Media Room

Media contact: Peige Desjarlais, hiroshimaday@gmail.com; tel 647-393-5626

Press releases from past years can be found on the "Proclamations and Statements" page, as well as in the archives.

Facts & Links

Making Peace in Toronto

In Toronto, individuals and organizations involved in peacebuilding have worked with Toronto City Council on peace measures since World War II.

Selected highlights from a timeline of City of Toronto Peace Actions & Proclamations, Click here for entire timeline document (pdf)

March 28, 1978.
City Council urges Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau and Parliament to oppose deployment of the neutron bomb by NATO and to ask President Jimmy Carter to stop its production.
May 7, 1982.
City Council votes to hold a referendum on worldwide nuclear disarmament in the November 8 Municipal election.
May 20, 1982.
City Council urges the federal government to urge the United Nations to declare 1983 a Year of Disarmament.
November 8, 1982.
78% of Torontonians who cast ballots in the municipal election vote yes to the following resolution: “Do you support nuclear disarmament by all nations on a gradual basis to the ultimate goal of a world free from nuclear weapons, and mandate your federal government to negotiate and implement with other governments steps which would lead to the earliest possible achievement of this goal?”
January 24, 1983.
City Council designates Toronto a Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone.
March 7, 1983.
City Council adopts the Inter-City Solidarity Programme proposed by the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and becomes a member of Mayors for Peace.
October 17, 1983.
City Council endorses the October 22 Against Cruise Testing (ACT) Toronto Disarmament Network demonstration against nuclear weapons.
December 12, 1983.
Toronto City Council approves the building of the Peace Garden on Nathan Phillips Square at a cost of $480,000 to commemorate the City’s 150th anniversary “by creating a lasting physical expression of our highest aspirations in our most public placeÖIn symbolizing peace and a love for mankind, it will represent our continuing struggle to avoid the devastation of war.”
March 5, 1984.
City Council hosts Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau turning the sod to initiate the construction of the Toronto Peace Garden.
July 16, 1984.
City Council endorses the Four-Continent Peace Initiative for the “freeze in the production and development of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems by the nuclear weapons states.”
September 14, 1984.
City Council hosts Pope John Paul II kindling the Peace Garden’s eternal flame with an ember from the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima and pouring water from Nagasaki in its pool.
October 2, 1984.
City Council hosts Queen Elizabeth II dedicating the Peace Garden as a lasting expression of Toronto’s commitment towards peace.
1985.
City Council supports the International Shadow Project sponsored by Performing Artists for Nuclear Disarmament, with thousands of participants in Toronto.
April 21, 1986.
City Council approves the formation of the City of Toronto International Year of Peace Committee and allocates $50,000 to the Committee from the 1986 Operating Budget. The Peace Committee elects co-chairs Steve Shallhorn and Jack Layton
November 13, 1986.
The Ontario Legislature declares Ontario a Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone.
1987.
United Nations designates Toronto a Peace Messenger City.
July 27, 1988.
City Council passes a motion condemning the federal government’s proposed purchase of nuclear submarines for $10 billion, believing that such expenditure would be irresponsible in the face of pressing municipal needs including housing, health promotion and infrastructure repair.
July 13 and 14, 1989.
City Council approves the establishment of a City of Toronto Peace Committee. Its mandate includes cooperating with and providing financial support to community groups in their initiatives to pursue peace, disarmament, common security, and the reduction of violence; providing advice to City Council on policies and issues relating to peace, disarmament and common security.
August 6, 2001 – 2002.
Mayor Mel Lastman proclaims “Hiroshima Day” in Toronto.
September 19, 2004.
Mayor David Miller Proclaims “Toronto Peace Day” as part of the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the Peace Garden on Nathan Phillips Square.
March 17, 2007.
Mayor David Miller proclaims “Abolish Nuclear Weapons Day.” Torontonians celebrate a quarter century as a Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone with a rally at the Toronto City Hall Peace Garden. Watch the video on YouTube

Click here for more on the City of Toronto peacebuilding efforts