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Media Release

City to commemorate 50th anniversary of Air Canada Flight 621 crash in Brampton


​BRAMPTON, ON (June 25, 2020) – On Sunday, July 5 at 11 am, the City of Brampton will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the tragic Air Canada Flight 621 crash in East Brampton. The victims of this tragedy will be remembered in an online video ceremony and flags at all City of Brampton facilities will be at half-mast.

The ceremony will be made available at www.brampton.ca/bramptonremembers, and @CityBrampton on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.  

The community can share messages, memories and condolences in an online guestbook at www.brampton.ca/bramptonremembers.

Purple Lilac Memorial Park

To mark 50 years since the crash and pay tribute to the victims, Purple Lilac Park has been renamed Purple Lilac Memorial Park, located at the crash site, 72 Degrey Drive. Lilac trees bloom at the memorial site in the park, where 109 granite stones on the path honour each victim. A plaque on a large granite boulder lists the victims’ names. 

The City is in the process of designating the park as a cultural heritage resource under the Ontario Heritage Act. 

Background

On July 5, 1970, Air Canada Flight 621, a Douglas DC-8 aircraft, crashed into a farming field in the village of Castlemore, now Castlemore Road and McVean Drive. The aircraft was attempting to land at Toronto International Airport for a scheduled stopover from Montreal, en route to Los Angeles International Airport.

All 109 individuals on the flight, 100 passengers and nine crew members, perished. At the time of the crash, Air Canada Flight 621 was the second deadliest aviation crash in Canada. It remains one of the worst aviation crashes involving Canadians worldwide. Victims included Canadians from Montreal and Vancouver, and Americans. Forty-nine identified and three unidentified victims of Flight 621 are buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto. Not all of the victims of the crash were recovered.

To learn more about the Air Canada Flight 621 crash and the City’s commemoration, visit www.brampton.ca/bramptonremembers.    

Quotes

“Fifty years ago, Air Canada Flight 621 crashed in Brampton, changing the lives of many. This painful memory is a significant part of Brampton’s history. Given the strict physical distancing measures in place due to COVID-19, we cannot hold a commemoration in person at Purple Lilac Memorial Park. I ask that you join us on July 5 for an online memorial to honour the lives lost in this tragedy.”

- Patrick Brown, Mayor, City of Brampton

“The Air Canada Flight 621 crash is a tragic event that Brampton will never forget. Join us online on July 5 as we pay tribute to the lives lost and all those affected. I encourage you to visit the memorial at Purple Lilac Memorial Park on your own or with your family.”

- Pat Fortini, Regional Councillor, Wards 7 & 8, City of Brampton

“It has been 50 years since the tragic Air Canada Flight 621 crash, and Brampton remembers. While we cannot commemorate this event in person, Purple Lilac Memorial Park is a beautiful tribute to the victims. Please visit www.brampton.ca/bramptonremembers on July 5 to view the ceremonial video and sign the guestbook.”

- Charmaine Williams, City Councillor, Wards 7 & 8, City of Brampton

“We may not be able to gather in person to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Air Canada Flight 621 crash, but it is important we continue to remember this event. City staff have created an online hub to commemorate the crash, with a ceremonial video, a guestbook and more. The ceremonial video honours the lives lost, those who continue to be impacted by this tragic event, the first responders, families of the passengers and flight crew, and those living in the area at the time.”

- David Barrick, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Brampton
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As one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada, Brampton is home to 650,000 people and 70,000 businesses. People are at the heart of everything we do. We are energized by our diverse communities, we attract investment, and we are embarking on a journey to lead technological and environmental innovation. We partner for progress to build a healthy city that is safe, sustainable and successful. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Learn more at www.brampton.ca.

MEDIA CONTACT
Christine Sharma
Media Relations, City of Brampton
905.874.2880 | christine.sharma@brampton.ca