Yonge Dundas Square turned into a street party and car show on Saturday; the start of the Gumball 3000‘s route to Miami.
Packed with car crazy revelers, the DJ / Master of Ceremonies sounded like a Mexican wrestler, and kept the crowd pumped repeating mantras like “Truth and Justice” as Porsches, Bentleys and exotics cruised through the square, before redlining their engines while heading down Yonge St, to the absolute roar of the assembled crowd.
When the original Knight Rider himself, David Hasselhoff, arrived to wave the starters flag, the emcee repeated “You can’t handle the truth!” and “Don’t hassle the Hoff” as onlookers high-fived their childhood hero / 80’s icon.
The T-shirts said it all: it’s a not a race, it’s a rally. But clearly some competitors (who paid between $50,000 to $80,000 to compete in the Gumball 3000) had other ideas. With the street cleared from Dundas to Queen, and thousands of fans lining the road, cars launched hard and drove as fast as they could to thrill the crowd. For some, the plan was to go as fast as possible without getting arrested, or the car seized.
Starting order for the rally was determined based on the amount of charitable donations each team collected, and according to Gumball’s count, teams had raised almost $1,000,000, a far cry from the outlaw early years of the Gumball, and the Cannonball race it is based on.
The annual event began in 1999 and has been to Toronto twice before, but the pandemic forced it to take two years off. This is the first time that the flag drop was in Canada.