The Toronto Raptors have become one of the most iconic NBA teams in Canada and have claimed five division titles in the last twelve years. The side, which was founded in 1995, was named by the fans, and inspiration was taken from the immensely popular 1993 movie Jurassic Park. Needless to say that thanks to this, Toronto residents are showing some love for dinosaurs and prehistoric themes.
For this reason, there are numerous ways to enjoy a jurassic experience in the city. Here we take a look at why dinosaurs are so popular in Toronto and explain where to find the best Jurassic-themed entertainment.
Why do Toronto Residents Love Jurassic Themes?
The Mighty Raptors have been competing since 1995, but were established in 1993 when the NBA announced its expansion into Canada. It was around this time that the iconic Steven Spielberg movie Jurassic Park was released, and the dinosaur-themed adventure took the world by storm. The film won Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Sound Effects and was a box office sensation, with a worldwide gross of over $1 billion.
While Canada was still in awe of this groundbreaking achievement, which went on to inspire a whole wave of cinematic releases, they were tasked with selecting a name for Toronto’s brand new NBA franchise. After a nationwide contest, the potential names were whittled down to eleven choices. There was then a vote on which name the 28th addition to the NBA should adopt out of Raptors, T-Rex, Tarantulas, Terriers, and Beavers, among others. Raptors triumphed, perhaps because they were viewed by many as one of the main highlights of Jurassic Park.
Since their inception, the Raptors have grown in popularity. While their home games are held at the Scotiabank Arena, public viewings are shown at Maple Leaf Square, which has been affectionately named Jurassic Park. The franchise has risen in value massively as well. In 1998, it was bought for $125 million. By 2018, Forbes placed the Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment-owned side as the 12th richest in the NBA and worth $1.4 billion. This enormous rise could be down to clever marketing and the fact that the use of a dinosaur theme is so iconic.
A lot of Toronto residents liked the original Jurassic Park movie, but they continue to enjoy dinosaur themes because their NBA side has been successful and has become so iconic. The Raptors are now one of the most recognizable franchises in the NBA, and their global scope is likely to get even bigger in the coming years.
What are the Best Ways to Enjoy Dinosaurs in Toronto?
It should go without saying that one of the best ways to enjoy dinosaur themes in the city is to get down to a Raptors home game either at the Arena or on the big screen at Maple Leaf Square. But there are also plenty of other Jurassic-themed experiences for people to enjoy in Toronto.
Digital forms of enjoying dinosaurs are on the rise in Canada, with there now being numerous Jurassic World-based games on the market. Jurassic World Alive is the dinosaur equivalent of Pokémon Go and is a great way to explore the city. Players hunt for dinosaurs in real-world locations using augmented reality on their smartphones. For people who prefer to play games at home, Betway’s Jurassic World slot features a number of elements from Colin Trevorrow’s 2015 movie, including some of the most popular dinosaurs. Another option for mobile fans is Jurassic World: The Game, which allows players to create and manage their own dinosaur theme parks like the one in the Universal Pictures hit.
A dinosaur experience that is fun for the whole family is Dinosaurs Alive at Canada’s Wonderland. The huge interactive exhibit features more than 40 lifesize animatronic dinosaurs in a seven-acre outdoor Jurassic-themed environment. Some of the dinosaurs even include interactive consoles that allow park visitors to control their movements. Canada’s Wonderland is located around 25 miles north of Toronto, and the park has a number of other attractions, including a water park and an impressive number of roller coasters. In fact, the 330-acre theme park is ranked second in the world for number of roller coasters, just behind Six Flags Magic Mountain in California.
Thanks to the success of Jurassic Park and the growing popularity of the Toronto Raptors, dinosaurs remain hugely popular in the Ontario provincial capital. There are so many ways to get a Jurassic-themed experience in the city, and the prehistoric feel can be found nearly everywhere you go.