Toronto

TTC pauses vehicles for 2 minutes to honour 215 children buried at B.C. residential school

The Toronto Transit Commission paused all of its vehicles for two minutes of silence on Tuesday to honour the 215 children whose remains were discovered on the grounds of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.

Transit agency expresses sympathies to 'all Indigenous children who never made it home'

A Toronto Transit Commission streetcar driver pauses for two minutes of silence at 2:15 p.m. on June 1, 2021, in recognition of the 215 children found buried on the grounds of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

The Toronto Transit Commission paused all of its vehicles for two minutes of silence on Tuesday to honour the 215 children whose remains were discovered on the grounds of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.

All subway trains were held at station platforms. Bus and streetcar operators stopped their vehicles at a regular service stops before 2:15 p.m. and remained there for the pause. Subway station announcements and social media posts were briefly suspended.

"The TTC and all its employees express their deepest sympathies for all those whose lives were taken at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School and all Indigenous children who never made it home, the survivors, and their families," the TTC said in a news release.

TTC customers were notified of the pause through announcements on board. Service resumed following the two minutes of silence.

According to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, more than 4,000 children died at residential schools in Canada.

But the remains of the 215 children, found by radar on May 27 in Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation territory, are said to be undocumented. 

A TTC streetcar stopped for two minutes at 2:15 p.m. on June 1, 2021 to mark the memory of the 215 children whose remains were found by radar on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Katherine Gandy, a Toronto resident who helped to organize an intergenerational vigil outside city hall earlier this week, said her grandparents and aunt attended the school. 

"It was shock, grief and sadness," she said of the discovery of the remains.

Gandy visited the school two years ago and said she felt children's spirits.

She said the visit helped her to understand "my connection and how that institute implicitly impacted my family, the community, the nation and my people as a whole."

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