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Who says the Canadians don’t care?

Leading the way: Julian Fletcher carries the Bermuda flag during the opening ceremony of the 2015 Pan Am Games last night in Toronto. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

So it appears as though the notoriously indifferent Torontonians do care about the Pan Am Games after all.

Apathy has been rampant during the build-up to the Games, the most expensive in history at $2.5 billion, with gloomy talk surrounding the abundance of tickets still available, hotels resembling ghost towns, and traffic crippling an already congested city.

Much like the Games mascot — a porcupine named Pachi — the largest sporting event to have ever been held in Canada seems to be a difficult animal to embrace.

It’s fair to say some residents have not exactly been salivating in anticipation about hosting what one jaded cab driver cheekily described as the “little Olympics”.

However, last night at the Rogers Centre, the home of the Toronto Blue Jays, that tide of negativity showed sure-fire signs of turning.

Fears that the Games will prove to be an extortionately expensive flop look to have been slightly misplaced with the 40,000 sell-out crowd greeting the opening ceremony with open arms as opposed to a disinterested shrug of the shoulders.

In fairness, it’s probably quite difficult to remain lukewarm towards the theatrical magic and acrobatic mastery of Cirque du Soleil, the creative force behind the colourful curtain-raiser.

Developing the show since 2013, Cirque du Soleil, which was founded in Canada, skillfully celebrated Toronto’s diversity and vibrant spirit, using more than 625 performers from 25 countries.

It was a fitting reflection of the world’s most multicultural city.

Even a couple of Bermudian flags could be spotted in the aisles, although none flew as high or as proud as the one held aloft by Julian Fletcher, the Island’s swimmer, during the Parade of Nations.

Drawing a polite round of applause from a rather too well-behaved crowd, Bermuda’s contingent, including Cheria Morgan, Lisa Blackburn, Cameron Pimentel and Cecilia Wollmann, looked resplendent in their customary uniforms, with the male marchers once again sporting the iconic geranium red shorts and knee-high socks.

By the time Canada’s 720-strong squad took centre stage the opening ceremony had at least started to resemble something like a party rather than a performance.

Perhaps, just perhaps, Toronto is finally beginning to embrace the idea of playing the perfect hosts.