Huge crowds gather in downtown Toronto for Raptors parade, rally

Arnold Nichols
June 18, 2019

Rogers, 34, who has rooted for the Raptors since they entered the league 1995, was dressed in a jersey of Raptors guard Kyle Lowry.

The roaring sound of the Snowbirds was followed by the cheers of the massive crowd awaiting the arrival of the new National Basketball Association champions.

"As a longtime basketball and Raptors fan, I share the entire city's pride and excitement in watching the Raptors win the 2019 NBA Championship". The two-time Finals MVP will be a free agent this summer.

Current figures estimate that there are over two million people now downtown, which makes the Toronto Raptors parade larger than the population of the European country Slovenia.

"The Toronto Police Service has deep special event experience", she said. A child pulled over a barrier and onto a stretcher was among those evacuated. Police worked to stop more supporters from entering the square, which the city said was at capacity.

Parents with strollers tried to make their way into the dense crowd of fans, but some gave up.

"Two people have been arrested and two firearms recovered", Toronto police Const. David Hopkinson told CP24 by phone. Police took baseballs from fans to get them signed by team members as they passed.

The procession was expected to reach city hall at noon, but was slowed down by the massive crowds.

Some at Nathan Phillips Square appeared to grow impatient, chanting "bring the parade!"

Kawhi Leonard takes a selfie in front of the crowd in Toronto. The 24-year-old said he has the day off from work but would have pleaded with his managers had that not been the case. The ceremony then resumed just before 4 p.m.

According to USA Today, Ujiri is accused of pushing an officer twice and hitting him in the face after he was stopped from coming onto the court to join the Raptors' postgame celebration at the Golden State Warriors' Oracle Arena because he did not display a proper credential. That parade saw fans climbing trees and statues on city streets to catch a glimpse of a team that included Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar.

A staunch supporter and the team's global ambassador, Drake has been a fixture at every home game.

The rapper was with the team this weekend as they celebrated their historic win in Las Vegas. But luckily his miscue didn't cost the Raptors from being the first ever Canadian NBA champions, and Toronto finally got a parade.

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