World Youth Day Toronto

World Youth Day Logo

Held in 2002

“WYD [World Youth Day] is bigger, better and far cheaper than the Olympics. WYD 2002 was Toronto’s finest hour.” — Father Raymond J. De Souza, July 26, 2012, National Post

World Youth Day 2002 (WYD2002) was a global Catholic and interfaith youth festival held July 23-July 28, 2002, in Toronto. World Youth Day is a celebration of faith begun by Pope John Paul II held on an international level every two to three years, and WYD2002 was the 10th such event. Although World Youth Day is designed for Catholics, it attracts and speaks to sizable numbers of youths from other faiths and denominations and was presented as a multi-faith celebration of young people from all over the world.

World Youth Day 2002 had the support of some 25,000 volunteers. Upwards of 100,000 pilgrims themselves spent three hours each on one of 750 service projects in the Toronto area.

Approximately 850,000 youths from all over the world attended the events in Toronto that July.

Dennis Mills was a central coordinator and federal liaison for World Youth Day 2002.

Among the many meetings with officials from various federal departments and agencies, provincial ministries, and City departments and commissions, the link below shows an example of how the Canada’s national public broadcaster was engaged in World Youth Day 2002. There were dozens of such meetings with various officials and agencies.

June 2001 Meeting of the Heritage Committee of the House of Commons unanimously agreeing to support World Youth Day 2002 and urge the CBC to consider coverage of the event as a priority project.

You are the salt of the earth … you are the light of the world” was the theme of Toronto’s World Youth Day 2002.

Estimated 800,000 people at Sunday Mass with the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, at Parc Downsview Park.