The City of Toronto joins people throughout the Commonwealth in mourning the loss of Her Majesty The Queen, Canada’s Head of State. The Queen marked 70 years on the throne earlier this year. She was the longest reigning monarch in British history, and the longest reigning female monarch and the second-longest reigning monarch in world history.
Toronto’s relationship with the Queen began in October 1951 when young Princess Elizabeth visited the city in place of her ailing father, King George VI. During this visit, she and Prince Philip were greeted by excited crowds and experienced a quintessential Toronto tradition – watching a Leafs game at the storied Maple Leaf Gardens.
Her Majesty’s first visit to Toronto in an official capacity as Head of State was in 1959 during a tour of Canada. She and Prince Philip arrived on HMY Britannia, attended the 100th running of the Queen’s Plate at Woodbine racetrack and visited Old City Hall, 60 Queen St W., where they were shown a preview of the design for the new City Hall, 100 Queen St. W. She returned in 1973, 1984 (to celebrate Toronto’s 150th birthday), 1997, 2002 and 2010.
On her visit in 1973, Queen Elizabeth praised Toronto’s diversity and was interested in learning more about the city’s neighbourhoods. During her 1984 Royal Tour, she visited Toronto’s Corso Italia, where 20,000 people greeted her.
Over the years, the Queen granted royal patronage to many Toronto-based organizations, including the Toronto French School, the Canadian National Exhibition Association and the Queen’s Plate.
Queen Elizabeth’s special relationship with Toronto is commemorated by landmarks around the city named in her honour, including the Queen Elizabeth II Building and Queen Elizabeth Theatre at Exhibition Place, rose gardens named in her honour at Queen’s Park and Grange Park and the Diamond Jubilee Promenade (on Front Street, between Cherry Street and Bayview Avenue). To mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the City planted 70 trees in Rowntree Mills Park, 155 Rowntree Mill Rd., for the public to enjoy as a permanent legacy of the Jubilee and this historic reign.
Flags have been half-masted at all City facilities, parks and vessels throughout the mourning period. The Toronto Sign will also be dimmed this evening. Residents can send condolences through the online National Condolence Book opened by the Government of Canada or in person at City Hall and the City’s Civic Centres starting tomorrow afternoon, Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
More information about sharing condolences and City activities to mourn the passing of The Queen is available on the City’s Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926–2022 webpage.
A Toronto Archives exhibit entitled The Queen City: Her Majesty in Toronto is available on the City’s Toronto Archives webpage.
“On behalf of the people of Toronto, I offer heartfelt condolences to The King and members of the Royal Family as well as to the many people throughout the Commonwealth who will be feeling a profound sense of loss as we mark the passing of our Queen, Elizabeth II.
So many of us have known no other Queen. She was the one constant and reassuring presence in our own country and on the world stage – a beacon of eloquence, stability and commitment to duty – over so many decades.
Our city has had a long and warm relationship with The Queen, our longest-serving monarch.
The Queen will be profoundly missed. Today, as we mourn The Queen’s passing we are thankful for the long life she has lived, devoted to our service and the service of the entire Commonwealth. We pray that she has now found rest and peace everlasting. Across Toronto, our thoughts are with the King and all the members of the Royal Family at this sad time.”
– Mayor John Tory
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter , Instagram or Facebook .