1.5-million Fans Pack Downtown Toronto for Raptors Championship Parade

Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard points at his playoffs MVP trophy as he poses with performing artist Drake during the 2019 Toronto Raptors NBA basketball championship parade in Toronto, Monday, June 17, 2019. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard points at his playoffs MVP trophy as he poses with performing artist Drake during the 2019 Toronto Raptors NBA basketball championship parade in Toronto, Monday, June 17, 2019. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

Jubilant Raptors fans decked out in team gear are jamming downtown Toronto for a parade for the NBA champions.

Crowds packed the route and the square outside City Hall where the march is to end in the afternoon. Fans, many skipping school and work, filled the streets and subways as early as 7 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is to attend briefly. Mayor John Tory declared Monday “We The North Day” in Toronto, after the NBA champions’ slogan.

Some 1.5 million are expected to be at the parade. The Raptors are traveling in open-air double-decker buses with the NBA championship trophy.

Star guard Kyle Lowry, the team’s longest-serving member, said on Twitter: “Grandma I know you front row already!!”

The last time the city held a sports celebration of this magnitude was after the Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series in 1993.

SOURCE: AP