Toronto

Toronto to give Rush the key to the city, John Tory announces

Rush, the iconic Canadian rockers behind hits like Tom Sawyer, Closer to the Heart and YYZ, will be given a key to the city of Toronto, Mayor John Tory announced Thursday.

Iconic Canadian band to get key at opening of Willowdale park

Great news, Toronto Rush fans. The band is getting the key to the city this weekend. (Ethan Miller/Getty)

Rush, the iconic Canadian rockers behind hits like Tom Sawyer, Closer to the Heart and YYZ, will be given a key to the city of Toronto, Mayor John Tory announced Thursday.

Tory is set to present the key to the band members Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson on Saturday at 1 p.m. when the city opens the new Lee Lifeson Art Park in the Willowdale area. Neil Peart, the drummer behind those wild solos, will also be honoured but isn't expected to be at the event.

Both Lee and Lifeson grew up in Toronto and have maintained strong connections to the city.

"Rush has played a vital role in defining Toronto's musical identity and given so much to our city through their music, live performances and their generous support for charities," Tory said in a news release.

On Twitter, the mayor pointed out the group is a big supporter of food banks in the city.

Musically, the band has been together for some 40 years and sold millions of records worldwide. In 2013, Rush was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In February, Tory gave Drake — or Aubrey Graham — the key at the NBA All-Star festivities. The mayor also plans to give a key to Paul Beeston, the former president of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Previous bands to get the honour since 2000?

The Rolling Stones, Joni Mitchell, Blue Rodeo, Sharon, Lois and Bram, Barenaked Ladies and … Nickelback. 

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