Mayor John Tory took to Twitter to praise homegrown rapper Drake for his unconditional support for Toronto and announced he will give him a key to the city on Friday.
The presentation will take place in front of thousands of fans at Ricoh Coliseum tomorrow as part of the NBA All-Star celebrity game that Drake is coaching.
"Drake is Toronto's biggest champion: in his music, his mentorship of local talent and his presence on the world stage. He makes people feel good about themselves and their city, and he has drawn the eyes of the world to Toronto. He deserves our city's recognition and our pride and I'm honoured to give him the Key to the City," said Mayor Tory in a statement released by the city.
The Mayor shared his love for Drake in a flurry of tweets Thursday afternoon, which included a video explanation.
Toronto must tell its stories. We must celebrate our talent & harness it for change. This isn’t swagger. It is key. pic.twitter.com/GZZXD0cg0r— @JohnTory
This is a man who could live anywhere, but calls Toronto home. He wants us to be proud of him. And we are. I am.— @JohnTory
This is a man who has achieved wild success, by any standard. And more than anything, he wants great things for Toronto.— @JohnTory
He talked about his desire to build our music scene, to inspire youth and help address the social issues felt across Toronto.— @JohnTory
He talked about wanting to contribute & for the city to see him as more than just a name – but a force of good.— @JohnTory
In our conversations, he told me how he feels about Toronto. He told me what it means to him to be from here, and the role he wants to play.— @JohnTory
I knew his name, I knew his face & I knew his music. And we wanted the chance to get to know one another, and talk about the city we love.— @JohnTory
I was lucky recently to spend time with a man who is well known in our city and around the world.— @JohnTory
Going to try a twitter essay. Start it from the bottom.— @JohnTory
This is the first time Mayor Tory will hand out a key to the city since he took office in December 2014.
Drake joins a long list of other prominent individuals who have received a key to the city, including Mike Myers, Muhammad Ali, Neil Young, Celine Dion, and The Rolling Stones.