Mayor Tory to present Drake with key to the city Friday
Chris Herhalt, CP24.com
Published Thursday, February 11, 2016 3:57PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 11, 2016 5:55PM EST
Toronto Mayor John Tory will present rapper and global Raptors basketball ambassador Drake with a Key to the City on Friday night in front of thousands of the team’s fans, city officials say.
The presentation will take place as NBA All-Star weekend begins in the city, with the league’s top stars, legends from basketball’s past, media personalities and celebrities expected to attend the first-ever iteration of the event to take place outside the United States.
The presentation of the key will be Tory’s first since he took office in 2014.
“Drake is Toronto’s biggest champion: in his music, his mentorship of local talent, and his presence on the world stage,” Tory said in a news release on Thursday afternoon. “He makes people feel good about themselves and their city, and he has drawn the eyes of the world to Toronto. He deserves our city’s recognition and our pride and I’m honoured to give him the Key to the City.”
Drake’s work to familiarize the world with Toronto started in 2009, when he began October’s Very Own or OVO Fest, an annual music event that has played host to Stevie Wonder, Eminem, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lauryn Hill and Nicki Minaj.
In 2013, he was named the Toronto Raptor’s global ambassador, and is a frequent fixture on the courtside at the team’s home games.
Toronto Ward 40 councillor Norm Kelly, known to many online as Toronto's "Dad," said "Drizzy, you deserve it," when asked about the honour.
"Two million, seven hundred-thousand people have joined the mayor in extending this honour to you," Kelly said.
Other individuals who have received keys to the City of Toronto include Nelson Mandela, Margaret Atwood, Mike Myers, Celine Dion, The Rolling Stones, Tiger Woods, Jackie Chan and Muhammad Ali.