Toronto mayor John Tory has declared today, June 17th, We The North Day as the Raptors take to the streets in a parade to celebrate their championship win against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.
Millions of people have poured into downtown Toronto to take part in the historic event. Some reports indicate that as many as 2 million people are currently crowding Toronto centre. That makes this crowd 3 times larger than that at Trump's presidential inauguration in 2017.
Toronto officials are now reporting overcrowding in certain areas. Earlier today, the municipal Twitter account urged people to avoid Nathan Phillip Square (in front of City Hall), which quickly reached capacity.
Please note: @npstoronto is at capacity. If you’re still on your way, consider celebrating our @Raptors at a nearby… https://t.co/9g3kBwGXvY— City of Toronto (@City of Toronto) 1560781250.0
The TTC is also closing stations that are surpassing their capacity. Crowded subway stations slow service and pose safety risks for passengers.
We have closed Osgoode, Queen and Dundas stations for safety due to overcrowding in the surrounding areas. Customer… https://t.co/d8Bq6kU54t— TTC Service Alerts (@TTC Service Alerts) 1560791880.0
The transit corportation has also had to cut power is some locations as parade-goers engage in "unsafe behaviour" and "climb TTC infrastructure."
504 King: We are cutting overhead power at Queen & University due to unsafe behaviour and people climbing #TTC infr… https://t.co/yf8LvWMa56— TTC Service Alerts (@TTC Service Alerts) 1560791914.0
On the surface, meanwhile, many social media users are pointing out poor event planning. "The organization for the Raptors victory parade is a disaster. They're not holding people back from the street [...] No crowd control. No room for the bus," wrote one Twitter user.
Pandemonium erupting near the princess gates as fans await the bus carrying their NBA Champions. Thunderous applaus… https://t.co/GCaUdTgMlU— Jason Miller (@Jason Miller) 1560779771.0
The buses carrying the Raptors team appear barely appear to cut through the crowds.
Raptors parade rolling through the 6ix on this beautiful Monday! #WeTheNorth https://t.co/XEbc95JjuD— Jess Szabo (@Jess Szabo) 1560794509.0
Sportsnet has posted several videos that offer bird's eye views of the enormous crowds pushing into the parade route.
.@Raptors fans as far as the eye can see 😍😍 #WeTheNorthDay | @Raptors https://t.co/xV9Krajggt— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) 1560792334.0
❌Standing room only❌ #WeTheNorthDay | @Raptors https://t.co/KwT5fDhYPp— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) 1560791847.0
Illegal activity appears to be limited to climbing on public property. But some Tweets indicate that first responders are on the scene in Nathan Phillips square in response to isolated medical incidents.
#WeTheNorthDay #WetheNorth #RaptorsParade https://t.co/hc0GHjWmbd— FilmApothecary (@FilmApothecary) 1560783414.0
A true Torontonian has climbed a pole at the Raptors parade dressed as a raccoon. https://t.co/uUnNS6U6pU— Sean Craig (@Sean Craig) 1560792376.0
People are going to riot at Nathan Phillips Square. No data. No water. No one on stage. Players are delayed. Had to… https://t.co/PFOBFvv6KR— nav (@nav) 1560795268.0
Crowds are at capacity at #nathanphillipssquare. The overcrowding is causing some to seek medical attention due to… https://t.co/A7AhwVpAwC— Carrie May-Bradshaw (@Carrie May-Bradshaw) 1560790655.0
Dehydration seems to be a major issue.
Toronto Police, Fire and Ambulance have set up a medical post in the intersection on Bay Street, South of Dundas an… https://t.co/8ylqhXnt3i— Toronto Police (@Toronto Police) 1560791921.0
Stay tuned for more news from the Raptors' victory parade in downtown Toronto.
This isn't the first time Raptors victory celebrations have perhaps gotten out of control. Watch the MTLBlog video below to see how Montrealers celebrated the Raptors win last week: