By RHYTHM SACHDEVA
Parents, teachers, and students of Kimberly Public School bid their beloved crossing guard, Lois Young, goodbye this week.
Young has been in service at the crosswalk of Swanwick Avenue and Main Street for more than 15 years, with three commemorative pins awarded from the city, and a lifetime of memories, to show for it.
A community celebration was held for her on the morning of Wednesday, June 19.
“We’ve been very lucky to have people like Lois around us,” said Lilian Hanson, the principal of Kimberley P.S.
She proudly pointed at Young’s pins, many of which she earned over years of work in the community, including volunteering with Meals on Wheels.
“I’ll miss the people and I’ll miss keeping them safe,” said Young.
“Safety is very important and the mandate for crossing guards shouldn’t only be limited to schools.”
Her goodbye party left lots of sad faces with many using every opportunity they could to thank her.
The tenants of nearby special needs community home visited, hoping to give Young a hug and say farewell.
One parent talked about how she’s always felt safer with Young around.
“Drivers have gotten worse and worse in the age of cellphones,” she said.
Proud of her successful career as a crossing guard, Young said she has no plans of slowing down.
“I’ll be searching out for some volunteer work. I’m not ready to give up just yet,” she said.
The current School Crossing Guard Program is run by Toronto Police Service (TPS) which will come to an end on Aug. 1, after which the City of Toronto officially takes over.