Toronto raptors parade

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.

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.

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.

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.

Lead photo by

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