Monthly Archives: May 2018

Walking Yonge

I ventured up Yonge Street today and visited the two makeshift memorials which are still drawing a steady stream of visitors. Retracing last week’s trail of destruction I passed by two addresses where my forebears in this land had settled and farmed. The farmhouse of one of those properties continues as a museum, the Gibson House, where Peter Silas Gibson and his wife Eliza Jane Holmes raised their ten children. I learned the museum staff safely shepherded a class of young school children out immediately after last week’s attack without the children being aware of the danger. The museum staff and the teachers bore the stress in silence. It is people like that who make this city so wonderful.








The memorial at the south-east corner of Yonge and Finch, where yesterday the Prime Minister and Premier signed the guestbook, sits on what was once the corner of the farmland owned by my great-grandfather, David Gibson Holmes and his wife, Ellen Harriet Lanning. I couldn’t help but wonder what those farming ancestors would think if they could come back for a day and see what had unfolded on their street, but it was hard enough for me to make any sense of it.

Interestingly, Ellen Harriet Lanning’s parents, Charles Lanning and Harriet McEwan, are not only my great-great grandparents but also the great-grandparents of Canon Peter Walker who presided with me at the Churches on-the-Hill Prayer Vigil. Yet it was standing at the memorial with people of many races, religions, and languages, it dawned on me afresh, we are all related. The sooner that sinks in to our collective soul, the better off this world will be.