Thousands expected to attend in person in Toronto
NDP Leader Jack Layton smiles during an interview with The Telegram in 2008. Layton died Monday at the age of 61. — File photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram
TORONTO — Thousands of people are expected to turn out this afternoon for Jack Layton’s state funeral at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall.
About 1,700 invited guests and a few hundred members of the public who lined up to get tickets will be inside the hall for the ceremony.
Four large video screens will be set up just west of the hall for the overflow crowd that’s expected.
Screens are also being readied at St. John's City Hall in the Foran Room for anyone interested in watching. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. The public funeral service is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.
Layton’s coffin will be brought to Roy Thomson Hall by a procession through downtown Toronto. It will be led by horse-mounted police, followed by pipe and drum bands and an honour guard.
Eulogies at the service are to be delivered by Stephen Lewis, Karl Belanger and Layton’s children Mike and Sarah.
In keeping with the NDP leader’s wishes, those in attendance will be asked to write down something they’ll do to make the world a better place.
Layton died Monday at the age of 61, just weeks after revealing he had been diagnosed with an unspecified cancer.
Hundreds of people lined up outside Toronto city hall on Friday to view his flag draped casket.
Many thousands said their farewells to Layton earlier this week as he lay in state on Parliament Hill.
—With files from The Telegram