Culture saw traffic drop during the Toronto Raptors parade

By: Lisa Coxon on June 24, 2019

Last Monday’s Toronto Raptors Championship parade was a once-in-a-lifetime event.

More than one million people took over the streets of downtown Toronto in celebration of the basketball team’s first NBA finals win in the franchise’s history.

Now, usually, Monday is a big web traffic day for For whatever reason, people seem to like using our website at the start of the week. Perhaps they’re just very productive on Monday, so they log on to compare financial products and save some money.

But this week, Toronto bucked the trend. When the Raptors parade made it to the podium at Nathan Phillips Square around 3 p.m. and we began hearing speeches from Toronto Mayor John Tory and Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, our site traffic dropped. A lot.

A 45% drop during the victory speech

The number of people in Toronto (those with an “M” postal code) starting quotes on our website dropped by as much as 45% between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. That’s never happened before.

While the decline was the biggest when everyone turned on their TVs to hear the speeches, it’s clear that the entire day was a write off for Toronto — and for comparing rates. Between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., we saw our Ontario web traffic drop by about 30%. The number of people starting quotes between these hours also decreased by about 33%.

The TTC told CP24 that it broke an all-time record for the number of trips taken on Monday: approximately 2.7 million trips were recorded, which is about 1.1 million more than an average Monday. (To put that into perspective, Monday’s parade saw more TTC trips than in 2002 when Pope John Paul II was here for World Youth Day, when only around 2 million trips were recorded.)

Nathan Phillips Square quickly filled to capacity on Monday, with City of Toronto officials estimating that more than 100,000 people were in or near the Square, where the celebration was expected to cap off.

The parade began at 10 a.m. at the Exhibition grounds and the Raptors were expected to arrive at Nathan Phillips Square around 12:30 p.m. But overcrowding caused the team to be delayed by a few hours. Our traffic made it clear a lot of people were more than happy to pay attention to the entire parade despite the longer run time.

So now we’re starting to wonder if Kawhi’s now-famous “aha, ha, ha, ha!” as he wrapped up his address to the crowd was actually directed at us for having suffered in productivity at the hands of the Raptors’ victory.

Probably not. But hey, even if it were, we’d still ask him to stay.