by Isha Bhargava
During a review of the parade afterwards, Mayor John Tory argued that the city only had three days to plan an event of such magnitude. However, many crowd management experts weighed in and claimed that the city should’ve already been prepping for this victory once the Raptors became contenders in the NBA Finals. They say this victory did not just happen randomly and that the city could’ve had more contingency plans set in place.
City Officials expected a crowd of up to 2 million people, but they estimate that the actual number of attendees was much more than that. The lack of crowd control and barricades made it easy for fans to sneak in anywhere they wanted. Some were even climbing traffic lights just to get a decent view. The parade bus carrying the players was set to start its route at 10:00 a.m. and make its way to Nathan Phillips Square at 12:30 p.m. However, the bus could not move at times because of the crowd and eventually was delayed by three hours, reaching the square at around 3:30 p.m.
Fans were left waiting patiently in the sun without access to any food or water stations. Many of them complained of feeling exhausted . . Some had to be treated for sunstroke and dehydration. There were also extensive lineups just to use public washrooms. In some cases, the wait was two hours. Fans were encouraged to take public transit downtown. The TTC however was forced to shut down certain subway stations such as Queen, Osgoode, and Dundas stations. This announcement came at 12:30 p.m.when the TTC found crowds packed up to the street levels. This made it very difficult for fans to make their way downtown and to navigate their way through the city in order to get to the viewing locations on time.
This parade was intended to be a huge celebration for the city of Toronto however it was eventually disrupted by a shooting at Queen and Bay streets, which caused the crowd to flee the scene.