Canada, North America

A Sea of Red and White

Last Sunday, Toronto got the chance to see what would be like if they ever won the Stanley Cup. (Not that they ever will).

For those who didn’t see it Canada beat the U.S. in the gold medal men’s hockey game. The game went into overtime and when our biggest national hockey hero, Sidney Crosby, scored the game winning goal, I swear you could hear the cries of joy across the entire country.

Within minutes people started spilling out into the street and cheering. As people left the pubs in pure joy, they were drawing people out of their homes who heard them cheering. I live on Toronto’s main street, Yonge, which is actually the longest street in the world, and out of my window I could see people walking past draped in Canadian flags and carrying signs that read “Go Canada Go.” Cars started honking their horns, and soon crowds began to form.

I stayed in my apartment long enough to watch the gold medal placed around the necks of each player on the Canadian team and then I put on every item of red and white clothing I could find, grabbed my stadium horn and headed outside. As I walked down Yonge Street towards Yonge and Dundas Square, Toronto’s main square, people I passed on the sidewalk kept giving me a high-five and greeting me with “We won,” “We’re number 1,” or “Go Canada!” People in their cars were hanging out their windows and waving flags, some even stopped to give high-five to the people walking on the sidewalk.

By the time I reached Yonge and Dundas, a crowd had already gathered in the middle of the intersection, blocking traffic. The cars waiting at the intersection didn’t seem to mind the delay and many had their heads and arms through their sunroofs. Everyone was wearing red and white and some entrepreneurs had already started selling flags and maple leaf stickers.

After about 10 minutes, the police arrived and started redirecting traffic as the crowd kept getting bigger. Finally, they decided to shut down Yonge Street and the real fun began. People started playing impromptu games of street hockey. Suddenly there were hockey sticks and nets and everyone got in the action. Each time one of the goalies made a save, the crowd erupted in “Luuuuuuuuu,” in reference to Canadian goaltender Roberto Luongo.

There were people from all different countries out on the street experiencing a typically Canadian moment. The festivities went on for most of the night.