Rain, road closures and Raptors: Your guide to navigating Toronto during the NBA Finals

We are one game away, and thousands of fans will vie for the chance to stand shoulder-to-shoulder to scream, or cry, along with a tribe of like-minded people. Here is what you need if you're trying to join the crowds.

Here's a survival guide to keeping your sanity on the day of Game 5 of the NBA Finals

Toronto Raptors fans sing the Canadian national anthem outside the Scotiabank Arena, at what's dubbed "Jurassic Park." (Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press)

For the first time in its history, the Toronto Raptors are one win away from an NBA championship.

This is pay-off for the fans, who have been loyal, despite 24 years of heartbreak. For the band-wagoners (no judgment), it's a chance to celebrate a city so close to victory. 

Toronto police say they have plans in place to beef up security. 
"A celebration crowd will celebrate as they see fit, not as we see fit. This is going to be a unique challenge. The essence of Jurassic Park is fairly new," 52 Division Supt. Michael Barsky told CBC News.
Needless to say, it will be gruelling to navigate. In fact, people started lining up since Saturday
Toronto police and MLSE expect upwards of 10,000 fans to descend on downtown Toronto Monday night. (CBC)

Here is what you need to know. 

Rain, rain go away

If you plan to be outside at Jurassic Park, or one of the many other viewing parties popping up around the GTA, you may want to bring your rain gear.

Thunderstorms were in the forecast for this afternoon, with 10-15 millimetres of rain expected to fall throughout the day and into the evening. 

Environment Canada's Monday forecast showed a risk of thunderstorms from 2 p.m. all the way up to 8 in the evening. It's expected to be cloudy — but dry — after that. 

It was a mild 17 C for most of the day, but overnight temperatures fell to 10 C.

Jurassic Park

Toronto Police and Maple Leafs and Sports Entertainment expected more than 10,000 people to descend on the area. 

Here are the road closures for the area:

  •  7 a.m. on Monday, June 10 until 2 a.m. on Tuesday, June 11: 

 Maple Leaf Square — Bremner Boulevard from Lake Shore Boulevard West to York Street 

  • 9 a.m. on Monday, June 10 until 2 a.m. on Tuesday, June 11:

York Street between Lake Shore Boulevard West and Front Street West

Bremner Boulevard (between Lower Simcoe Street and York Street)

  • 5 p.m. on Monday, June 10 until 2 a.m. on Tuesday, June 11:

Bremner Boulevard from Lower Simcoe Street to Rees Street

That last closure — on Bremner from Lower Simcoe to Rees Street is a late addition meant to accommodate fans who won't be able to fit into Jurassic Park. 

GO Transit

The Union Station GO Bus Terminal closed starting at half-time. 

Buses that usually come through Union Station Bus Terminal will detour.

If you take Route 61, 65 or 71: All GO bus trips will begin and end at Hwy 407 Station. You may use your GO fare on TTC subway for travel between Hwy 407 Station and Union Station. 

If you take Route 21 or 31: All GO bus trips will begin and end at Port Credit GO. Please take the Lakeshore West train for travel between Port Credit and Union Station. 

If you take Route 16: This route will be suspended. If you are travelling from Hamilton to Union Station, take the Route 18 bus from Hamilton GO to Aldershot GO, and continue on the Lakeshore West train to Union Station. If you are travelling from Union Station to Hamilton, take the Lakeshore West GO train to Aldershot GO and continue on the Route 18 GO bus to Hamilton.

TTC Transit

The TTC had five extra trains and 25 buses available both before and after the game. 

The last trains will be headed northbound from Union Station on both the Yonge and University sides of Line 1 at 2:25 a.m. with connections available to Line 2 at Bloor-Young and St. George stations, and to Line 4 at Sheppard-Yonge Station.

There will be plenty of diversions in place given the increased traffic. And there will be no streetcar or bus service east and west between Bathurst Street and Church Street, and north and south between College Street and Lake Shore Boulevard. 

The following routes will start short turning at or near those intersections at the end of the third quarter of tonight's game:

  • 6 Bay
  • 72 Pape
  • 121 Fort York-Esplanade
  • 320 Yonge
  • 501 Queen
  • 504 King
  • 505 Dundas
The TTC's Blue Night Network will run all night as always. 

Fans travel from far and wide to witness NBA Finals

4 years ago
Duration 1:00
Oh, the places you'll go for the Raptors. Fans travelled from as far away as Australia and Hong Kong to witness Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
If Jurassic Park isn't up your alley, there are a number of satellite options to choose from. 
  • Ajax: Pat Bayly Square
  • Brampton: Garden Square
  • Burlington: Civic Square
  • Mississauga: Celebration Square
  • Pickering: Pickering Recreation Complex
  • Scarborough: Albert Campbell Square
  • Vaughan: Vaughan City Hall
  • Whitby: Whitby Civic Recreation Complex 

In addition, Cineplex theatres are offering free viewing parties at some locations: 

  • Cineplex Cinemas Courtney Park
  • Cineplex Cinemas Vaughan
  • Cineplex Cinemas Winston Churchill
  • Cineplex Odeon Ajax Cinemas
  • Cineplex Odeon Niagara Square Cinemas
  • Cineplex Odeon South Keys Cinemas
  • Cineplex Odeon Westmount Cinemas
  • Galaxy Cinemas Barrie
  • Galaxy Cinemas Guelph
  • Galaxy Cinemas Peterborough
  • Scotiabank Theatre Ottawa
  • SilverCity Burlington Cinemas
  • SilverCity Newmarket Cinemas
  • SilverCity Sudbury Cinemas
  • SilverCity Thunder Bay Cinemas
  • SilverCity Windsor Cinemas