge Street that killed 10 people.

"I don't know about you, but I'm feeling some mixed emotions going into Pride," Rev. Jeff Rock told the congregation.

The service comes as part of Toronto Pride, which officially kicked off on Friday, but it also comes ahead of this year's Pride Parade, where participants are asked to wear black to mourn the lives lost over the past year.

Rev. Jeff Rock told the congregation he was having mixed feelings heading into Pride. (Mike Cole/CBC )

"My personal response to the murders in the Village community this year will be to be gayer than I have ever been before," Rock said in his sermon.

The offerings during the vigil will go towards the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention (ASAAP), and speaking at Sunday's service was Haran Vijayanathan, the executive director of ASAAP.  

Haran Vijayanathan, the executive director of ASAAP, speaks at Sunday's service. (Mike Cole/CBC)

"It's been quite a bit of a roller coaster since January, with all these emotions," Vijayanathan said.

"We do need to celebrate, but we also need to take the time to mourn the way you know how to mourn and the way you're comfortable mourning."

Also remembered at Sunday's service were the many missing and murdered Indigenous people across Canada and victims of various forms of violence.

With files from CBC News