City of Pickering Asks Community to Contemplate Canada

Posted on Friday June 25, 2021

Pickering, ON, June 25, 2021 – The City of Pickering and Pickering Public Library extend their deepest sympathies to the Indigenous Peoples across Turtle Island and beyond on the identification of children’s remains at former Canadian residential school sites.

In response, Pickering has shifted direction and will not be holding a celebration event or any related activities on July 1.  Instead, it is asking residents to join Mayor, Council, and staff in focusing on education, reconciliation, and reflection. The City will also be flying the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation flag and will lower all City flags to half-mast from dusk on June 30 until dawn of July 2.

In lieu of Canada Day festivities, the City invites residents to Contemplate Canada, and learn more about our shared history, and ways to take meaningful action at

“Members of Pickering Council are shocked, angered, and deeply saddened by the identification of hundreds of children’s remains at former residential school sites.  We have reached out to our Indigenous leaders to offer our solidarity and support,” said Mayor Dave Ryan.  “We ask our community to Contemplate Canada.  While there are many aspects of our nation to be proud of, it is abundantly clear that there are many dark and disturbing injustices that need to be meaningfully addressed if we are truly sincere about truth and reconciliation.”

Here are some of the ways to learn more or participate in thoughtful actions:



  • Residents can come together to submit what they have learned about our shared history, messages of support, stories, or educational links at Pickering’s online community engagement platform:
  • Participate in the First Nations Public Library Ribbons of Hope Campaign by tying an orange ribbon on a tree at George Ashe Community Centre & Library, Esplanade Park, or at home to honour the residential school children.
  • In addition to lowering its flags, the City is taking part in the community’s Porch Light Memorial and is encouraging residents to leave on a porch, patio, or balcony light from dusk on June 30 until dawn of July 2 to commemorate the residential school children. City Hall will be illuminated in orange light, and lights at all of the City’s community facilities will also be left on.


As the gateway to the east GTA, Pickering (population 94,000) is strategically located where Toronto, York and Durham Regions meet. An award-winning municipality, Pickering is slated for significant economic and residential growth; offering an unparalleled quality of life for those who live, work, and play here. Its dynamic City Centre has been designated by the Province of Ontario as both an Urban Growth Centre and Mobility Hub, and continues to evolve as a preferred destination for creative learning, memorable events, and unique experiences at the heart of a vibrant, connected, and engaged community.


Media Contact:

Mark Guinto
Manager, Public Affairs & Corporate Communications | Office of the Mayor
905.420.4660 ext. 2013