If you thought your morning commute was tough before, imagine an additional one or two million people crammed onto the subway line on a Monday morning.
This is what to expect as Toronto gets set for the city’s first championship parade in decades.
The Raptors parade is expected to bring close to two million people to the city streets, according to Mike Bartlett, head of community affairs and events with Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment.
In order to execute what is expected to be the biggest party Toronto has ever seen, the parade was planned in concert with officials who organize the annual Santa Claus Parade.
— Toronto (@Toronto) June 15, 2019
MLSE has confirmed the Raptors players will be paraded on top of double-decker buses from Exhibition Place to Nathan Phillips Square.
Fans have already started camping out on site more than 24 hours before the parade in order to a secure a prime time spot for the festivities.
Morteza Hashimi and his friends are camping out in Nathan Phillips Square to get a prime spot for the Raptors celebration tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/66pLYdx2Gn
— Matthew Bingley (@mattybing) June 16, 2019
City of Toronto officials have urged fans to leave larger items at home to ensure as many fans as possible can fit into the square on Monday.
Fans had been camping out for days in Jurassic Park before games in the Finals, but the bulkier gear like barbecues, tents and mattresses won’t be permitted this time around.
We want everyone to enjoy the @Raptors rally at Nathan Phillips Square tomorrow, so please leave coolers, chairs, large bags and other large items at home. No tents will be permitted. Security staff will patrol the square overnight to ensure everyone is safe.
— Brad Ross (@bradrossTO) June 16, 2019
Even Toronto Mayor John Tory is getting in on the celebration, declaring Monday “We The North” day in honour of the Raptors.
We can only expect there will be a surge — or Serge — of people calling in sick tomorrow across the city.
I'm proud to proclaim Monday as #WeTheNorth Day in the @CityOfToronto. As we gather to celebrate the first NBA championship in @Raptors' history, I encourage everyone in our city to show our support, pride, love, and appreciation for this incredible team. #WeTheChampions pic.twitter.com/SvsVnOLGiy
— John Tory (@JohnTory) June 16, 2019
Road closures will begin at 6:00 AM, so using public transit, riding your bike or taking the heel-toe express are likely the best options to get downtown and enjoy the festivities.
Enjoy the parade, Toronto! It’s been a long time coming.
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