Sherry Giles brought her two kids, Carson, 7, and Hayley, 9, with her
today. "I think a lot of what Jack stood is what I want to teach my
children," said Giles. Plus, she thinks this is a moment in history her
children will appreciate later in life. Already Carson seems to
understand the impact. "I think he was an important man," said Carson.
Lucy Lopez of CBC News reported the following on the 10 a.m. ET newscast on CBC Radio One:
Just moments ago, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford came out from the private visitation at City Hall. He stopped to talk with reporters and spoke about the need for politicians to respect each other. He offered his condolences to the Layton family. Ford also walked around Nathan Phillips Square and read many of the tribute messages left to Layton.
In line, strangers are chatting about their own experiences losing loved ones to cancer. Joanna Atkinson said she lost four relatives in 18 months. "When I saw (Layton's) interview in mid-July, ... it was apparent to me," she says. Strangers nearby nod in agreement. The collective cancer experience.
Annelien Van Velzen and her adult daughter, Lina, have a special reason for coming today. Annelien's husband died of cancer at 62, loved biking and had an uncanny resemblance to Layton. "So we're here for two people," says Lina. "Nothing could keep us away from here today," adds Annelien.
The line outside city hall is growing by the minute. Jack Layton's wife, Olivia Chow, is making her way along the line talking to people. She is expected to address the crowd soon.
People have been waiting hours outside to get in and pay their respects, with some lining up as early as 5 a.m. Some of them have bicycles, Layton's preferred mode of transportation.
Many of the people in the crowd are sharing stories and even photographs of Layton. Some are writing messages in chalk in memory of Layton, while others are leaving flowers and photographs in Nathan Phillips Square.
A man just asked me for directions to Toronto City Hall. He needed to use their services. Perhaps not the best day.
Teary moments as Olivia speaks to the crowd.
The CBC will have extensive coverage of the state funeral for Layton tomorrow. CBC News chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge will host a live special on CBC Television, CBC News Network and streaming on CBCNews.ca, beginning at 1 p.m. ET with the procession through the streets of Toronto from city hall to Roy Thomson Hall. Alison Smith, Michael Enright and Chris Hall will lead live coverage on CBC Radio One beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET. Coverage will be available through CBC News' mobile site and apps, and on-demand as well at CBCNews.ca.
Susan Johnson on what it meant for her that Olivia Chow came to speak with visitors: "She's taking time out of her own grief to connect with the people, which continues on with Jack's message of being for the people."
German tourists stop to take pictures of the chalk memorial. "It's wonderful," they say before running to catch their bus.
Valerie Shearman, a singer and community leader, says she jammed with Layton in the past. So she decided to come here with a few kids to sing a song that Jack loved: This land is your land. "He was a musician at heart," she says.
"Another Jack," Jack Murphy, smiles when asked what it was like to see Layton's coffin: "Respectful, calm, quiet, fitting." On why he came: "Me being here and showing respect will hopefully influence other politicians to be like him." He was one of the first 20 in line -- a group that got to know each other. "You let down the curtains at a time like this and you talk about real stuff."
CBC reporter Lucy Lopez had an interesting story on Radio One’s 11 a.m. news cast. Patrica Martinez, a mother of an autistic child, had left Layton a phone message about funding for special needs children. Martinez did not expect a call back, but Layton ended up coming to her house to speak with her in person about the issue. Touched by that gesture, the woman was motivated to come to City Hall today and pay her respects.