Scenes from the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Ottawa

Thousands of people gathered in downtown Ottawa Thursday to mark the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The day was made a federal statutory holiday earlier this year, one of the 94 calls to action issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Many who took part came clad in orange to mark Orange Shirt Day, also held on Sept. 30. It remembers the story of Phyllis Webstad, who had her orange shirt taken away on her first day at residential school.

After a morning of ceremonies on Parliament Hill, people made their way through downtown to Confederation Park for an afternoon of speeches from residential school survivors, cultural activities and food.

Events were also held across the city, including at Beechwood Cemetery and on the site of The Ottawa Hospital's future expansion.