Monday June 17, 2019 @ 10am
I had the opportunity to attend the Raptors Parade and I’m glad I did. It was a day to remember!
I took the subway to Union Station and walked along Front street over to York Street. I walked a bit north to see I could find a spot but the crowd was insane. I decided to walk south on York Street.
There were plenty of free spots under the bridge. I found one and stood for a while as it was getting close to 10am. I wanted to make sure I had a decent vantage point in order to take pictures. I took a few shots but made the though decision to move as it was dark and there were pillars blocking the view.
I walked further south down York and took pictures along the way. Some construction workers had stopped to watch on scaffolding and others stood on top of a pedestrian walkway. There were people in business wear from nearby offices along the route as well.
I stood for a while here taking in my surroundings. There were so many people waiting in anticipation for the parade to start. They were chatting with each other, most with smiles on their faces. I saw strangers greeting each other and sharing snacks. Adults letting children sit in front so they can see better and other random acts of kindness.
I walked along Bremmer Blvd to Lower Simcoe Street and down to Lakeshore Blvd. This is where I viewed the parade from. There weren’t very many people around at first. There seemed to be lots of space to view under the Gardiner Expressway bridge.
There was still quite a wait and I kept busy taking pictures of my surroundings. I was glad when some parade organizers come around and handed out bottles of water. It was warm and people had been waiting for hours at this point.
Finally, the police came and tried to have people move out of the road. I had a great spot but people pushed and moved around and I ended up a few “rows” back from the street. The fans did not want to move out of the way - everyone was too excited. I heard via text that the delay in the parade was due to crowds getting in the way of the parade vehicles. It’s too bad as barriers would have sped things up immensely.
I wasn’t able to get any decent shots of the people in cars such as Masai Ujiri. It was hard to see the marching band and other people walking along the route. The double decker busses were a great idea and we, the fans were able to see many of the Raptors. I wasn’t able to capture Kawhi Leonard and Fred VanVleet as they were facing the other side of the bus.
The parade was a great experience overall. I’m proud to be Torontonian! Here’s to a repeat in 2020! More pictures can be seen below.