Employers take flexible approach to Raptors parade as huge numbers were headed downtown

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Fans celebrate during the 2019 Toronto Raptors Championship parade in Toronto on Monday, June 17, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

TORONTO:  The massive response to the Toronto Raptors NBA championship parade has led numerous major employers to take a more flexible approach to work Monday.

Sobeys Inc., an official partner of the Raptors, says it offered about 900 employees in the Greater Toronto Area a paid day off to watch the parade, while also hosting viewing parties for employees across the country.

Insurer Manulife Financial Corp. says it encouraged employees to celebrate the win and to attend the championship parade.

Many other employers say that while they haven’t set out an official policy, managers have been encouraged to give employees the day off when possible.

Some smaller employers elsewhere in Ontario say they’ve shut down for the day to travel to the parade, such as the Lotus & The Bee restaurant in Hamilton, Ont., and the Berford Street Bookstore & Bazaar in Wiarton, Ont.

Downtown Toronto was packed with huge numbers of people Monday as the basketball team celebrated its historic championship run.

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