A modern office building with an overhanging upper story. It makes interesting geometric shapes against a sunny sky.

Statement on the Attack in Toronto

To the members of the University of Toronto community:

Yesterday we received the heartbreaking news that one of our students has died as a result of the van attack in our city on Monday. Since then, we have been closely monitoring reports that other members of the U of T community were among those most directly affected in this terrible incident. We are continuing to gather information, and taking care to respect the privacy and wishes of all involved. In the days to come we will announce plans to honour the lost and injured.

I wanted to say at this time how deeply saddened we are, and how concerned we are for the victims of the attack and their families and friends. Many members of the University community are grieving, because of their personal connections to the individuals involved or to the neighbourhood in which this shocking event took place. The University is here to support you; if you need help, we encourage you to access the relevant services available on campus – such as those provided for students through the Health & Wellness Centre and for faculty and staff through the HR & Equity department. I would also like to thank the many staff members involved in providing these services and in helping us all to respond.

Toronto has a well-earned, global reputation as a place where people representing every kind of diversity are welcomed, respected, and cared for. This is a crucial source of our strength. As we have seen in recent days – from the outstanding professionalism of the first responders and healthcare providers to the generosity and compassion of countless fellow residents of our city – we have every reason to be confident that it will remain one of our defining characteristics.


Meric Gertler