Thousands fill downtown Toronto streets for Grey Cup parade

Thousands gather at Nathan Phillips Sq. as the Argos Celebrate winning the 100th Grey Cup in Toronto November 27, 2012.



TORONTO -- The sky over downtown Toronto was relentlessly grey Tuesday, but bright colours filled the streets for the 100th anniversary Grey Cup celebration parade.

Thousands of office workers, school children playing hooky with their parents, retirees and out-of-town football fans came to see "The Boatmen" who scored the team's first home turf Grey Cup win in 60 years.

"This is one of the happiest days of my life," Diane Hagon, 56, a 1977 Argos cheerleader and SUNShine Girl, said at the championship party on Nathan Phillips Square.

"I've waited 35 years for this," she said as current cheerleaders waved blue-and-white pompoms.

"It's an incredible feeling to have all of this in our town," said retired Toronto Police officer Kelly Mohammed, a 44-year season ticket-holder.

An inflated Argos figure loomed over the square, where about 2,000 well-wishers greeted players who hoisted the iconic trophy.

Some fans had Canadian flags, others Argos flags, including 30 sold for $30 each by entrepreneur Nash Nawabit.

"We've been doing great for a couple of days," Nawabit said. "Everyone wants to show their support."

The parade was led by vintage police cruisers, kilted police pipers, bright red Toronto Fire vehicles, and the blue-coated Argonotes marching band.

Sloan Sobie, 9, who said "I like it" that he got a day off school to be with his dad Brian Sobie, 49, waved a large Argos foam finger as the players drove past in pickup trucks.

All were cheered, but defensive back Jalil Carter stood out from fellow players as he was shirtless despite the 2C temperature.

Lisa McCorquodale, 43, a Taylor Asset Management mutual funds investment counsellor, was clutching a new football thrown from a passing pickup.

"They threw it," she said, waving at the players, who waved back.

Wide-eyed while watching team members holding the bright silver Grey Cup, Stephanie Kuhn, 42, wife of team chaplain Herbie Kuhn, said "I can't believe we got so close."

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