The Raptors parade is slowly making its way through downtown Toronto
How do you move an entire parade's worth of NBA superstars and the people who support them through two million frenzied, sweaty, uncontrollable sports fans?
Carefully, it would seem — and very, very slowly.
I think the buses are going to be stuck here a while. Lakeshore and york. Raptors parade. pic.twitter.com/YdrmAe5uc7— Jesse (@couragerepublic) June 17, 2019
The Toronto Raptors NBA Championship Parade is now well underway through the city's downtown core, but it's taking a lot longer to finish than anyone had predicted.
MAN ALIVE! This is York & Front Sts. at the #RaptorParade They keep trying to guesstimate how many people are in downtown Toronto right now. Here's my guess: all of them. #WeTheNorthDay pic.twitter.com/6Uk3PPdOq6— Joseph Motiki (@JosephMotiki) June 17, 2019
As many as two million people are estimated to have gathered along the parade route, making it tough for anyone to move anywhere by any means.
Pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and even police are finding themselves unable to navigate through the crowds bordering Strachan Ave., Lakeshore Blvd., York St., University Ave. and Queen Street West right now — as are the vehicles and buses in the parade.
A standstill downtown traffic jam is the most Toronto thing about this entire parade. #RaptorsParade— Palladium Drive (@PalladiumDrive) June 17, 2019
Naturally, traffic jokes abound.
The #RaptorsParade has travelled 5km in 3 and a half hours, which is actually pretty good going for traffic in this city.— Neth Knowles (@nethknowles) June 17, 2019
Things did kick off a touch late at Exhibition Place, with the first parade floats coming through the Princes' Gates around 10:30 a.m.
The procession was supposed to have arrived in its entirey at Nathan Phillips Square for a celebratory rally at 12:30 p.m.
As of 2 p.m., it's only now passing King Street on University.
Old City Hall is as far along Queen as I was willing to venture on my lunch break. It still took me 60 minutes to go 8 blocks. Young, old, men, women, children, all races and creeds. Everyone in #Toronto is very, very happy on #WeTheNorthDay. #RaptorsParade #Raptors #WeTheNorth pic.twitter.com/REmFTY8FE3— Geoff Micks (@faceintheblue) June 17, 2019
Crowds are growing impatient as the sun beats down, but the Raptors and their Global Brand Ambassador, Drake, remain in great spirits.
It may be taking a long, long time, but at least there's free champagne.
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