Toronto FC celebrated its weekend Major League Soccer Cup win over the Seattle Sounders with a downtown parade and rally with thousands of fans on Monday.
The parade began at Maple Leaf Square, outside the Air Canada Centre, at 11:45 a.m. The squad was then whisked along the parade route in double decker buses, accompanied by several groups of fans who made the trip by foot to Nathan Phillips Square.
Thousands of fans packed into the square to hear from the mayor, the team’s most prominent supporters and club players.
“Happy Reds Day everybody!” Tory shouted, before suggesting that the gathered crowd skip work for the rest of the day.
He congratulated the team ownership, staff and management, “and most of all, congratulations to the players who did us so proud on Saturday and throughout a great season.”
He added that he will keep the parade route map handy for when the team repeats as champions next year.
Captain Michael Bradley praised the team’s devoted fans.
“To lift the trophy in this city and to be able to give everybody a day like this, this is why every single one of us are here for,” Bradley said. “This is the best sports city in the world, this is the best city in the world. And we love you guys so much.”
On Sunday, Tory announced that Monday would be “Reds Day” in Toronto, with residents encouraged to wear FC’s colours.
“No team is more deserving,” he said in a statement on Twitter. “This is the perfect ending to a historic season.”
Toronto FC defeated Seattle 2-0 in an exhilarating win some 11 years in the making.
Toronto (20-5-9) was the best team during the regular season and set a record with 69 points — the most ever in MLS history.
Led by Bradley and forwards Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore, the Reds set franchise records for wins (20), goals scored (74), fewest goals allowed (37), shutouts (13), home wins (13), home points (42), road wins (seven) and road points (27).
Re-live Monday’s celebration by scrolling through our live blog: