I sat glued in front of my set from about 5:30 to 8:oo pm watching as the flame made its way down Yonge street and was struck by how compelling this actually was to watch. The relay runners carrying the torches almost brought tears to my eyes, as I watched as the touched torches and shook hands or hugged as the flame was passed on from one runner to the next. There was tears, there was joy and a lot of Canadian pride. The streets were lined with people shouting encouragement, I could not believe how many people were out along the route to show their support.
At one point the flame was blocked by protesters on Yonge street, just before it was supposed to make a stop at Sick Kids Hospital. There was some question as to whether a few idiots would ruin the spectacle for everyone else. After a few tense moments, the flames was extinguished, and the mother flame safely hidden in the camper van following the runners, was whisked away down a side street.
The relay reestablished in front of Sick Kids Hospital, where runners who had missed their opportunity to carry the flame on Yonge street were reassembled in time to parade it in front of the waiting kids, assembled in the main foyer. It was jammed with kids, some who had waited for more then 3 hours just to glimpse this flame. They were not disappointed.
By now everything was way behind schedule, but the crowds just kept getting bigger, and bigger, waiting for the flame to appear at city hall.
When the the flame eventually arrived at city hall to a crowd of thousands, it was met by this huge cheer. It was amazing to watch how this simple flame could bring so much joy, for those that carried it and even for those that simply watched it go by. It was a moment that seemed to bring this city together, and it left me feeling proud to be a Canadian.
My mom was driving along York Mills yesterday just as the relay went by them. My nephew David was able to snap a couple of shots with my mom's cell phone camera. Pretty good for a cell phone camera.
Thanks to my mom for the cool shots.