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Toronto responds like a champion when celebration turns to chaos

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It was already a bit of a mess. There were so many people. The concrete city hall arches weren't secured, and some brave idiots clambered up and danced on top, with no fear of falling. The video and audio on the big screens in and around Nathan Phillips Square didn't work, so people stood shoulder to shoulder and baked in the sun and cheered other occasional dangerous climbing stunts, or fireworks, or purple and red flares. There wasn't enough water, and some people passed out and had to be dragged from the square. Cops couldn't get in; people had trouble getting out. God, they were patient in there.

Across town, the Toronto Raptors parade buses were sent down a route with no barriers, as narrow as a Tour de France ascent through a madding crowd. By the time they reached city hall, they were three hours late. They used to joke in this town — in other towns, more, making fun of the Leafs — Plan The Parade. Turns out it can be harder than it looks.

And then came the Raptors, the conquering heroes, a reward. The politicians showed up too, and Doug Ford was given the righteously vicious booing he deserved. The crowd roared for their guys, for the champs. So many people were there, full of collective joy and purpose. A group combined to lift people out of the crowd on the east side, onto a ramp: children, people in distress, two people in wheelchairs. They lifted them above their heads and the hot, bored........

© Peterborough Examiner