Everything you need to know about the Raptors' victory parade Monday
Toronto event ends with a lunchtime rally at Nathan Phillips Square
Toronto Raptors fans may still be celebrating — albeit quite sleepily — their team's first NBA championship, but they will have another chance to party on Monday during the official championship parade and rally.
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment announced Friday that the parade in Toronto will begin at 10 a.m. Monday at the Princes' Gates at Exhibition Place, and will finish at Nathan Phillips Square, where a rally will cap off the festivities.
"This means so much to our city and to many in Canada, and we are looking forward to showing everyone the Larry O'Brien Trophy on Monday," Raptors president Masai Ujiri said in a statement.
"Bringing the NBA championship to Toronto is the realization of a goal for our team and for our players, and we are thrilled to be able to celebrate together with our fans."
- You can watch CBC News Special: Raptors Championship Parade, hosted by The National's Adrienne Arsenault and CBC Toronto's Dwight Drummond, on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, on CBC Gem or via livestream on CBCNews.ca, on CBC Television and CBC News Network. The special will air from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford won't be marching in the parade. His office confirmed Ford will be celebrating, but he won't be a part of the official festivities.
"The Premier believes the parade is about the players and, more importantly, the fans who have supported the team during its historic run. He looks forward to joining the thousands of fans who will be in the streets on Monday to celebrate this momentous occasion," Ford's press secretary told CBC News.
The parade route and schedule:
- The parade will leave the Princes' Gates at 10 a.m. and head east on Lake Shore Boulevard.
- It will turn north on York Street and continue north on University Avenue.
- It will turn east on Queen Street to enter Nathan Phillips Square at 12:30 p.m.
The post-parade rally is scheduled to wrap up around 1:30 p.m.
Road closures will be in effect to accommodate the parade and rally. City staff are working with Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, Toronto police, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and GO Transit to co-ordinate full and rolling road closures and other plans. Lake Shore Boulevard West, York Street and University Avenue will be closed, but the exact timing has not been made clear.
Road closures confirmed so far include:
- Bay Street, which will be fully closed between Dundas Street and Richmond Street West, beginning Monday at 9 a.m.
- Queen Street West, which will be fully closed between Yonge Street and University Avenue, also beginning at 9 a.m.
- Chestnut and Elizabeth streets will be completely closed as early as 9 a.m.
- There will be restricted access to Armoury Street.
Public transit changes
The TTC is adding "additional resources" to get spectators around town, including extra staff and streetcars, as well as more frequent subway service. TTC routes that will be on diversion are:
- 5 Avenue Road.
- 6 Bay.
- 29 Dufferin.
- 121 Fort York-Esplanade.
- 501 Queen.
- 504 King.
- 509 Harbourfront.
- 510 Spadina.
- 511 Bathurst.
Meanwhile, passengers using GO Transit should know that the Union Station Bus Terminal will remain open and all routes will be running during the parade.
Viewing party planned
Members of the team and other dignitaries will be carried in open-air double-decker buses.
Fans who line the parade route or attend the rally are encouraged to wear Raptors gear.
MLSE also announced that a parade viewing party will be held at Coronation Park, 711 Lake Shore Boulevard West, to prevent congestion along the route.
"We are so proud of our Toronto Raptors and this history-making finals run," Mayor John Tory said in a statement. "On Monday, we get to come together as a city to celebrate the team.
"Everyone is working together to make sure the parade will be a great and memorable event. On behalf of the residents of Toronto, I want to congratulate and thank the players, coaches and the entire Toronto Raptors organization for bringing home our city's first NBA championship."