For the first time in history, the Toronto Raptors have won an NBA Championship. In a decisive Game 6, the scrappy Toronto team defeated defending champions the Golden State Warriors by 114-110 to take the series 4-2.
The Raptors’ historic run for this year’s NBA Championship galvanized Canada to the sport of basketball like no other time since the team’s inception in 1995. Viewing parties in Mississauga, Brampton, Halifax, Regina, Montreal and Vancouver sprouted up alongside the famed ‘Jurassic Park’ in downtown Toronto to watch history in the making.
Following the win on Thursday night (June 13), Raptors President Masai Ujiri announced that the team will return to Toronto on Monday, June 17 for a parade scheduled to start at 10 am at Exhibition Place’s Princes’ Gates, then head east on Lakeshore Boulevard before turning north onto York Street and University Avenue and finally heading east on Queen Street to Nathan Phillips Square.
The championship parade will feature open-air double decker buses carrying members of the team, along with the Larry O’Brien trophy.
When asked about security at Monday’s event, Police Chief Mark Saunders told CP24 that the police service has significant experience managing these types of celebrations.
“We are pretty good at it,” he said. “There are a lot of moving parts but we’ve done it so many times. Most of the citizens, just like last night, the vast, vast majority are so law-abiding and they are there for the right reason and we want them to enjoy this moment because it is a historic moment.”
The evening of the win saw some celebratory, not to mention somewhat rowdy behaviour, as various Raptors fans took to climbing construction scaffolding, lampposts, even destroying a Toronto Police cruiser at one point.
However, if everyone just followed some simple common sense, any negative situations adversely affecting the parade could be avoided. If you are planning to attend, here are some tips to stay safe so you can enjoy the festivities:
- Listen to police and security instructions; they are there to keep you safe.
- Depending on the weather, stay hydrated and don’t try to stand directly in the sun for too long.
- Leave your pets at home.
- Use the trash cans when you need to dispose of trash.
- Park legally.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Tag your bag with emergency contact information.
- Be respectful.
Photo courtesy of Toronto Raptors’ Facebook page