It is no secret that the whole country is waiting for Monday night’s Raptors game with sweaty palms and baited-breath. As the Toronto team heads into Game 5 of the NBA Finals, currently with a 3-1 lead on rivals the Golden State Warriors, everything is still to play for.
As the city of Toronto prepares to potentially make history, as a non-US team has never won an NBA Final, the City of Toronto is also preparing for the pretty significant night at the Scotiabank Arena downtown. Issuing a notice on Sunday afternoon, the city has asked people in the city on Monday to plan ahead, as things are likely to get pretty crazy.
While the Raptors are not scheduled to begin playing until 9 PM on Monday evening, the city has warned that roads in downtown Toronto will be closed from as early as 7 AM. They are also encouraging members of the public, and people who work in the city who usually drive to consider using public transport, cycling or walking, as the traffic is undoubtedly expected to be a nightmare.
This is what Game 1 looked like in Toronto... 😱
The statement also said that Toronto City staff are working alongside Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), Toronto Police Service, TTC and other partners to coordinate crowd management plans for the game.
Road closures that have been put into place are as follows: Maple Leaf Square (Bremner Boulevard from Lake Shore Boulevard West to York Street) from 7 AM on Monday, June 10 until 2 AM on Tuesday, June 11.
York Street (between Lake Shore Boulevard West and Front Street West) and Bremner Boulevard (between Lower Simcoe Street and York Street) beginning as early as 9 AM on Monday, June 10 until 2 AM on Tuesday, June 11.
Bremner Boulevard from Lower Simcoe Street to Rees Street will be closed starting at 5 PM on Monday, June 10 until 2 AM on Tuesday, June 11.
To combat these closures, the TTC will have extra services in place to help commuters and fans get in and out of the downtown Toronto core. There will be five additional trains and 25 buses available both before and after the game.
The TTC's Blue Night Network, which is the city’s late-night bus and streetcar service that operates after the subway closes, will also run throughout the night and is a safe and reliable option for anyone traveling into the night.
Toronto Mayor John Tory encouraged fans to make use the TTC and to “keep cheering on our team responsibly.” He added, “I've been assured that Police, TTC, City staff and MLSE have plans in place that will keep the public safe and allow everyone to share in the fun."
The Toronto Police will be present across the city as the countdown to the game begins, and will be present to support Maple Leaf Sports (MLSE) and Entertainment in additional road closures or restrictions as necessary. They also added that MLSE will again place large viewing screens throughout the closure area, and police and security will be present.
The city ended their statement with the comment "On behalf of all Torontonians, the City of Toronto continues to wish the Raptors well in their playoff run. LET'S GO RAPTORS!"