It’s April 2017 and the city of Toronto is reeling from another winter of mixed messages – so hot and cold, one could begin to wonder about Mother Nature; she loves me, she loves me not? But not to be discouraged, Torontonians are eager for what comes next. That’s part of the deal, living in Toronto: endure the harshness of winter, then bask, indulge, and savour the summer months. Endure, then savour.
This coincidentally seems to mirror the lifecycle of the Toronto sports fan; essentially, what it has come to mean to be a citizen in this city. The Blue Jays are primed to continue their run of consecutive post-season appearances, a first since their 1993 pennant run. Respectively, the Raptors are also looking to at least eclipse last year’s success as Eastern Conference finalists. Toronto FC is returning to their home pitch, a mere few months after a tragic finals loss on the very same field last winter, obviously looking to do one better this year. And those Leafs, those ‘budding Leafs’ everyone was saying were a five-year project? They may have hit their growth spurt a little early, and Toronto’s not mad about that. But what does this all mean? For one, April is bringing with it a lot more than spring showers!
For the first time ever, the city of Toronto will be boasting teams across 4 major sports platforms that are not just a means of entertainment for the Toronto masses, but that are actually competitive. There’s never been a time in Toronto’s history where all of our teams have been worth their price of admission – we were once a city of the Leafs by winter and Jays by summer, both contenders (or so I’m told by my ancestors,) but neither the Raptors nor the TFC even existed yet (neither did I). Now, here we are, 20+ years later, and to be a sports fan, and to be a citizen of Toronto have become one in the same – it’s what it means to be the model Torontonian – the citizen.
To live here, is to live it, be a part of it all. From gathering as 2,000 strong to watch playoff games on a big screen outside of the Air Canada Centre (in any weather,) to marching down Blue Jays Way on Opening Day for the first pitch of the Jays’ season, to joining the Red Army of TFC in chants and cheers – it doesn’t matter where you’re from, or what indifferences one had growing up; sports in Toronto matter now, and we’re all a part of it.
And just as there has never been a time like the present for sports in this city (and it truly is a gift from the sports gods), there has also never been a place in the city built to watch sports in a time like this… until now. The Citizen was born as King West’s neighbourhood sports bar; built to withhold the passion of the die-hard Toronto sports fan; whatever their vice, with a cool interior design that welcomes even the most casual of sports fans (it’s okay if you only come for the drinks and food – we have a great Menu!).
Now, as the old saying goes, ‘April showers bring May flowers,’ The Citizen hopes for much more this spring. So, join us at The Citizen for the game, a drink, a bite, and the celebration, because we hope these April showers bring us more than just flowers this year, but memories to savour.
Marketing Manager – The Citizen