Toronto

Where were you when the Raptors won?

The Raptors made history on Thursday night, and Raptors fans around the world took it in at all hours and in all kinds of unlikely places.

The Raps made history — and no fan will forget where they were when it happened

Naomi Akan, decked out in Raptors gear in her home near Boston, MA. "I kept saying to myself, 'have faith', and to the players, 'you got this boys!'" (Submitted by Naomi Akan)

It's a question that Canadian sports fans will be asking each other for decades to come.

Where were you when the Raptors won it all? 

If the callers into CBC's Here and Now Friday are any evidence ... the answers can be pretty offbeat. 

One woman was the only customer left at a Mexican restaurant ... and the server kept the place open so the two of them could watch the game. 

Another accidentally fell asleep after putting down his two young children for the night — only finding out that the team won when his wife told him hours later. 

A third woman, finding herself in a cabin without cable, was able to follow the game by listening to it thanks to someone who propped up their phone next to their TV. 

Farther afield, fans did what they had to to follow the action. 

Lindsay Van Dyk, on vacation in Hawaii, watched in a store in Maui.  

Edmonton's Mary Ann Haylalapit was on the side of a tennis court cheering on her husband (and peeking at her phone).

"While the Raps fight for the game of their lives, the tennis match we were watching was also intense, raising my stress levels to 1,000 per cent," she told CBC Toronto in an email. 

In the end, the tennis players agreed to try to wrap up their match as quickly as possible so people could rush to watch the final two minutes of the game. 

Even Canadian MPs will have a story to tell about the night when it happened. 

A group of them, working late on Parliament Hill, headed to the Speaker's lounge to watch Game 5 together on Monday. Unfortunately, the Raptors lost that night.

But the politicians did the same thing Thursday and put partisanship aside as they witnessed Canadian sports history being made.

"I was here with colleagues of all stripes," said Liberal MP Bardish Chagger on Friday morning.  

Here at home

In Toronto, there was honking, screaming and fireworks in the street and dancing and cheers inside bars and houses. 

The second the team won, 14-year-old Jaymin Lui-Smith started jumping up and down in his living room in Markham. 

"Champions! Champions!" he yelled, wearing a Marc Gasol T-shirt and running around the room.  

"Finally. Finally. Finally," his dad Tim said, before promising to buy Jaymin a cake and decorate it with "100 candles."

Grade 12 student Daniel Zhang certainly won't forget what he did — and didn't do — on Thursday night. 

Daniel Zhang says he decided not to go to his prom in order to watch the Raptors play Thursday night. (Samira Mohyeddin/CBC)

Zhang says he ditched his high school prom to watch the game in Jurassic Park, telling CBC that it was "100 per cent" an easy decision.

A caller to CBC's Metro Morning on Friday described watching the game at home in Scarborough with her husband in China on the phone. 

"My husband, who is... waiting to immigrate over to Canada, was watching at the same time with me. It showed him how amazing Canada is, how united we are, and how diverse we are," she said. 

At all hours, in all places

In Canton, Massachusetts, Naomi Akan spent the night in her living room, screaming and praying in turn. 

At the moment of the win, she turned on Drake's Started From the Bottom and started dancing.

"My neighbours probably hate me! Haaa," she wrote in an email to CBC Toronto.   

Across the world, in Podanur, India, Canadian Joy Brickell and her husband Jim woke up at 6 a.m. to watch the game.

Standing in her living room, Brickell says there was "too much excitement to stop to take a sip" from the cups of coffee sitting in front of them. 

The Raptors are live... in India. This was Joy Brickell's view early in the morning as she watched the Raptors duke it out with Golden State. (Joy Brickell )

Walton Armbrister, a Canadian living in Chiang Mai, Thailand, was also up early to see the game —and wouldn't risk a walk to the pub in case he missed any important moments.

"It was such a great feeling watching the game and I'm just still in shock," he said. 

Scores of other fans were following the action while travelling on planes, thanks to announcements from the crew or texts from family. 

In enemy territory 

Another legion of fans watched from the belly of the beast — Oakland, California.  

Dean and Erin Ostilly, Canadians living in the Bay Area, kept their voices "a little bit quiet" as they cheered on the team inside Oracle Arena.  

"It was tough wearing red and black in a sea of yellow, but it was really special to be there." said Dean.  

Dean and Erin Ostilly braved Oracle Arena for Game 6 to watch the Raptors win. "It was a tough place to be as a Raptors fan, but that crowd was amazing," said Dean. (CBC)

After the game, the specks of red spread out in the stadium gathered together to sing O Canada and chant, "We The North." 

"It was a really incredible moment when we were all together after the game," he said. 

Kingston, Ont.'s Sean Kamin-Patterson was at Oracle Arena as well after snagging a ticket through a contest.

"To witness history? There's no words to describe how amazing that is," he said. "I've been a Raptors fan since 1995, 24 years in the making." 

Kamin-Patterson says the arena was a "madhouse" — packed, deafeningly loud, and unforgettable. 

"The dynasty has ended. We dethroned the Golden State Warriors at Oracle. I watched it happen. Can't ask for anything better." 

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