BARRIE, ONT. -- Joe Lugosi was moved to tears as people lined up along the sidewalk outside his Barrie home to celebrate his 90th birthday.

"We made up our mind that we had to do something special to wish Joe a happy birthday on his 90th birthday," said Bonnie Neely, Senior Wish Association director and treasurer.

Mr. Lugosi stood holding balloons with his voice trembling as he thanked everyone.

One 12-year-old boy even used the $10 his teacher gave him to demonstrate an act of kindness to provide cupcakes for the occasion.

Mr. Lugosi, who moved to Canada from Hungary 65 years ago, still loves to walk but doesn't have a lot of company, his neighbour revealed.

"We have to remember that seniors are a vital part, and they're still here with us," Neely said. "They need companionship."

The group respected all COVID-19 safety measures, wearing masks and keeping socially distanced.

For Mr. Lugosi, it was a heartwarming birthday. "I'm happy because in my life... I never had thought. Thank you very much. I love all of you," he said.