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Updated: Mon, 09 Dec 2013 10:47:29 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Toronto police, public prepare to honour Const. John Zivcic



Toronto police Const. John Zivic died on Dec. 2, two days after he was critically injured in a collision that occurred while he was responding to a report of an impaired driver. The image above was taken at the time of his cadet-in-training graduation. Alexander Robertson/Toronto Police Service

Toronto police Const. John Zivic died on Dec. 2, two days after he was critically injured in a collision that occurred while he was responding to a report of an impaired driver. The image above was taken at the time of his cadet-in-training graduation. Alexander Robertson/Toronto Police Service

Toronto will honour the life of one of its officers today, a week after Const. John Zivcic today died in a tragic crash.

Zivcic, 34, was critically injured when his unmarked cruiser was involved in a collision at the intersection of Bloor Street West and Neilson Drive on Saturday, Nov 30.

The young officer died in hospital two days later, leaving his family, friends and fellow officers in mourning.

Zivcic worked in the city’s west-end 22 Division. He had been serving as a Toronto police officer for more than six years at the time of his death.

Later Monday morning, a memorial service is being held in the north building of the Toronto Congress Centre. It is set to begin at 11 a.m. and doors will open to the general public an hour before that.

For those heading to the Zivcic memorial service, there are several possible routes via public transit:

- From the Lawrence West subway station, passengers can catch the 58 Malton bus.

- From the Kipling subway station, passengers can board the 46 Martin Grove bus.

Funeral procession

Zivcic will also be honoured with a funeral procession in Toronto on Monday, which will occur ahead of the memorial service.

The funeral cortege will leave the Delmoro Funeral Home at 61 Beverly Hills Rd. and make its way to the Toronto Congress Centre along the following route:

- West along Wilson Avenue, through to Walsh Avenue and then on to Albion Road.

- Turning west on Elmhurst Drive.

- Turning south on Islington Avenue.

- Moving west on Rexdale Boulevard.

- Southbound on Martin Grove Road.

From a gathering point on Martin Grove Road, uniformed officers will march to the site of the memorial service.

There will also be officers lining both sides of the street, saluting Zivcic as the funeral cortege makes its way to the Toronto Congress Centre.

Fallen officer's brother speaks to Metro Morning

Zivcic's brother Tom, who will speak at Monday's memorial service, told CBC's Metro Morning host Matt Galloway that his brother became interested in police work early on.

"He was the type of kid that if he ever saw an ambulance, or a fire truck or a police car, if we was in the car, he'd force my mom to chase after them and find out where they were going. He had to know. It was something that fascinated him at a young age."

Tom Zivcic also said his family has taken some solace in news that donors have been found for his brother's heart and kidneys. It was not easy finding a recipient for the heart, Zivcic was a big man with a rare blood type, but one was found in the United States.

"We were all praying and hoping that some could would come out of this tragedy," he said.

Tom Zivcic was also thankful for the messages of support sent to his family, many from complete strangers. He recalled how many came great distances to attend Sunday's visitation, one a retired police officer from New Brunswick, another a woman who took a two-hour bus ride to attend.

"She paid her respects quickly then jumped on the bus and went back home again," he said.

Separate visitations for Zivcic are taking place later this week at the Bocchinfuso Funeral Home in Thorold, Ont., on Tuesday and Wednesday. A private funeral mass for family and friends will be held at St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Croatian Church in Welland, Ont.

Zivcic is the third Toronto officer to be killed on the job in the past 12 years.

Nearly three years ago, Sgt. Ryan Russell was run down by a stolen snowplow that he had been trying to stop. The 11-year officer was 35 years old when he died.

On Feb. 18, 2002, Const. Laura Ellis was driving to a call with her partner when they were involved in a traffic collision. She was rushed to hospital, where the 31-year-old officer was pronounced dead.  

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