Where to Attend a 2013 Remembrance Day Ceremony in Toronto

Just where can you attend a 2013 Remembrance Day ceremony in Toronto? Here are more than half a dozen civic “poppy day” events open to the public.

You’re probably aware that the official Canadian date for Remembrance Day is Nov. 11. This annual event commemorates the sacrifices made by members of the armed forces in the course of various wars. Generally each ceremony ends with a minute or two of silence at 11am; however there are exceptions at various locations.

While many Canadian companies observe a moment of silence at 11am on Remembrance Day, it is not a statutory holiday for most companies.

Remembrance Day 2013 in Toronto

"Cenotaph at Old City Hall in Toronto Ontario" image by Wanda G (Wanda Gould)
“Cenotaph at Old City Hall in Toronto Ontario” image by Wanda G (Wanda Gould)

The City of Toronto officially marks Remembrance Day at Old City Hall, at Fort York, and at each of the Toronto Civic Centres.

The Metro Toronto Zoo hosts its own Remembrance Day ceremony. Also, local Legion Halls may hold public recognition for their members in local parks.

One Day Before Remembrance Day the Scarborough Civic Centre

The only Remembrance Day Ceremony sponsored by Toronto City Hall taking place on Sunday Nov. 10, at 2pm, is at the Scarborough Civic Centre. The centre’s address is 150 Borough Drive, but it is bounded by Brimley, Ellesmere and McCowan Roads.

All the rest of these listed 2013 Remembrance Day ceremonies in Toronto take place on Monday, Nov. 11.

Remembrance Day Ceremony at Old City Hall in Toronto

The cenotaph is the focal point for the Old City Hall ceremony in downtown Toronto. The service begins at 10:45am. Head to Queen St. West at Bay St.

Etobicoke Civic Centre for Remembrance Day 2013

The earliest start, at 10:15am, is at the Etobicoke Civic Centre. The cenotaph is at 399 The West Mall, just south of Burnhamthorpe at the Etobicoke Civic Centre.

2013 Remembrance Day Event at the East York Civic Centre

The East York Civic Centre in Toronto marks Remembrance Day at 10:45am, in the Memorial Gardens. The location is 850 Coxwell Ave., on the north side of Mortimer Ave.

Toronto Centre for the Arts in North York for 2013 Remembrance Day

The George Weston Recital Hall at the Toronto Centre for the Arts hosts North York’s 2013 Remembrance Day ceremony at 10:45am. The street address is 5040 Yonge Street.

York Memorial Collegiate Auditorium’s 2013 Remembrance Day Ceremony

The York Memorial Collegiate Auditorium in the York Civic Centre at 2690 Eglinton Ave. West holds its Remembrance Day Ceremony at 10:45am. That’s just west of Keele St.

Remembrance Day at Fort York

Head to 250 Fort York Boulevard, just north of Lake Shore Blvd and west of Bathurst, for the Remembrance Day ceremony at the Fort York National Historic Site at 10:45am. The specific location is the Strachan Avenue Military Cemetery.

Special thanks to Peter Mykusz for the Vimeo link of the 2012 Remembrance Day ceremony at Fort York. Click the “comments” in the left margin to see the link in the comment at the bottom of this page.

Admission to Fort York is free for this Remembrance Day ceremony. Note that the site is under construction; please click the link below for their advice.

Read about “Historic Fort York, 1793-1993” in the Canadian or American Kindle version. Although Fort York lost its first battle in the War of 1812, it successfully defended what would become Toronto in 1812. What purposes has Fort York served since that time?

Remembrance Day 2013 at the Metro Toronto Zoo

A brief Remembrance Day 2013 ceremony will be conducted at the Metro Toronto Zoo’s Waterside Theatre on Nov. 11 at 10:55 am. You get free parking and free admission between 9:30 and 11am if you are in uniform, whether as a war veteran or currently in service in the armed forces, police, fire or emergency services fields.

The Toronto Zoo’s entrance is on Meadowvale Road, north of Hwy 401’s exit 389.

If you haven’t seen the giant pandas yet, this would be a great opportunity.

(Added): Toronto Beaches Remembrance Day Services 2013

(Added Nov. 5, 2013): Some people find this article by searching for “Toronto Beaches Remembrance Day Service 2013”. I did not find exactly what they are looking for, but may I suggest…

Fort York hosts the memorial service closest to the lake. The service at Old City Hall isn’t far from the lake, either; but keep reading.

If you’re firm about a beach venue, may I recommend heading to one of the war memorials on the lakefront. If that’s just where you live, there may be a few closer options. Here are the cenotaphs in Toronto closest to Lake Ontario, according to City Hall:

  • “Victory Peace” is in Coronation Park, beside the lake and just east of the CNE.
  • The War of 1812 Memorial at Portland St. and Niagara St., just east of Bathurst between Front and Wellington, is not a beach location but not terribly far from the lake.
  • The Scarborough War Memorial is at Kingston Rd. and Danforth Ave.; again, not on a beach but fairly far south in Toronto.
  • Fort York has the military cemetery; the CNE hosts the Fort Rouille Monument.
  • The Long Branch Cenotaph is at Long Branch and Park Ave., just north from the lake.
  • Another option is to attend the service at Old City Hall, then wander through both Queen’s Park and south on University Ave. to see the many monuments. Take some time to reflect on the number that either glorify military victories or mourn the lives lost in battle.
Official Reference Links for 2013 Remembrance Day in Toronto

The official City of Toronto 2013 Remembrance Day Ceremonies page includes links to maps for each venue.

The official 2013 Remembrance Day at the Metro Toronto Zoo page offers precious few details. I did find the Waterside Theatre on this map (PDF). The Waterside Theatre is west of the giant panda exhibit. Head north-north-east from the entrance, then turn right towards Australia/Asia and the Americas. However, you will find the Waterside Theatre long before you reach those locations; it’s opposite the Conservation Carousel Ride and the Education Centre and Gift Shop.

(Added Nov. 5, 2013): The official City of Toronto list of “Lest We Forget” memorials and cenotaphs has even more than I’d listed for “Toronto Beaches Remembrance Day Services”.

Setting a Tone for Remembrance Day

Robin Morrison’s “Remembrance Day and War Poems” is one person’s view of war. With family members who fought in World War II, the survivors’ stories and slain soldiers’ lost lives affected Morrison, who also personally “saw the devastation in Bosnia”. This Amazon Kindle book, available in Canada, may set one tone for us on Remembrance Day.

Looking for More Annual Events or a Holiday in Toronto Canada?

Remembrance Day is one of many annual events, although perhaps the most solemn. This blog often reports on fascinating, free or frugal annual autumn events in Toronto. Just click the “Toronto Events” category at the bottom of the right-hand column for recent articles on this topic. Thanks!

Disclaimer: DeHaan Services has no relationship to the organizer(s); I am not reimbursed for writing this article. However, DeHaan Services does write web site or advertising copy for clients. Our skills are demonstrated in online articles in Decoded Science, Decoded Pregnancy and my Fitness and Weight Control blog. That’s why DeHaan Services highlights these online articles on this site.

What about Remembrance Day Ceremonies in the GTA? What is Remembrance Day About?

Last year I covered both of these topics in “Parades or Ceremonies for Remembrance Day 2012 in the GTA“. (Updated Nov. 1, 2013): This year, “Commemorate Remembrance Day 2013 in the GTA” takes the tour of the Greater Toronto Area.

Thanks for reading where to attend a 2013 Remembrance Day ceremony in Toronto.

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