TORONTO – Ten people were killed after a van mounted a sidewalk along a busy street in north Toronto on Monday, ramming into pedestrians in its path. Here’s what we know so far about the victims:
Beutis Renuka Amarasingha
Amarasingha, 45, was an active member of Toronto’s Sri Lankan community. A monk at a Toronto Buddhist temple Amarasingha frequented said she was a single mother of a seven-year-old boy.
Ahangama Rathanasiri said Amarasingha attended regular services at the temple and brought cookies to Sunday school students every week.
The Toronto District School Board said she had worked as a nutrition services staff member for the board since 2015.
They said Amarasingha had just finished her first day of work at Earl Haig Secondary School when she was killed Monday.
Bradden, a 33-year-old from Woodbridge, Ont., worked as an account executive at the Toronto offices of Gartner, an international research and advisory company. A spokesman for Gartner said the company would not issue a statement at the family’s request.
According to local newspaper the Caledon Enterprise, however, a condolence blog post briefly shared to the company’s website prompted glowing tributes from her colleagues.
“Andrea’s joyful energy brought smiles, happiness and laughter to everyone who was privileged to work with her and call her a friend,” area vice-president Alex Falkingham reportedly wrote in the post. “She had an uncanny ability to make any room she walked into a more positive place, with laughter filling the room. When Andrea smiled, everyone smiled with her.”
Brady — a grandmother who was known as Gerry to her family and friends — sold Avon products for more than 45 years and was still going out to visit customers up until her death, her friend and fellow Avon salesperson Feanny Xu said.
They met about 14 years ago at a conference and later started working as a team, Xu said, adding she believed Brady, 83, was visiting customers in the area when she was killed.
“She was very honest and caring for others,” Xu said. “She is wonderful. It’s so sad.”
Xu heard from Brady’s son-in-law on Tuesday that the family believed she had died in the van attack. But Xu said she was still devastated when it was confirmed on Friday.
Anne Marie D’Amico
D’Amico, 30, worked at Invesco Canada, a U.S.-based investment firm with offices near the scene of the attack, and was remembered by those who knew her as a cheerful, friendly person.
Tennis Canada said D’Amico had volunteered at its marquis Rogers Cup tournament every summer since the age of 12, starting out as a “ball girl” and eventually heading its stadium control committee.
“She was a really friendly, warm person … always caring for other people ahead of herself,” said Gavin Ziv, vice-president of national events for Tennis Canada.
D’Amico had attended Ryerson University in Toronto and a fellow alum remembered her as an active student leader with top grades, a wide social circle and an indelible smile.
“Whether you kept in touch with her very closely or you didn’t talk to her for this past year, it just felt like you saw her smile yesterday,” Abdullah Snobar said.
The Loretto Alumnae Association said D’Amico was also a graduate of the Catholic all-girls high school.
Association president Maureen Harquail said D’Amico was one of two victims killed in the attack who attended Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School.
So He Chung
The Loretto Alumnae Association said Chung, 22, was the other alum of the school who died in the Toronto van attack.
“This was a tragic and senseless event that resulted in the loss of two bright, young Loretto Abbey graduates,” association president Maureen Harquail said in a statement. “We mourn their passing and will remember the impact that they had on us and on our community.”
Chung was also a student at the University of Toronto, the association said.
The university had confirmed one of its students was among the deceased, but did not release a name.
“We are deeply saddened that a member of our community has died as a result of this terrible incident,” university president Meric Gertler said in a written statement. “We mourn the loss of our student and want those affected to know that they have the support of the university.”
Mary Elizabeth (Betty) Forsyth
Forsyth, 94, was a resident of a Toronto Community Housing complex in the area where the van attack occurred. A neighbour said Forsyth’s nephew called her to say she had died.
Mary Hunt described Forsyth as a “lively person” who loved to feed the birds and squirrels on her regular walks through the neighbourhood.
“Everybody knew Betty because she used to walk in the morning to feed the animals,” she said.
“I will miss her,” the 84-year-old said of Forsyth, who had been her neighbour for more than 10 years.
Chul Min (Eddie) Kang
Kang, 45, who worked at the Copacabana Brazilian Steakhouse in downtown Toronto, was identified by co-workers as one of the victims.
Joao Barbosa wrote on Facebook that Kang’s “daily happiness” was being missed at the restaurant.
“It’s unbelievable that we lost you Eddie,” he wrote. “In our last encounter you called me ‘Amor mio’ smiling to me when I arrived at Copacabana … Rest in peace.”
Mailee Ly, another co-worker, remembered Kang as a warm, friendly presence at the restaurant.
“It hurts knowing I won’t be able to see your bright smile every weekend, or hear you say ‘Hi’ to everyone in your energetic voice,” she wrote on Facebook. “I don’t think you knew the touch and influence you had on everyone at Copa, simply because of your kind nature, and passion for cooking.”
Ji Hun Kim
Authorities said the 22-year-old was a student from South Korea who was studying in Toronto.
Munir Abdo Habib Najjar
Najjar, 85, was visiting his family in Toronto with his wife. He had only been in the country for a couple of weeks when the van attack took place, according to Harry Malawi, a family friend and president of the Jordanian Canadian Society.
The family is in the midst of a three-day mourning period, said Malawi.
“They are secluded right now and they ask everybody to accept their privacy,” he said. “We stand together, we want to help the family heal … physically, psychologically, emotionally and financially, they need all the help they can get.”
Sewell’s death was confirmed by her grandson, Elwood Delaney, of Kamloops, B.C.
Delaney described his 80-year-old grandmother as an avid sports fan who “almost had as much love for the Blue Jays and Leafs as she did for her family.”
“(She was) the best grandmother anyone could have asked for,” he said.