Toronto celebrates hockey gold with big street party
Published Sunday, February 28, 2010 9:46PM EST
Though the puck dropped 3,500 kilometres away in Vancouver, thousands packed Yonge-Dundas Square and the rest of the downtown to celebrate Canada's gold medal hockey win Sunday night.
Yonge Street was shut down as the street was flooded with fanatics -- many of them wild with national pride.
The party came on the final day of the Olympics as Canada clinched its 14th gold medal of the Games -- a Winter Olympics record.
An hour before one of the biggest parties in recent history, Canada squeaked out a 3-2 win by a goal from Sidney Crosby in sudden death overtime at Canada Hockey Place in Vancouver.
The moment Crosby snuck his shot past red-hot U.S. goalie Ryan Miller, the nation collectively exhaled after a harrowing 60-plus minutes of elite hockey.
The win restores Canada to hockey glory after a depressing finish during the 2006 Turin Olympics.
CTV's Austin Delaney said that the impromptu party grew quickly after Crosby's big goal, with crowds chanting and partying in the streets.
Impromptu street hockey games also broke out on Canada's longest street after Yonge was shut down.
Wayne Gretzky's Bar in downtown was rammed for much of the day, and after the win, the vibe was euphoric.
People held up placards that trumpeted Canada's place atop of the hockey heap, and fans championed Crosby's clutch goal.
Calls of "In Sid we trust!" and "Sid for prime minister" were yelled out as the crowd roared through a raucous rendition of the national anthem.
Even as north as Eglinton Avenue, the street was packed with revellers. Police attempted to shut down the street but the crowd did it for them.
About 1,000 people crowded the intersection of Yonge and Eglinton, despite the fact that a few cars were still on the road.
There were reports of outdoor drinking, but it appeared that no major incidents occurred.