Nearly two million people expected at Raptors championship parade

Ailish ForfarNHL Editor

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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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