Toronto residents party at Grey Cup victory parade
Published Tuesday, November 27, 2012 10:06AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 27, 2012 2:17PM EST
Proud Toronto Argonauts fans took to the streets to celebrate their team’s win Tuesday and be part of the victory parade that wound its way through the city’s downtown core.
The Argos won their 16th Grey Cup on their home turf Sunday, earning a 35-22 win over the Calgary Stampeders. It was their first CFL championship victory since 2004.
The parade route which covered major downtown corridors, ended with a rally at Nathan Phillips Square just outside of Toronto City Hall.
The stars of the show, the Argos players themselves, were ferried along the route by a fleet of 28 pickup trucks and a convertible. Among the players was quarterback Ricky Ray, as well as running back and game MVP Chad Kackert.
Ray told CTV News Channel what a thrill it was for the Argos to win the coveted trophy in front of their own fans.
“What a special game to win,” he said from the rally. “It’s been a wonderful couple of days for us.”
Ray said that though the team had faced challenges earlier in the season, they stayed focused and remained “like a family” to win the cup.
At the rally, Mayor Rob Ford declared Nov. 27 “Toronto Argonauts Day.”
Ford, who was ousted from office following a judge’s decision in a conflict-of-interest case just one day earlier, appeared at the rally and took time to hoist the cup over his head.
While the gathered fans greeted him with both boos and cheers, he congratulated the winning team.
“Congratulations Argos. This is what you call a dream come true,” said Ford as blue and white confetti showered down over the crowd. “It’s my honour and privilege to proclaim today Toronto Argo day in celebration of the Grey Cup victory.”
Later Tuesday, when the sun goes down, the CN Tower will be illuminated in the Toronto Argonauts’ classic “double blue” colours, just as it was Sunday night when the Argos won the 100th Grey Cup.
The festivities come at a welcome time for Toronto sports fans. The city’s home teams, regardless of sport, appeared to be in the middle of a championship dry spell.
The Blue Jays have not won a baseball World Series since 1993, while the Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t brought home the Stanley Cup since 1967. Similar fates have befallen the Raptors and the Toronto FC.
More than 52,000 football fans had gathered at the Rogers Centre to see the sold-out Argos-Stamps match.