Withrow Park tree lighting a harbinger of hope

Family, friends and neighbours crowded Withrow Park recently for the Riverdale holiday tree lighting.

The large tree not only lit up the park but also gave visitors the opportunity to experience a moment of hopefulness.

“It was such a nice reminder that the world has nice things in it,” said local resident Gary Lam.

“Every day I hear about such terrible things happening across the world and it is just refreshing to be able to experience an event where the atmosphere is just positive.”

The lighting attracted local politicians, including Toronto Mayor John Tory and Coun. Paula Fletcher.

Attendants were asked to bring non-perishable food to donate to a local food bank.

As the event came to an end with families gathering their children and neighbours saying their goodbyes, happy spirits  were palpable.

“It is so nice to be able to create memories with my kids,” said Kimberley Tremblay, mother of three.  “I hope they remember the feeling of love and community that we felt today.”