Unity in the eye of the beholder.

It was June 17, 2019 and I rarely watch any television during the day but curiosity had me turn it on—and the wife and I were caught up in the most amazing event. Born in Toronto, we have always considered it to be our city. On this day we shared that ownership with several million other Torontonians—and many more millions of Canadians.

At the time I turned it on, the parade organizers were trying to figure out how to get the old double-decker buses safely through the thousands of people around the Princes’ Gate of the Canadian National Exhibition grounds—where the parade was supposed to have already passed through.

But this was a day of celebration and the basketball players on top of those buses were already partying. This was great fun. And where did all these people come from? Well, they had not seen anything yet.

Okay, we all know Toronto traffic is getting worse every day. Those buses took four hours to get to Toronto city hall. People were crowding into Nathan Phillips Square before the buses were out of the Ex. It got me worried as to whether the city had arranged for enough portable toilets. And how could the hot dog vendors arrange for more supplies?

We listened to hoop star Kawhi Leonard. We were awed by the uncountable crowds. We were proud. We were all basketball fans that day.

The funny thing is, my wife was the one who encouraged me to turn on the last couple games in the NBA championship series. I never was a basketball fan. I was always a bit chunky as a kid and I was built better for baseball and football. And we had only been to one Raptor game in downtown Toronto. Who can afford pro-sports tickets?

But I saw Canadian unity that day in June. We were all Raptor fans. We were all happy to boo premier Ford and cheer Toronto’s mayor and Canada’s prime minister. We could all agree as Canadians that having our basketball players beat all the American teams was great. Stick that in your hairdo Donald Trump!

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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