For the first time in Grey Cup history, CFL fans carried the Grey Cup through the streets of downtown Toronto, escorting the trophy to the Rogers Centre, site of the championship game.

CFL commissioner Mark Cohon said the parade was meant to be a way to thank fans and he hopes that it will become a new tradition.

Hundreds gathered at Varsity Stadium, the starting point of the parade, all in the hopes of getting a chance to carry the cup.

Mounties, ex-CFL players and fans were all on hand to see the trophy off.

Ex-Ottawa Rough Rider Russ Jackson took a moment to address the crowd after carrying the trophy through the stadium.

“If you have not won the Grey Cup you can’t lift it over your head ok?” he joked.

Both Argos and Stamps fans were in attendance. Wearing their team colours, they sang songs in support of their teams and waved flags.

“We’ve been waiting for this and it’s just phenomenal that the Argos are in the Grey Cup,” said one Argos supporter.

As the parade began, joyous fans of all ages and allegiances joined in the festivities. Marching bands played tunes, while those marching cheered and clanged noise makers.

Several fans told CTV Toronto that there was a feeling of unity in the air.

“I’m from Calgary and I came here to definitely win. But there’s so much good feeling around folks here, it’s like we’re just Canadians,” said one Calgary fan, as he marched across Bloor Street.

Later, on Bloor Street, the crowd noisily sang the national anthem together.

The crowd made pit stops along the route, before the cup was brought on stage at the Front Street tailgate party. The large street party featured a number of free musical performances, tasty fare and beer tents.

Former Argo Doug Flutie was at the party and took time on stage to hoist the cup over his head as the crowd cheered.

The cup was eventually brought to Rogers Centre in time for the 6:30 p.m. kickoff. It will remain there until members of the Toronto Argos or the Calgary Stampeders win the 100th Grey Cup and hoist it over their heads.

With a report from CTV Toronto’s Ashley Rowe