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.”
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“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.
“It’s a total grassroots thing,” Carlo said Sunday. “We have a lot of history in the east end of nurturing talent.”
Residents wore red and white, waved Canadian flags and held up homemade signs in support of the athletes. They lined the streets to get a glimpse of the athletes as they passed by.
The procession left East Lynn Park, proceeded along Danforth Avenue to Woodbine Avenue, and travelled south on Woodbine Avenue to Queen Street East, along Queen Street. It then made its way to Kew Gardens Park, where residents lined up to get autographs from the athletes.