WARMINGTON: Nothing beats Toronto when it’s buzzing with excitement


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Call it scoring a Toronto hat trick for Rianna Cassils 16th birthday.

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“It just doesn’t get any better,” said the Winnipeg teen, who was celebrating a dream weekend where she not only was at Saturday night’s Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens tilt but took in the Blue Jays and Raptors games too. “I am so glad to be here because it’s been planned for a while.”

Thankfully these plans did not have to be canceled like so many others have been thanks to COVID-19.

With her dad Dan and family members Jason Cassils, Travor Proctor and Travis Simonson, they flew in from the prairies to partake in Toronto’s long-awaited re-opening.

It’s so good to see tourists again, considering for most of the last two years a walk between the Scotiabank Arena and the Rogers Center was like walking through a ghost town.

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Not anymore.

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And certainly not on Saturday, when all sorts of people were able to take in both the Jays and the Leafs on the same day. The 3:07 pm first pitch for the Jays made it perfect for fans to be able to stroll over to catch the 7 pm puck drop to start the NHL’s most famous rivalry.

Of course, this was about a lot more than just hockey and baseball. This was about smiling and seeing smiles. It was about laughter and fun and positive energy.

“The buzz is definitely back,” said Kevin Clarke, proudly wearing a Blue Jays cap on his head and Maple Leafs sweater in honor of the special day.

Kevin Clarke, of Cambridge, proudly wears a Toronto Blue Jays cap and Toronto Maple Leafs sweater on Saturday, April 9, 2022.
Kevin Clarke, of Cambridge, proudly wears a Toronto Blue Jays cap and Toronto Maple Leafs sweater on Saturday, April 9, 2022. Photo by Joe Warmington /Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network

He came in from the Cambridge area with pals Casey Davis, Rod Semper and Mike Warden for a day and evening they won’t ever forget.

“I haven’t been to downtown Toronto in two years,” said Semper. “It feels so good to be here.”

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Whether people had tickets for both games or one of them, or were just hanging around outside of both to soak up the atmosphere, this is the Toronto I love the most. No politics, no nasty comments, and one taking things too seriously.

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Just good old-fashioned fun at a time when the city and province need it. Hopefully it stays this way and there are no more lockdowns. Lord knows businesses in the city are hoping COVID-19 and the pandemic will soon be a thing of the past.

It was great to see everybody again — lots of moms and dads and kids of all ages enjoying freedom.

“It’s just a perfect day,” said Matthew Wagg, who came in with his kids Taylor, 8, and Morgan, soon to be 7, from Oshawa. “We are having so much fun.”

Matthew Wagg, of Oshawa, with his kids Taylor, 8, and Morgan, soon to be 7.
Matthew Wagg, of Oshawa, with his kids Taylor, 8, and Morgan, soon to be 7. Photo by Joe Warmington /Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network

Those kids will have those memories forever.

It was a Canadian sports fan’s dream for Rianna, who will have some serious bragging rights when she goes back to school Monday in Winnipeg and talks about her iconic Toronto trifecta.

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