Flags lowered, sticks out: Ottawa honours Humboldt Broncos

​Sticks were set outside, flags flew at half-mast and students prepared to don their hockey jerseys Thursday as institutions and everyday people looked for ways to honour the junior hockey team.
A bow in one of colours of the Humboldt Broncos is wrapped around three hockey sticks outside a home in Ottawa. Residents across the city and the country have been leaving their sticks out to honour the players and staff from the Broncos killed in the last week's bus crash in Saskatchewan. (Jean Delisle/CBC)

People across Ottawa are leaving out hockey sticks, lowering flags and pulling on hockey jerseys to pay tribute to the Humboldt Broncos.

At Ottawa City Hall Wednesday, flags were at half-mast to honour the 16 players and staff killed when the junior hockey team's charter bus collided with a semi-trailer at an intersection northeast of Saskatoon on Friday. The city was also paying tribute to Jonathan Pitre, a local boy who died after a long and inspirational battle with a rare skin disease.

Pitre, the 17-year-old Russell, Ont., boy known for his love of the Ottawa Senators, died last Wednesday.

Flags outside city hall flew at half mast to honour both the victims of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash and Jonathan Pitre, the Ottawa-area teen who died after a long battle with a rare skin condition. (Jean Cloutier/Twitter)

Before council observed a moment of silence, Mayor Jim Watson said that prior to the fatal bus crash, Broncos goalie Parker Tobin retweeted a statement of support from hockey broadcaster James Duthie to the Pitre family.

"The hockey community," Watson noted, "has always rallied around players and fans alike."

Canada's hockey community mourns

4 years ago
Duration 1:01
At City Hall, Mayor Jim Watson recognized the support of hockey fans across Canada for both Humboldt and the family of Jonathan Pitre.

Flags were also lowered to half-mast on Parliament Hill Monday to honour the victims of the Humboldt Broncos crash. They will remain lowered until sunset on April 21.

A hockey stick was also set outside City Hall, part of a movement to honour the victims of the crash. People have been leaving their sticks outside for the deceased players and staff across the country.

"Our thoughts remain with the @HumboldtBroncos. Leaving these here in case you need them," the Ottawa Senators wrote. (Ottawa Senators/Twitter)

The Ottawa Senators, who honoured Pitre last week, also noted in a Twitter post they were leaving 15 sticks outside a team office for the victims.

"Our thoughts remain with the @HumboldtBroncos. Leaving these here in case you need them," the team wrote.

People across Ottawa also left their hockey sticks and gear outside and posted similar images across social media.

Tiny hockey sticks sit outside the Garderie Oasis Child Care Centre on Smyth Road in Ottawa on Wednesday, Aug. 11. (Courtesy Michelle Stromberg)
At left: Chantal Montgomery posted a photo of three sticks and three pucks on Facebook. At right: 'Humboldt strong,' wrote Heidi Downey in a Facebook post. (Chantal Montgomery,Heidi Downey/Facebook)
Two hockey sticks lean against a sculpture outside an Ottawa home on Wednesday, April 11. Many residents have been leaving their sticks outside to honour the 16 victims of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash. (Jean Delisle/CBC)

Many schools across the country and in Ottawa are inviting students on Thursday to wear a hockey jersey or similar attire to show their support for the fallen team.

A hockey mask is left outside a home in Ottawa, as people across Canada honour the victims of the bus crash near Tisdale, Sask. (Jean Delisle/CBC)