Today as I entered the lobby of my Toronto office space in the Toronto Star Building, I was greeted by a Veteran with a box of Poppies. As I rode the elevator to the 18th floor, another Telsec office client (who recently relocated from France) asked me what the poppies were all about.
I explained to him that every year on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month (November 11), we acknowledge the courage and sacrifice of those who served their country. For the past week Veterans, Legion members, Cadets, and other volunteers have taken to the streets to distribute poppies.
I explained that the use of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance comes from a poem written by John McCrae, a Canadian doctor serving in the military. The poem is called “In Flanders Fields” and describes the poppies growing in the Flemish graveyards where soldiers were buried.
As I got out of the elevator, he pushed the lobby button to go back down to get his poppy.
Have you picked up your poppy yet?
The Poppy Campaign is the major source of funding for the Royal Canadian Legion that enables the Legion to ensure that our veterans and their dependants are cared for and treated with the respect that they deserve.
In most provinces Remembrance Day is a Statutory Holiday and thus giving everyone a chance to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies. Ontario is one of the few provinces or territories that does not mark the day as a statutory holiday, November 11th is currently only a government holiday in Ontario. Member of Provincial Parliament Lisa MacLeod, wants to see Remembrance day a statutory holiday like it is in Nova Scotia where Remembrance Day is governed by the Remembrance Day Act.
Here is a list of the official City of Toronto remembrance services:
East York Civic Centre
850 Coxwell Avenue
Etobicoke Civic Centre
399 The West Mall
North York Civic Centre
George Weston Recital Hall at the Toronto Centre for the Arts
5040 Yonge Street
Toronto Old City Hall
60 Queen Street West
Bay & Queen Streets
York Civic Centre
York Memorial Collegiate
2690 Eglinton Avenue West
Fort York National Historic Site/Strachan Avenue Military Cemetery
100 Garrison Road (Garrison Common)
(Strachan Ave. west of Fort York)
Other Remembrance Day services not run by the City of Toronto
Kew Gardens Cenotaph
(Queen Street East and Waverley)
Prospect Cemetery – Sunrise Service
1450 St Clair Avenue West
Prospect Cemetery and Mausoleum
Royal Canadian Legion – Scarborough Zone
(Kingston Road and Danforth Avenue)
Remembrance Day Parade
(Finch Avenue East and Warden Avenue)
Swansea Town Hall
95 Lavinia Avenue
Meadowvale north of Sheppard