Toronto officials ready for Grey Cup victory parade

Harold Mah figured the Toronto Argonauts would win the Grey Cup more than two weeks ago.

“Once the Argos entered the playoffs, we were already in discussion about a parade,” Mah said.

He is the event support manager for the City of Toronto. For the most part, Mah said, plans for a Grey Cup parade have been organized for the past two weeks.

“After each game,” he said, “we had more meetings to the point where we met all morning (yesterday) to finalize the parade. But we had about 80 per cent of it ready last week.”

Mah said the city had to apply for a permit through the Toronto Police Service (TPS). Then, the City of Toronto lines up and works with other services necessary for the parade such as, medical services, EMS and solid waste services to clean up behind the parade.

Tens of thousands celebrated the victory of the Toronto Argonauts’ 100th anniversary Grey Cup win on Sunday. As many are expected to watch the Grey Cup Victory Parade beginning today at 11:30 a.m. The parade will travel along Wellington and Yonge Street and conclude at Nathan Phillips Square.

Sgt. Banpon of TPS said there are a few processes to go through to ensure traffic is re-routed smoothly and safely.

“We simply do what is called a rolling closure to assist the movement, which is done by traffic service personnel,” he said.

He said officers are placed at certain points along the route to keep things in order. TPS media services will also release updates to the public of the event, the delays, alternate routes, when the event is coming to a close and when roads re-open.

Toronto Transit Commission spokesperson Jessica Martin said the TTC has similar preparations planned.

“We also do what is called rolling closures,” Martin said. “Depending on how many people are participating, it may take five to 10 minutes to pass through an intersection. Buses and streetcars would be held until the parade is past.”

Martin added that the TTC has additional buses and other transportation resources on hand.

“The majority of our vehicles are out servicing the roadways during rush hours 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.,” she said. “But during midday some of those buses are sent to the bus division to be cleaned, so we have extra vehicles on hand in the case of events such as the parade.”

City event manager Mah has a pretty good idea where the largest concentrations of Grey Cup revelers will be.

“We look at the impact of the immediate area and we also look at where there will be lots of spectators,” he said. “The history of Bay Street is famous for the ticker tape parades because of the high buildings being popular for spectators.”