Keswick's newest street named after fallen York Regional Police officer
Garrett Styles Drive will eventually run from The Queensway to Woodbine Avenue
Sept. 30, 2021
When York Regional Police delivered flyers to Keswick residents, it was intended to warn them not to be too concerned when crowds of police descended on their neighbourhood late one night the following week.
After all, it was not some covert police operation; rather, a street naming ceremony and a candlelight vigil.
Those flyers turned out to be a rallying cry.
About 40 local families, including children, not only attended the service in solidarity, but also helped set up and clean up afterwards.
“It was really nice to see the community out and supporting us,” said York police’s Susan Gibbs, who helped organize the event.
Now Georgina residents will notice the newly minted Garrett Styles Drive sign, which runs off of The Queensway.
The street, which passes by Garrett Styles Park, currently only serves about five blocks.
However, after the adjoining subdivision is complete, it will run near the Styles’ family residence and all the way from The Queensway to Woodbine Avenue.
Styles is the York Regional Police officer who was killed in the line of duty in 2011 after a then Newmarket 15-year-old drove his minivan away from a “routine” traffic stop on Herald Road, in East Gwillimbury.
In the process, Styles was dragged by the van before the vehicle, carrying four teens, flipped and landed on top of him, killing him.
The driver, only known as S.K., is now paralyzed and in a wheelchair.
After years in court, he would eventually plead guilty to manslaughter and apologized to the family in February 2020.
At the candlelight ceremony, Styles’ widow, Melissa, told the crowd just how vital events like this were for her kin and the Styles’ legacy.
“Days like this are so important,” she said. “These kind, thoughtful gestures honour Garrett’s memory and mean so much to our family.”
Police Chief Jim MacSween reiterated how important it was that his name is never forgotten.
“Today is an opportunity for us to come together to share not only our pain for the people we have lost, but also to celebrate their memory,” said MacSween. “To remember that they are heroes in life, not in death.”
Tributes were also paid to other fallen officers from the force during the candlelight vigil, including constables Douglas Tribbling and William Grant, and Det. Const. Rob Plunkett.
Gibbs said the event was in conjunction with the Run and Ride to Remember.Gibbs explained how York officers raised thousands in donations for the Canadian Police and Peace Officer Memorial, Ontario Memorial Police Foundation and Camp F.A.C.E.S., which is for children and families who have lost a first responder.