Friends, family and fellow police officers are part of a procession Wednesday morning towards the funeral of Const. Andrew Hong, the Toronto police officer killed in a shooting west of the city on September 12.
The motorcade left Kane-Jerrett Funeral Home in Thornhill just after 9:30 a.m. for the Toronto Convention Center in Etobicoke at noon. Police are restricting traffic along much of the route, which is featured at the bottom of this story.
Toronto police spokeswoman Stephanie Sayer said that although the Toronto Convention Center has a seating capacity of 6,000, they expect an “overflow” of mourners.
The service will include eulogies from Hong’s wife Jenny and daughter Mia, as well as tributes from Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Toronto Mayor John Tory, Toronto Police Chief , James Ramer, and Toronto Police Association President Jon Reid.
Hong, 48, died in what police described as a fatal and unprovoked “ambush” during his lunch break at a Tim Hortons in Mississauga last week.
He was one of two victims who died shortly after the shooting, with a third dying in hospital a few days later.
While the funeral is private, members of the public have been asked to sign a condolence book for Hong’s family and can watch the motorcade make their way to the funeral.
CBC Toronto will broadcast parts of the procession live in this story.
‘Larger than life’
A 22-year-old veteran, Hong has spent the past 19 years with Toronto Police Traffic Services working with a specialized motorcycle unit that provides security escorts to dignitaries like prime ministers and presidents.
He is survived by his wife, two teenagers, a boy and a girl, and his parents.
In the public statement the day after his death, the family described Hong as “a man of steel on the outside with a warm teddy bear personality on the inside.”
“His personality was larger than life,” said the Hong family, who also asked for privacy during this time.
“He was a prankster and got along with everyone. His absence left a gaping hole in the hearts of our family, the police family and everyone who knew and loved Andrew.”
A statement from the Hong family@TorontoPolice pic.twitter.com/wZlcrnZyIW
The procession will go through:
- Heading north on Yonge Street.
- Westbound on Hwy 407 ETR.
- Head south on Highway 27.
- Eastbound on Steeles Avenue.
- Heading south on Martin Grove Road.
Police say the public can view the procession from the 407 Freeway overpasses on Bathurst Street, Dufferin Street, Keele Street, Jane Street, Weston Road, Pine Valley Drive and Islington Avenue.
Road closures in place
Toronto police will be closing and implementing traffic control measures on these roads Wednesday morning:
- Martin Grove Road, from Dixon Road to Belfield Road, from 6:30 a.m.
- Martin Grove Road, from Dixon Road to Bethridge Boulevard, from 7:30 a.m.
- Belfield Road from 7:30 a.m.
- Limited or controlled access from Highway 27 to Martin Grove Road and Kipling Avenue to Martin Grove Road. According to the police, no one can cross Martin Grove Road from 7:30 a.m. until the end of the ceremony.
- East and west ramps on Highway 409 to Martin Grove Road, starting at 6:30 a.m.
- Westbound ramp on Highway 401 to Martin Grove Road, starting at 6:30 a.m.
Police say roads will reopen around 1 p.m.
Until then, police have mapped out two alternative routes for motorists.