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Andrea Bradden is remembered in communities across the GTA

The 33-year-old came from Woodbridge in Vaughan, went to high school in Caledon, and worked at a company with offices in Toronto.

April 30, 2018
Victoria Gibson


Andrea Bradden was one of three victims of last week’s devastating van crash on Yonge St. who made their home outside Toronto -- and with footprints left in different communities, the impact of her death is felt beyond the city’s borders.

“Caledon is at an all-time low,” said Allan Thompson, mayor of the town an hour north of Toronto where Bradden, 33, went to high school. She was Andrea Knafelc back then.

“I’ve gotta tell you, as a parent, my kids are about the same age,” Thompson said, sighing into the phone as he passed along a written statement to the Star that says he’s “respecting the family’s private grief.”

Maurizio Bevilacqua, mayor of Vaughan -- which includes Bradden’s more recent home in Woodbridge — wrote in a statement that communities across the world had been shaken by “this unthinkable act of violence.”

“The pain is felt even closer to home here in Vaughan,” Bevilacqua wrote. “Our city is mourning, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and loved ones of Ms. Bradden.”

And while her family requests privacy, Bradden’s life is remembered in small moments.

There was a day, only weeks ago, when she and colleague Hung Le Hong took a plane to a small mining town, an on-site analyst visit for their work at Gartner Canada. Bradden had turned up with coffee for both of them and a “sense of humour,” Hong wrote in a company tribute blog, later taken down.

When their flight was delayed, and the pair got to chatting, about a mutual love for dogs and “a family she loved very much.”

Then there were the early days at Gartner, when Jay-Jay Roboz, another colleague, had been her mentor: “She was full of energy, determined and eager,” Roboz wrote on the same blog.

And all the while, Bradden nestled into pockets of community -- a Slovenian Roman Catholic church in Etobicoke, or a cultural association for Slovenians in the GTA.

“Andrea, people from Simon Gregorčič club love you,” a message placed at the Olive Square Park memorial reads. The cultural association was named for the 19th century Slovene poet Simon Gregorčič. “Počivaj v miru,” their note signs off. The phrase, in Slovenian, means rest in peace.