Ottawa city councillor Alex Cullen attends a vigil for former New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton on Parliament Hill in Ottawa August 22, 2012. Layton died on August 22, 2011.
Credits: REUTERS/BLAIR GABLE
Layton, who led the federal NDP to Official Opposition status for the first time in the party's history in May 2011, stepped down in late July of that year to tend to his health.
He died on Aug. 22.
A crowd shrouded in orange, with orange signs, orange flowers and orange soda -- the NDP's colour -- gathered on Parliament Hill Wednesday morning to pay tribute to the late leader.
"A year ago today we lost a pretty incredible human being and politician in Jack Layton, and I think the crowd showed that he is still remembered and people still want to come out and remember him and remember the legacy he left," said Mark Donoghue, one of the many people gathered to pay respects.
After a moment of silence, the Peace Tower carillon rang out "O Canada" and "'Imagine," one of Layton's favourite songs.
A makeshift memorial was set up on the steps leading to Parliament's Centre Block, where people laid their signs and flowers under a framed photo of Layton.
"I think his legacy is that we can be more caring, and that honest politics is possible and is very close to being real, and that people need that and people are looking for that, so I think it's an amazing thing that he was able to bring us together in the way that he did and still does," said another Layton supporter, Bradley Clements.