The Raptors’ Rise Focuses Canadians on a Different Net

The Raptors’ Rise Focuses Canadians on a Different Net

For Canada, the Raptors’ win ends a long drought for Canadian teams in big money, North American sports leagues. My oldest son was born a few weeks after the Montreal Canadiens took Canada’s last Stanley Cup, and a couple of months before the Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series. He’s been a fully-fledged adult for several years now.

Part of the Raptors mania over the last few weeks likely involved the magnetic appeal of winners. The team’s slogan is “We The North.” But does their success mean that the north is now basketball?

Earlier this week I traveled to Toronto and some of its suburbs to look into that question, at least in the Raptors’ backyard. In a city where just over half of residents identify as members of a visible minority group, there are plenty of neighborhoods where basketball rules and hockey is almost a stranger.

The partying may stagger on until Monday’s official parade in Toronto. But I’ve turned my attention to a different team, whose members are Canadians and not multimillionaires: Canada’s entry at the Women’s World Cup of soccer.

—When he announced that Canada will move to ban most single-use plastics as early as 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Canadians toss out more than 8 billion Canadian dollars worth of plastic products each year.

—There are now roughly the same number of New Yorkers playing in the N.B.A. as Torontonians, about a dozen from each area.

—When hockey stars need a suit, many of them go to Montreal, regardless of where they live, to see an 86-year-old Italian immigrant.

—The current generation of a German family whose corporate holdings include Keurig coffee, Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Dr Pepper soft drinks decided it was time to explore their murky past. The result is a more complex story than anyone imagined.

—Already famous for her detective novels, Agatha Christie herself became the world’s biggest mystery when she suddenly disappeared in December 1926. Tina Jordan has pieced together a terrific account of the case from The Times’s archive.

—Caleb Cain was sucked into the vortex of extreme-right politics on YouTube. Videos by two Canadians helped steer him there.

—Going long distances by plane is about the worst thing anyone can do as a private citizen to contribute to climate change. Where does that leave travel, then?

—When a fire tore through a Hollywood studio backlot in 2008, initial reports suggested that little of significance was lost. They were wrong. For music, it was a catastrophe.

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