WARMINGTON: Mississauga preparing to fete Bianca Andreescu
September 13, 2019
September 13, 2019 7:57 PM EDT
The Queen of the North will not only be fitted her much deserving crown Sunday, but also receive the key to the Kingdom of Mississauga.
“We are so proud of Queen B,” Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said of U.S. Open tennis champion Bianca Andreescu.
And we will show her just how proud we are of her on Sunday.”
In fact there is a possibility that the She the North event at Celebration Square at Mississauga City Hall could see the largest crowds ever to gather in the square.
And that’s saying something, since during the Toronto Raptors playoff run the square was regularly jam-packed.
This is expected to be big, since many have been following closely the rise of the 19-year-old tennis phenom who not only was born here but learned to play the game here too.
This event is, in essence, Mississauga’s NBA championship or Stanley Cup parade — a gathering that will bring together the community, give great music and entertainment and some surprises.
“We are preparing for 30,000 people,” Mayor Crombie said Friday.
“But whatever it is, it’s going to be huge.”
You might want to get there early!
STINSON: Bianca Andreescu finally wins love from Drake, sets sights on WTA Tour Finals
STINSON: Bianca Andreescu makes history with U.S. Open win
STINSON: Phenom Andreescu cracks top-10 after decisive win
This promises to be a giant party for a once-tiny young girl from Mississauga who first picked up a tennis racket at eight-years-old and took lessons at the Ontario Racket Club with big dreams that she has now fulfilled.
Bianca will not only be the second person to receive the key to the city of Mississauga, but will also unveil a road sign for a new street — Andreescu Way.
“People are telling us we should call it Bianca Court, but we don’t have many courts in Mississauga,” Crombie said with a laugh.
“But we don’t rule anything out.”
Celebration Square on Sunday between 4-6 p.m. will ceremonially be transformed into Celebration Court for this new tennis icon.
“We really want to honour her,” Crombie said.
”She is our girl from Mississauga but she is also all of Canada’s girl.”
Bianca Andreescu poses with her trophy at the Top of the Rock in Rockefeller Center on Sept. 8, 2019 in New York City. Mike Stobe / Getty Images
This is why Crombie graciously also invited Toronto Mayor John Tory, who will also present a declaration and some other special kudos. In fact all of the GTA mayors have been invited.
“We want it to be a special day for Bianca and for her wonderful parents and family,” said Crombie.
Just as Bianca envisioned one day winning the U.S. Open grand slam, Crombie was thinking the same thing after she won the Rogers Cup in which the mayor was invited onto the court to officiate in a coin toss.
I know this because I was in touch with the mayor the day after that win about the idea of throwing a victory lap for the young star. Crombie was on board but felt Bianca would achieve even more and kept the notion close to her until after the U.S. Open.
“I had a feeling she would do well,” said Crombie.
She certainly did just that.
“It’s a tremendous achievement,” Crombie said.
It’s also an example to young people everywhere just what you can achieve if you work hard.
This is why she’s joining former Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion as the only other recipient of Mississauga’s keys to the city.
“She has inspired other young players to play tennis or chase their dream,” said Crombie. “She has showed what you can achieve.”
And she’s going to get a raucous ovation and cheers from the people of the city she was born in.
But this time, unlike with what happened in New York where the fans were rooting against her, this boisterous, deafening crowd will be all for Bianca.