Raptors parade 2019: Toronto goes off celebrating first National Basketball Association title

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Lowry was named to his fifth consecutive All-Star team in the 2018-19 season, averaging 14.2 points, 8.7 assists and 4.8 rebounds and battling through back issues to provide crucial contributions for his team.

Coach Nick Nurse was among the high-profile figures greeted by dozens of fans at Pearson. "Thank you Toronto, thank you Canada for the support, we did it", he said.

A bus carrying the Raptors was expected arrive at Nathan Phillips Square, which leads to Toronto's city hall.

Others huddled near pillars in Nathan Phillips Square even as the team and several dignitaries - including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau - remained on stage.

Toronto mayor John Tory proclaimed June 17, 2019, as "We The North" day to mark the occasion, borrowing the slogan used by the Raptors.

Monday caps off a historic championship run in which the Raptors became the first-ever team outside of the United States to win an National Basketball Association championship, meaning that it will be "the first time that the Larry O'Brien trophy will come north of the border to Canada".

"I haven't seen anything like this happen in the city before so it's great to be a part of it", said 28-year-old RJ Salvador.

By the time the parade commenced at 10 a.m., the streets of the downtown core were filled with fans sporting Raptors apparel, signs and cheers. That parade saw fans climbing trees and statues on city streets to catch a glimpse of a team that included Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar. It's the first time the Raptors have won it all and, with all due respect to the Toronto FC of the MLS, the biggest win in Canadian sports since the Blue Jays took the World Series in 1993.

When Lowry held out five fingers, the crowd started shouting "five more years".

It is unclear whether Leonard will re-up with the Raptors, with teams like the Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks long-reported to have interest in signing the two-time champion and two-time Finals MVP.

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