|Toronto's CN Tower will light up in orange in memory of Jack Layton. (QMI Agency Files)
TORONTO - The CN Tower and Niagara Falls will give Jack Layton a glowing orange tribute on Saturday, the day of his funeral.
The iconic tower and Horseshoe Falls will be lit in NDP orange to commemorate the passing of the federal leader and former Toronto city councillor, officials said Wednesday.
A Facebook group called "Let's Get the CN Tower orange on Saturday night to Remember Jack Layton" had more than 5,000 members by the time the decision was announced.
Gord McIvor, vice-president of the Canada Lands Corp., said lighting the tower in orange on the day of Layton's state funeral in Toronto seems appropriate.
McIvor stressed the CN Tower normally doesn't get involved in politics.
"Normally we would definitely not do this sort of thing," he said. "These are exceptional circumstances."
Layton died Monday after a battle with cancer.
In the days following his death, the Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) had received a number of requests to have the falls illuminated in the NDP's trademark colour.
The commission on Wednesday submitted the requests to the Niagara Falls Illumination Board, which operates and maintains the lighting system.
Board members approved the request and the falls will be illuminated in orange at a number of times throughout the night on Saturday, said NPC spokesman Tony Baldinelli.
An online campaign to have the lights turn orange was launched this week on Facebook. By Wednesday afternoon more than 60 people had "liked" the campaign's Facebook page.
Both the Horseshoe and American falls are often bathed in different colors to mark specific occasions, such as blue to raise awareness of prostate cancer or pink for breast cancer.
Flags are flying at half-mast at various locations across the province in honour of Layton.
The Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs issued a directive that flags at all Ontario government buildings will be flown at half-mast until Saturday when the federal leader is laid to rest in Toronto.
That includes Niagara's casinos.
"Flags at both properties will be lowered today until Saturday to honor the passing of Jack Layton," Greg Medulun, the casinos director of communications, said Wednesday.