Massive Raptors logo painted on turf at downtown park
A massive Raptors logo is shown at Canoe Landing Park on Friday.
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Friday, May 17, 2019 10:59AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 17, 2019 1:45PM EDT
A downtown park has gotten a Raptors-inspired makeover in advance of a pivotal Game 2 matchup in the Eastern Conference Finals.
A massive Raptors logo was painted onto the surface of the turf at Canoe Landing Park over the last few days and was officially unveiled on Friday morning as the team prepared to take on the Bucks in Milwaukee with the chance to tie their third round series at one game apiece.
“I am just happy that we are able to sort of send a really big signal of our support for this great team that has given us so much excitement all year,” Mayor John Tory told reporters after helping to fill in the final patch of the logo on Friday morning. “Hopefully this will be a boost when they are in Milwaukee and they can come home with the series tied and really take it to them (the Bucks) at the Scotiabank Arena starting on Sunday. “
Tory said that the logo is similar to one that parks and recreation staff painted in Canoe Park in October, 2015 for the Blue Jays playoff series against the Texas Rangers.
He said that he plans to send a photo of the logo to the mayor of Milwaukee later today to show him the level of support this city has for its Raptors.
“I think it will be something that will hopefully hearten our team, who did very well the other night but just didn’t quite get all the way to winning the game,” he said. “I am sure they will do well tonight, though, and we want them to know we are all behind them.”
Restaurants show support with ‘Ka'Wine and Dine’ promotion
The logo, which was painted with assistance from Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, is just one of several unique ways that the city is showcasing its support for the Raptors during this playoff run. .
Earlier this week one fan got a tattoo of Kawhi Leonard’s series-winning shot against the Philadelphia Sixers on his leg and now some restaurants are even offering the star small forward free food for life if he re-signs with the club this summer.
The ‘Ka’wine and Dine’ initiative, organized by the blog Raptors Republic, is encouraging restaurants and coffee shops to display a sticker in their window promising to feed Leonard for free for the rest of his life if he opts to remain with Toronto.
“It just a way for fans to show nontraditional appreciation to try to get him back here,” Louis Zatzman of Raptors Republic told CP24 on Friday. “If Kawhi Leonard comes back to Toronto next season regardless of what happens in the playoffs, anywhere that has signed up with the KaWine and Dine initiative, he can eat food there he can have drinks there whenever he wants.”
The stickers promoting the ‘Ka’wine and Dine’ initiative include a picture of Leonard’s face alongside the caption “Kawhi eats free here.”
So far a number of restaurants have signed up, including Rodney’s Oyster House on King Street West.
“He probably would be the last person that would need a free meal if he resigned here,” owner Eamon Clark told CP24 on Friday afternoon, referencing the estimated $190 million, five-year contract the Raptors are expected to offer. “But I think the city is buzzing from everything and I think a top level player like Kawhi, it would be lovely to have him stick around for year to come in the City of Toronto.”