Prince Harry joined Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a private meeting prior to kicking off the official countdown to the 2017 Invictus Games on Monday.
Following their meeting, the pair were joined by Premier Kathleen Wynne, Toronto Mayor John Tory and members of the Canadian Invictus Team at the Fairmont Royal York for the official launch event. The Games are a sporting event for military personnel, and for the first time, will be hosted in the city next year.
During the event, the prince said he's been assured the 2017 games will be bigger than ever before. He went on to say the Toronto games will feature more sports and more competitors. Wynne's sentiments backed up those of the Prince, as she noted the province is committing $10 million dollars in support of the Games over the course of two years.
Recalling the moment he was pulled from active duty in Afghanistan in 2012, the 31-year-old Prince said that period of his life inspired his desire to do something for his fellow soldiers.
Prince Harry thanks Toronto for embracing the Invictus Spirit & looks forward to the biggest games yet in Sept 2017. pic.twitter.com/UmR2y2C6Cw
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 2, 2016
Describing the wounded warriors he had fought alongside, the Prince painted a picture of tragedy and suffering but said the sadness was pushed aside after he attended the Warrior Games in Colorado and witnessed his servicemen and women with smiles on their faces.
He went on to say during his Colorado trip he also witnessed the positive power of sport which ultimate led him to create the Invictus Games in 2014.
The Prince and Prime Minister are set to attend a sledge hockey game at Ryerson University's Mattamy Athletic Centre later in the day. The Prince, who arrived in Toronto late on Sunday will then spend an afternoon with Lt.-Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell before continuing on to Orlando for the start of the 2016 Invictus Games.