Metrolinx recognizes Remembrance Day with ceremony and honours Canadian Armed Forces members and veterans with free travel

Metrolinx marked Remembrance Day with a small ceremony at the Oshawa GO bus garage, once known as ‘Camp X’ – a former Second World War training facility. Put on hold by the pandemic, the long-standing tradition gives Metrolinx staff a chance to pay tribute to the sacrifices made by Canadian veterans. Plus, here’s information on free transit for veterans and companions on Nov. 11.

In honour of veterans and current members of the Canadian Armed Forces, Metrolinx is offering free rides on GO trains, buses and the UP Express tomorrow (Nov. 11) for current members, veterans, and a companion.

Metrolinx asks that veterans and current members of the Canadian military wear or carry something identifiable, such as a medal, beret, blazer, or uniform when travelling.  

Immediate family members of deceased veterans with service papers or an identification card to identify their relation to the late veteran may also ride for free. 

GO Transit special constable Rayaz Qazi stands at attention during a Remembrance Day ceremony in Oshawa
GO Transit special constable Rayaz Qazi stands at attention during a Remembrance Day ceremony in Oshawa. (Ross Andersen photo)

Remembrance Day ceremony

Metrolinx also paid tribute to Canadian veterans in its annual staff Remembrance Day ceremony held today (Nov. 10).

While the COVID-19 pandemic forced events to go virtual in 2020, this year the transit agency resumed its longstanding tradition with a staff ceremony at the Oshawa GO bus garage – what was once the site of a Canadian military training ground known as ‘Camp X’.

Before the pandemic, Metrolinx held an annual joint ceremony in Oshawa at the East GO Transit Bus facility.

What began as a small initiative nine years ago, now has become a longstanding tradition with colleagues reflecting on the sacrifices made by former and current members of service.

The service was held to recognize fallen uniformed members, as well as the overall sacrifice of those who stand up to protect Canadians.

The East Bus facility has a rich connection to Canada’s military history. The grounds were part of historic and top secret ‘Camp X’, a secret school and former military training ground to prepare soldiers for top missions during the Second World War.

Veterans stand at attention with flags in hand during Remembrance Day ceremony
To mark Remembrance Day, Metrolinx is offering free rides on GO trains, buses and the UP express on Nov. 11 for current Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans and a companion. (Ross Andersen photo)

Although capacity was limited due to COVID-19 safety measures in place, the solemn ceremony included a wreath laying, observing a moment of silence and several speeches from groups including the Oshawa chapter of the Royal Canadian Legion.

Oshawa Fire Chief Derrick Clark, Sgt. Greg Scruton Ontario Regiment and members of the Ontario Regiment Museum were among those in attendance during the ceremony.

This Royal Canadian Legion is also celebrating the poppy’s centennial’s anniversary after it was adopted as the symbol of remembrance in 1921.

A wreath laid at the base of a monument for Remembrance Day
The annual ceremony held at GO’s Oshawa bus garage includes a wreath laying, a moment of silence. and speeches. (Ross Andersen photo)

If you plan to use GO or UP services this Remembrance Day, help keep each other safe along the way. Metrolinx is taking every step to ensure rider safety is a top priority.

That includes mandatory masks – even if passengers are fully vaccinated. There are clear plastic barriers between seats on trains and busses, and hand sanitizer dispensers on vehicles and in stations.

And need help in planning a trip on GO Transit, even beyond Remembrance Day, then here’s the schedule.

By Ross Andersen, Metrolinx media relations senior advisor