A message from President Lenton on the tragic incident in North York

York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton sends the following message:

We are deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic and senseless act of violence that took place Monday on Yonge Street in North York.

On behalf of all of us in the York University community, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of all those affected. As more details about the incident and the identities of victims are released, we may learn of members associated with our community who were involved. We will provide further updates to the community as they become available.

Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy, the victims and their families and friends, as well as all those who witnessed and responded to the scene.

We offer our thanks to the first responders, whose swift and professional actions saved lives and prevented further harm.

In the hours following the incident, Toronto Mayor John Tory spoke of our city’s spirit of unity and solidarity, and of the need to remain calm in the face of a tragedy of this magnitude. Toronto is one of the safest cities in the world, admired everywhere for our diverse, inclusive and welcoming community spirit.

We do not expect something like this to happen here, in our city.

Though we are deeply affected, we are not diminished. We will remain the safe, strong, resilient and inclusive city we have always been.

We continue to monitor the situation in order to be able to best support all members of our community. Dealing with the shock or anxiety of a traumatic event can challenge the health of our communities and our relationships at home and at work. A number of resources are available to community members, and details are provided below.

At this difficult time, I encourage you to reach out to your friends, families and colleagues for support, and to offer the same to those around you.

Resources for York University students

We encourage any York student needing assistance during this difficult time to connect with the following supportive services:

Student Counselling & Development provides a professional and supportive environment in which you can discuss any challenges you may be having dealing with Monday’s events. If you need access on an urgent basis, students can be seen within 20 minutes of a request. Non-urgent appointments can be booked for an initial consultation within one to two days.

If you would like to speak to someone about your thoughts and feelings outside of regular business hours, we suggest contacting Good2Talk, a free, confidential and anonymous 24-7-365 helpline providing professional counselling, information and referrals for mental health, addictions and well-being to post-secondary students in Ontario. You can contact Good2Talk at 1-866-925-5454.

You might also consider the WellTrack app, an interactive self-help tool available to all York students. WellTrack can help you assess your mood and practise positive self-care.

If you are an international student, feel free to reach out to York International at yiinfo@yorku.ca or 416-736-5177. You may also visit them in person at 200 York Lanes (second floor of York Lanes). The York International office is open from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m.

If you would feel more comfortable talking to someone in a language other than English, the Multilingual Distress Lines can help. They are open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. This service is offered through Spectra Community Support Services.

  • Mandarin and Cantonese: 416-920-0497
  • Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi: 905-459-7777 ext. 2
  • Spanish: 905-459-7777 ext. 3
  • Portuguese: 905-459-7777 ext. 4

Resources for York University staff and faculty

A number of resources are available to support the mental health and wellness of our staff and faculty members: mhw.info.yorku.ca/resources/resources-at-york/staff.

These include the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP), which is available to you and your families during this difficult time. The EFAP services are accessible 24-7, and include additional information and tips on coping with traumatic events.

Crisis Support Line now open

In addition, Morneau Shepell has launched a national crisis support line that is available to anyone in need of crisis counselling support and/or referral to community resources. The crisis line can be reached at: 1-844-751-2133.