The Yonge Street van attack in Toronto: 1 week later

Toronto attempts to regain a sense of normalcy one week after the driver of a white rented van plowed into pedestrians, leaving 10 dead and 16 wounded.

10 people were killed in north Toronto last Monday when a white van drove into pedestrians

A mourner pays respects at a makeshift memorial on Yonge Street after a van attacked multiple people in Toronto. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

Toronto is attempting to regain a sense of normalcy one week after the driver of a white rented van plowed into pedestrians, leaving 10 dead and 16 wounded.

The attack brought parts of Yonge Street in suburban North York to a halt as businesses, roads and some subway stations were closed while police began a lengthy investigation. 
One resident, Pouria Fakhraei, said it took time for the community to return to normal. Immediately aftermath the attack, not many people were on the street, but that began to change by the end of the week, Fakhraei said. 
Resident Pouria Fakhraei says there weren't many people on the street in the immediate aftermath of the attack, but that soon changed by the end of the week. (CBC)

"People are still walking around because they know that they can't let fear control their life. It's just we can't let that happen. The second we show that has happened, as a community, we've failed."

Fakhraei added: "We'll stay strong. We will support each other and we will get through this, and we will show that an incident like this will not crumble us."

Thousands take part in vigil

Services and visitations for three of the attack victims took place Monday, including for Invesco employee Anne Marie D'Amico and single mother Renuka Amarasingha.

Sohe Chung's visitation — also held Monday — was supposed to be private but the family agreed to make it public because many wanted to attend.

The 22-year-old was studying science at the University of Toronto.

Others paid their respects Sunday night at a large multi-faith vigil in north Toronto. Thousands converged on Mel Lastman Square, just steps away from where the scene of the attack.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Gov. Gen. Julie Payette and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne were among the people in attendance.

Melissa Kabatasdaravar said she went to the vigil because coming together as a community is important.

"It's very healing, it's very powerful to be together. It is really a reclaiming of the streets," she said. "I think something really significant happened. We can move on, but we can't forget."

Areas close to the attack scene have been blanketed with a growing memorial of flowers, handwritten posters and candles.

Names of victims released

On Friday, officials released the names of the eight women and two men who died. They ranged in age from 22 to 94, and included a student from South Korea and a man from Jordan.

The accused driver, Alek Minassian, 25, has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder. He will be charged with three more counts of attempted murder at his next court appearance.

The 10 people killed in the van attack. Top row, from left to right: Anne Marie D'Amico, 30, Dorothy Sewell, 80, Renuka Amarasingha, 45, Munir Najjar, 85, Chul Min (Eddie) Kang, 45, Mary Elizabeth (Betty) Forsyth, 94, Sohe Chung, 22, Andrea Bradden, 33, Geraldine Brady, 83, Ji Hun Kim, 22. (CBC)

On April 23, police have alleged, Minassian rented a cargo van, posted a cryptic message on Facebook, and moments later, drove down Yonge Street.

Minassian's alleged Facebook post alludes to incel, a misogynistic online group whose members identify as "involuntarily celibates" because no one is willing to have sex with them.

Thousands gather for vigil to honour van attack victims in north Toronto

5 years ago
Duration 0:48
Aerial footage of the crowd prior to the start of Sunday's vigil at Mel Lastman Square

Police have said their investigation is taking the post into account.

With those revelations, some in the community have been left wondering how to support others to prevent similar incidents. 

"I think this is a lesson for all of us that we need to be with each other, we need to spend time with each other, and I'm sure that will happen," said resident Arash Abadpour.

With files from CBC News and The Canadian Press