The electric atmosphere surrounding the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship in Toronto doesn't just start once you step foot inside the Air Canada Centre. Hockey Canada has its sponsors to thank for a number of free events happening just a stone’s throw away in Maple Leaf Square at the McDonald’s Fan Zone.
“It’s great to be around fans that are going to the game and excited,” says Angela Zheon, who travelled to Maple Leaf Square to watch the game at a pub across the street. “They’re passing out a lot of free things and it’s great to see everyone hyped up.”
While many in the Fan Zone are headed to the game to cheer on Team Canada, fans that attended earlier games are also taking the time to enjoy the scene outside the Air Canada Centre before heading home.
“We just came from the Finland-Sweden game and we have reservations to watch the Canada game, so we came to check this out after,” says Sonia Changi and Emily Hughes, while enjoying their free McCafé coffee. “There’s been a sense of togetherness around here. On the train coming here, everyone was wearing their hockey gear. We also just met Darcy Tucker, which was awesome.”
On Sunday, Jan. 4 and Monday, Jan. 5 fans will have the opportunity to take part in Q&A and autograph sessions with Team Canada and Toronto Maple Leafs alumni Wendel Clark and Gary Roberts, who played in the 1985 and 1986 World Juniors, respectively.
Potential future members of Canada’s National Junior Team will also be taking part in McDonald’s atoMc hockey clinics run by coaches from Hockey Canada.
“I think it’s a great investment in the future of hockey in Canada,” says James Beamish, the coordinator of Toronto’s Fan Zone. “It’s helping upgrade the skills of young Canadian players.”
In addition, the McDonald’s Fan Zone offers fans plenty of giveaways, interactive exhibits, musical performances and contests, for fans with or without a ticket thanks to sponsors Canadian Tire, Chevrolet, Samsung, Hankook Tire, Molson Canadian, RBC and TELUS. (For a full rundown of all activations, CLICK HERE.)
The Hockey Canada Century Tour is also on site at Maple Leaf Square during the medal round. The 20,000-square foot caravan, designed to celebrate Hockey Canada’s 100th anniversary, features a number artifacts and interactive activities for the whole family.
The McDonald’s Fan Zone will be open until Jan 5. Be sure to follow @HockeyCanada, @HC_WJC and #WJC2015 for updates on the schedule, Q&A sessions and more.