Toronto is skipping work today to watch the Raptors Championship parade
We the North Day may not be a statutory holiday, but Torontonians are acting like it is.
The downtown core is already packed with Raptors fans setting up lawn chairs and giving out chips and dip for the championship parade, which is scheduled to start at 10 a.m.
Mayor John Tory clearly asked employers to let workers watch at least part of the historic parade today.
“I hope all employers in the city will be sufficiently encouraging their employees to take some time off to come to the parade because these kind of things don’t happen that often,” Tory said on Friday, the morning after the Raptors’ championship win.
Toronto Mayor John Tory is urging all employers in the city to allow employees to take some time off in order to come to the #TorontoRaptors victory parade on Monday.— CTV News (@CTVNews) June 14, 2019
Go here for more on the planned celebration: https://t.co/YG2YEaAr2z #WeTheNorth #NBAfinals #NBAChampion2019 pic.twitter.com/mfTWh2mv5t
As always, Tory wearing his black blazer with golden basketballs, told reporters at Nathan Phillip Square this morning,“I was hearing about a law firm where they had just given up. So many people were planning to go that they just gave up and said, ‘Well you should all go then,’ and they closed the office.”
He assured employers that any productivity lost today will be recovered. “They’ll work harder when they get back to work,” he promised.
To mark the Raptors’ championship win in the city’s history, Tory proclaimed June 17 as We the North Day.
I'm proud to proclaim Monday as #WeTheNorth Day in the @CityOfToronto. As we gather to celebrate the first NBA championship in @Raptors' history, I encourage everyone in our city to show our support, pride, love, and appreciation for this incredible team. #WeTheChampions pic.twitter.com/SvsVnOLGiy— John Tory (@JohnTory) June 16, 2019
Some Torontonians criticized him for scheduling the parade on a Monday and asked for today to be declared a national holiday so that the whole city can attend.
Thanks for scheduling a once in a lifetime event where only the unemployed and privileged can attend .... would have been nice to celebrate with my country 😭— Jameel McNeil (@27Jmoney27) June 17, 2019
Unless everyone in Toronto is taking a sick day, Tory’s words must have had an impact on employers because the MLSE is estimating that two million people will be attending the parade.
The parade will start at Exhibition Place, travel along Lakeshore Blvd. West, York St., University Ave and end off with a rally at Nathan Phillip Square at about 12:30 p.m.
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