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Friends hold vigil for slain skateboarder

People light candles and leave flowers at a memorial site on King Street, near Jarvis, for Ralph Bissonnette, a skateboarder killed after being struck by a taxi at King and Jarvis Streets in Toronto on Monday. The vigil took place on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 around 6 p.m

matthew sherwood The Globe and Mail

Friends, co-workers and skateboarders gathered Wednesday evening to hold a vigil for Ralph Bissonnette, the man from Quebec who was on a long board when he was struck by a cab and killed earlier this week.

The group stood near the spot where he was killed, clasping their boards in front of them and lowering their heads for a moment of silence. They piled flowers on the sidewalk and affixed a white "ghost board" to a nearby tree in his memory.

Mr. Bissonnette's friends said he was a generous person who often went out of his way for others and always had a smile on his face.

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Some skaters expressed frustration at the limited options they have: They aren't allowed on Toronto's streets, but don't see sidewalks as safe or reasonable options.

"Quite often we get either shouldered off the road or we're slamming into cabs because they don't look, they're not checking for us," said Tyson Froese, a 37-year-old long boarder.

Quinn Gribben, a hostess at Brassaii restaurant, where Mr. Bissonnette once worked as a sous-chef, said he was gentle person and not at all aggressive. "He wanted to please everybody," she said.

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Parliamentary reporter

Kim Mackrael has been a reporter for The Globe and Mail since 2011. She joined the Ottawa bureau Sept. 2012. More

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