A community east of Montreal is mourning the loss of a two-year-old boy who died after going missing from his home on Friday.

Residents of Waterloo, Que. brought balloons and stuffed toys to a makeshift memorial where Dawson Lacroix was found unconscious in a water-filled ditch around 10:30 p.m. Friday night.

The toddler was taken to hospital and was pronounced dead an hour after he was found.

Dawson was reported missing by his parents earlier on Friday. Officers, K-9 units and police choppers were deployed to assist in the search. Dawson was missing for approximately five hours before he was found 15 to 30 metres from his home, officers said

During the search, Dawson’s mother told CTV News that her son had been playing in their yard while her husband cleaned his car.

"My husband lost him out of his sight and he came into the house to ask me if I had let him in and I hadn’t, so we immediately started searching and called the police," she said.

Police are investigating, and an autopsy will determine the exact cause of death.  Police will speak with parents when they are ready, but said right now they are "inconsolable."

Following news of Dawson’s death, Waterloo residents have been dropping off flowers, toys and balloons to honour the little boy at a memorial started by Dawson's grandfather.

Area resident Amanda McCallum told CTV News she felt compelled to come by and drop off a stuffed toy, with the hopes of providing some comfort to Dawson’s family.

"I'm just hoping that the family can find strength in everyone’s support," she said.

McCallum, who has a young child herself, said "it’s easy to imagine as a parent, what kind of a nightmare this is."

Family member Bruce Judge said Saturday that he had only spoken briefly to the family.

Judge called the incident "very unfortunate."

"I have two children of my own and I just can’t imagine that," he said.

With files from CTV Montreal’s Derek Conlon