On Thursday, the world said goodbye to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. Many are mourning the loss of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II while also reflecting on the legacy she left behind.

Queen Elizabeth, who served as Canada’s Head of State, has a long and profound relationship with the City of Toronto.

According to the City, the Queen first came to Toronto in October 1951, when she was still a young Princess Elizabeth. She paid a visit to the city in place of her ailing father, King George VI.

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“During this visit, she and Prince Philip were greeted by excited crowds and experienced a quintessential Toronto tradition – watching a Leafs game at the storied Maple Leaf Gardens,” said the City of Toronto in a statement.

Her first visit as Canada’s official Head of State was in 1959 during a tour of Canada.

They attended the 100th running of the Queen’s Plate at Woodbine racetrack and toured Old City Hall.


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 Her Majesty returned to Toronto several more times throughout the years — in 1973, 1984 for Toronto’s 150th birthday, 1997, 2002, and 2010.

The Queen expressed interest in seeing the local neighbourhoods. Back in 1984, she visited Toronto’s Corso Italia, where 20,000 people greeted her.

She has also given back to local communities by granting royal patronage to many Toronto-based organizations, including the Toronto French School, the Canadian National Exhibition Association, and the Queen’s Plate.

Several of Toronto’s landmarks are named after the Queen, and the City has commemorated all of her major Jubilee milestones, including the most recent Platinum Jubilee this year.


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Queen Elizabeth II may not have been Canada’s Queen, but she will always hold a special place in our hearts thanks to our Commonwealth connection.

Starting today, Torontonians can pay their respects by signing the National Condolence Book opened by the Government of Canada, either online or in person at City Hall and the City’s Civic Centre.