01/11/2015 09:38 EST | Updated 03/13/2015 05:59 EDT

Montreal, Quebec City hold unity marches following Paris attacks

Thousands of Quebecers are expected to take part today in unity marches in Montreal and in Quebec City to honour the 17 victims of three days of bloodshed in Paris.

- TIMELINE | Key events in the Paris attacks

The Montreal demonstration, billed as an expression of unity and defiance, will begin at 11 a.m. at Place des Arts, on the corner of Jeanne-Mance Street and DeMaisonneuve Boulevard.

It will end in front of the French consulate at 1501 McGill College Ave., where participants will observe a moment of silence. 

Mayor Denis Coderre and Bruno Clerc, consul general of France in Montreal, are among those planning to attend.

In a statement, Coderre saluted the determination and courage of the French people and said their sadness is “shared by all Montrealers."

Premier Philippe Couillard will attend the vigil in Quebec City.

The march in the provincial capital will begin at 11 a.m. at the National Assembly and proceed along Saint-Jean Street to the French consulate at 25 Saint-Louis St.

Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver are also planning events.

Quebec, Canada send representatives to Paris

In Paris, hundreds of thousands of people are gathered at Place de la République, including Canada's Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney and dozens of other world leaders.

Michel Robitaille, Quebec's delegate-general in the French capital, will attend on behalf of the province.

Blaney told reporters he made the trip to show the support of Canadians for the French people, adding there is a deep bond between Canada and France.

“Canada and its allies will not be intimidated and will continue to stand firmly together against terrorists who would threaten the peace, freedom and democracy our countries so dearly value,” Blaney said in a statement.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve thanked Blaney for his attendance, pointing out that Canada was the site of two attacks on soldiers in October.

Today's tributes follow the shootings at the offices of the satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, the killing of a police woman in Montrouge, and the hostage-taking at a kosher supermarket at the Porte de Vincennes.