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Procession in east end Toronto to celebrate Canadian Olympic athletes

Toronto residents will be able to cheer on Canadian Olympic athletes on Sunday morning when a procession rolls through part of the east end.

Johanna Carlo, an organizer, said the procession will give 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 are encouraged to wear red and white, to bring Canadian flags and to hold up homemade signs to pay tribute to the athletes.

Toronto Mayor John Tory is expected to attend. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is expected to greet the athletes in a private location before the procession gets underway.

Organizers of the procession include the Danforth East Community Association, the Beach Village BIA board, Toronto councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon, Toronto MPP Arthur Potts and Toronto MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith.

All Canadian Olympic athletes have been invited to join the procession, including swimmer Penny Oleksiak and sprinter Andre De Grasse. Former Olympians are also expected to take part.

Oleksiak, 16, a student at Monarch Park Collegiate, won four medals at Rio, while De Grasse, 21, from Markham, Ont., won three medals.

The procession will leave East Lynn Park at 11 a.m., proceed along at Danforth Avenue to Woodbine Avenue, and travel south on Woodbine Avenue to Queen Street East, along Queen Street, to end at Kew Gardens Park.

Carlo said the procession will include vehicles carrying Olympic athletes. 

Sgt. Marc Herman, of Toronto Police Service’s 55 Division, said no roads are being closed for the procession but it will be escorted by police.

At Kew Gardens, there will be a formal presentation with music from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. 

CBC | Toronto News