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‘It’s a total grassroots thing’: Procession celebrates Canadian Olympians in Toronto

Toronto residents celebrated Canadian Olympic athletes on Sunday morning as a procession rolled through part of the east end.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said the city thanks the athletes for their inspiring performances at the Rio Olympic Games.

The athletes in the street process included swimmers Penny Oleksiak and Michelle Williams, sprinters Alicia Brown and Crystal Emmanuel, beach volleyball player Kristina Valjas and gymnast Rose Cossar.

“You are all heroes to us,” Tory told a cheering crowd in Kew Gardens. “I just want to be able to say how proud we are of you.”

“It’s so nice that we can do something like this that is a real community tribute to these young men and women,” Tory said.

Tory declared September 7, 2016 to be Toronto Olympian and Para-Olympian Day as a city tribute to the country’s athletes.

“The purpose of that is to have an official city salute on a day and we picked a day when the kids are back in school.”

Johanna Carlo, an organizer, said the procession gave local residents a chance to celebrate Team Canada athletes for their dedication and performance at the Rio Games.

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