Friends, family and members of Bradford West Gwillimbury council came together on Thursday evening for the unveiling of the memorial bench in honour of the late Bradford restaurater George Mavrakakis.
Mavrakakis was killed in a car crash on Holland Street in May, which has left a devastating impact on the whole community. Mavrakakis was the co-owner of the popular Pioneer restaurant in downtown Bradford, which he and his family had owned on and off for the past 40 years. The restaurant has since closed.
The town, together with friends and family agreed to have a bench installed at the parkette at 200 Holland Crt. in downtown Bradford in his memory.
"George had a big smile and a friendly manner with anyone who walked into the restaurant," said Mayor Rob Keffer. "So we are here tonight to unveil the plaque that we have for George."
Family friend Rhonda Emmel thanked those in attendance, noting the family has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support they have received since the loss of Mavrakakis.
"They are so appreciative of everything the town has done for them, they still very speechless," she said.
"This bench today is dedicated in his honour which for some of us will help us feel connected to him, what a mark he made on all of us and this town," said friend Tammy Smith. "We will love you always."
A song was played and flowers were then laid onto the bench, overtop the town flag.
After the song ended, the flag dropped, a sign, friends say from Mavrakakis, letting them know he is still with them in spirit.
"Thanks George," said Emmel.
The unveiling was live-streamed on Facebook for Mavrakakis's family in Greece, where Mavrakakis has been laid to rest.
"Greece may have George but Bradford has his memory," said Emmel. "Always in our hearts George."
The stream can be viewed here.