TTC routes were diverted, downtown traffic was bumper-to-bumper, cars on the Gardiner halted, and fans rallied at Nathan Phillips Square starting the night before, all in anticipation of the day’s events. The birds-eye-view of the square was unreal.
The parade began at the Princes’ Gates at 11 Princes’ Boulevard at 10 am, proceeding along Lakeshore, York Street and University Avenue before finishing up at Nathan Phillips Square.
Due to a massive turnout, Nathan Phillips reached capacity well before the Raptors arrived, and fans were encouraged to watch the rally at Coronation Park, York, and Harbour Streets, Jurassic Park, St. Andrew Station, and Yonge-Dundas Square.
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While it was predicted that around two million people attended the festivities, Toronto’s Chief Communication Officer, Brad Ross, told Daily Hive he believed there was “conservatively, more than one million” attendees. Ross added that he believed there were about 100,000 fans at Nathan Phillips Square and within that vicinity alone.
And these estimates don’t even include the people watching from office or condo buildings.
If you’re keen to look back on a very different time in Toronto, here’s a recap of this day, last year: