Toronto gets up early to celebrate gold-medal victory

Team Canada's gold-medal game may have started early, but there were already a lot of people drinking beer in Toronto pubs by the time the puck dropped in Sochi on Sunday morning.

Beer, buzzer helmets all part of the fun as city revels in Team Canada’s achievement

Fans are seen celebrating in Toronto's Maple Leaf Square on Sunday after Team Canada scored its third goal against Sweden in the gold-medal final in Sochi. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

Sunday morning’s gold-medal game may have started early, but there were already a lot of people drinking beer in Toronto pubs by the time the puck dropped shortly after 7 a.m. ET.

Normally it wouldn’t be possible to sell liquor so early, but city councillors voted to let bars in most parts of the city sell booze as early as 6 a.m. for the final weekend of the Winter Olympics.

"You can’t have hockey without beer," said a hockey fan who spoke to CBC News after Canada walked away with a 3-0 win over Sweden.

At the Real Sports Bar & Grill in downtown Toronto, hundreds of people — most of whom dressed in red and white — gathered to watch Canada bring home the gold, including Mayor Rob Ford.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford kept a close eye on the action when he talked to CBC News during the gold-medal men's hockey game between Canada and Sweden on Sunday. (CBC)

Ford, who was wearing a Team Canada tie, said there were likely a lot of people who were feeling sleep-deprived in the city, but "this is what Toronto is all about … it’s great."

The mayor had predicted that Canada would beat Sweden by a score of 3-1, which turned out to be a fairly accurate call — though the Canadians actually managed to shut out their opponents.

The post-game party spilled out into the street, as fans sang O Canada together in Maple Leaf Square.

A similar celebration erupted at Yonge-Dundas square, as jubilant Team Canada fans waved Canadian flags and drank in the victory in Sochi.

Bret Coon told CBC News that he had made the trip down to Toronto from the Muskoka area.

Jared Hoo and Bret Coon made the trip to Toronto from the Muskoka region so they could watch and then celebrate Team Canada's victory in the gold-medal game against Sweden. (CBC)

"Everyone just loves this. You can tell everyone is just completely into this 100 per cent," said Coon, who was wearing a red hockey helmet with a Budweiser logo on it and a goal-buzzer light on the top.

"We were riding around in a taxi and everyone’s just screaming, the taxi drivers are all honking their horns and stuff. Like, [I] just love it," he said.

Jared Hoo, who also made the trip down to Toronto from cottage country, said it was his first time in the city during such a celebration.

Hoo was wearing a matching hockey helmet to Coon. Their distinctive headgear drew a lot of attention from their fellow hockey fans.

"We’ve probably taken 200 to 250 photos, and that’s not even the ones we don’t even know are being taken," he said.