November 17, 2012 - Canadian Football League (CFL)
TORONTO - The Grey Cup 100 Train Tour presented by RONA is finally home - just in time for what will be the biggest Grey Cup celebration in 100 years.
After three months and over 100 stops, the tour has covered over 8,100 kilometres before rolling into Toronto for the 100th Grey Cup Festival and the 100th Grey Cup game.
"We present the Grey Cup each year to Canada's best football team, but the trophy really belongs to every Canadian and this tour was our way of thanking Canadians in every part of the country," said Mark Cohon, Commissioner of the Canadian Football League.
"But we are most thrilled to be here in Toronto, which has hosted more Grey Cup games than any other city, and which is about the host the biggest, best and most historic Grey Cup ever."
Today, the train is open to the public one last time from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM at Exhibition Station on Manitoba Drive.
At the conclusion of this final event, the train will be dismantled and some exhibits from the train will be on display throughout the city for the Grey Cup Festival and donated to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
The train is surrounded by a Fan Festival that is free fun for the entire family including live entertainment, face painting, mini field skills and drills and opportunities to meet CFL players and alumni like Jerry "Soupy" Campbell and Damon Allen. More information is available at 813e3043c18d www.greycuptour.ca .
Wrapped in famous Grey Cup images, the train includes a high tech car that showcases the trophy and gives fans the opportunity to have their photo taken with the Cup and experience the lore surrounding it through videos and touch screens that link them to great plays, team photos, programs, ticket stubs from past Grey Cup games and 21 Grey Cup rings that have been proudly worn by Grey Cup champions.
A museum car features everything from a bust of former Governor General Earl Grey, who donated the Cup that bears his name back in 1909 to cleats worn in the 1962 Fog Bowl. And the team car captures the stories of today's CFL teams: fans can tour a replica locker room, learn about their favourite players and see highlights of their team in action.
RONA, Canada's largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products, contributed the building supplies that made the exhibits possible. In addition, the RONA Home Field Advantage program -- which will invest $240,000 to refurbish playing fields and other recreational assets in CFL communities -- will ensure the tour leaves behind a positive legacy.
"As a partner of the CFL since 2000 and the official presenter of the 100th Grey Cup Tour, RONA is proud to bring the excitement of the Grey Cup to football fans across Canada," said Karim Salabi, Executive Vice-President, Marketing. "We also have the unique opportunity to restore eight local football fields where families and friends gather to share their passion for the game," he added.
Cohon praised tour partners VIA Rail Canada and Canadian Pacific, as well as Cisco and TELUS, for their tireless efforts to make the dream of a train tour a reality.
"We are so grateful to the tremendous partners who have made the Grey Cup 100 Train Tour presented by RONA possible," he said. "A cross-Canada, 100-stop tour takes all of us, working together. And the credit for it goes to all of our partners."
To find out more about the support of our partners, please visit 51ce46257cb6 51ce46257cb6 .
The Grey Cup trophy, long presented to the champions of the CFL is a symbol of Canadian sporting excellence. The Grey Cup game is the inspiration for an annual Canadian pilgrimage, with thousands travelling to the host city each year, and millions joining them via television. And the Grey Cup Festival - several days of family activities, concerts, parties and other social events leading up to the big game - is a Canadian cultural phenomenon.
"While forever linked to the great game of Canadian football, the Grey Cup has come to represent something even bigger: Canadians ability to come together, stand united, and celebrate something that is uniquely ours," Cohon said.