Toronto, Glen. More than two million Canadians thronged the streets of downtown Toronto on Monday, to celebrate the coronation big team as champions Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA), one of the top leagues in North America made up 30 teams, 29 of which are headquartered in the United States.
Children, young boys, elderly, men and women, Canadian natives and immigrants from virtually every country in the world, they almost collapsed the city's transportation system from early in the morning en route to the triumph parade that began at 10:00 a.m. and ended at 4:30 in the afternoon with a ceremony in front of the Mayor of Toronto.
The plans were for the champion team to arrive at the center of the celebrations at 12:30 p.m., but nevertheless, the crowds along the route slowed down a delegation for three hours that raised the Larry O’Brien Championship cup from the second level of open-top tourist buses, greeted fans and celebrated winning Canada's first trophy since its inception in the league with champagne long ago 24 years.
The Raptors team was founded in 1995 as part of the NBA's expansion in Canada, along with the Vancouver Grizzlies, but the grizzlies moved to memphis, Tennessee, U.S, in the year 2001, so the Toronto Raptors are currently the only Canadian team in the league.
This position has contributed to the victory of the Raptors has captured the attention of the entire country from the moment they qualified for the playoffs and faced and beat the Oakland Warriors, California, U.S, to get the crown.
During all these games special spaces were created in the most important cities of the country called Jurassic Parks, where fans could come by the thousands to witness the games on giant screens, to later celebrate the victories or regret the defeats.
For the parade of triumph, many fans bet from the night before in the key places, while others left their homes very early wearing the typical Raptors jerseys, as well as with legends like "We The North" (We The North) o “The King in the North” (The king in the north), two slogans that have gone viral thanks to a previous ad campaign by the Toronto team that was later boosted by their resemblance to phrases used in the famous series Game of Thrones (Game of Thrones).
The buses of the collective service that went towards the center of the city, and particularly the metro system, they couldn't keep up with the crowd looking to celebrate their champions, while the streets traditionally congested by traffic on a Monday morning looked practically desolate in the heart of this city of almost three million inhabitants.
But the fans weren't just local, since caravans of fans came to the celebration from the surrounding cities, as well as other provinces, who have embraced the Toronto team's triumph as an event of national pride.
The square in front of the City Hall, which has a maximum capacity of 65 people and that was where the official ceremony was held, It was far exceeded to the point that the police authorities were placed in the surroundings to suggest to the attendees that they go to other nearby squares from where they could see the activity on giant screens. According to police estimates, around a million Canadians gathered in the square and its surroundings.
Both the players and managers of the Raptors and the NBA participated in the official ceremony, as well as the highest authorities of the country, including the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, and the mayor of Toronto, John Tory, who were cheered by the crowd when they entered the stage.
"What we saw here is that the country came together and that is what we celebrate", said Prime Minister Trudeau, while asking the players a favor: "We want to do it again next year".
Meanwhile, Mayor Tory handed the keys to the city to the champion team, He named a street with his name and declared that day as "Día de Nosotros El Norte", in Toronto (We The North Day).
The Premier of the province of Ontario was also present, Doug Ford, to whom the assistants booed loudly in protest of the strong cuts in social areas that he is implementing in the province since he was elected exactly one year ago.
It was a tremendous day full of joy, of energy, of patriotism and optimism of Canadian society as a whole, a peaceful and orderly demonstration typical of this society that celebrates the triumphs of its own in a big way, but that was nevertheless overshadowed by an incident that could well have happened to adults had it not been for the prompt and professional action of the security forces.
Very close to the main event, And when the players and dignitaries were in the middle of the speeches, apparently two groups of rival youths faced each other with a bullet in the middle of the crowd, which ran for refuge. However, the authorities immediately neutralized the antisocials, the assistants resumed their positions and the celebration continued in full steam. This is Toronto!