"It's with the presence of those women and all the women who were in engineering before us that we're able to study", she said after the ceremony.
The ceremony is held annually to commemorate 14 women who were murdered at Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal on December 6, 1989, as well as all Ontario women whose lives have been harmed or lost to gender-based violence.
"When I think back on that, I think it's just frightful", said Michele Thibodeau-Deguire, chair of the board of directors with École Polytechnique.
In Montreal, a wreath of white roses will be placed at the commemorative plaque at the school where the shooting occurred.
That includes awarding an annual scholarship to a female engineering student in memory of the victims, and by selling white roses to help fund a science camp for girls from underprivileged neighbourhoods.
This year, alongside the mayor of Montreal will be Sophie Grégoire Trudeau and Quebec's deputy premiere Dominique Anglade, who will be visiting for the memorial service.
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Vigils were also held across the country to mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women.
Between 5pm and 10pm, fourteen beams of light will illuminate the skies above Mount Royal, commemorating the women who were killed.
On this day in 1989, 14 women were shot and killed at Ecole Polytechnique by gunman Marc Lepine, 14 other people were injured in the attack.
"Even though it happened in Montreal 28 years ago, it's something that's still very much happening in society today", said Kendra Strong-Garcia from the YWCA.
"That day was a senseless act of violence which shocked the country and the world", said Trudeau.
Johb said the recent movement in Hollywood with actresses coming forward with allegations of abuse and harassment needs to be used as the first major step to end violence and abuse against women.