"This is probably one of the biggest moments of my life — if not the biggest moment of my life," the hometown rapper said as he accepted the honour before the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game on Friday.
Toronto's Mayor John Tory, right, hands Drake the key to the city ahead of the celebrity all-star game in Toronto on Feb. 12, 2016. (Photo: Chris Young/CP)
Drake was the Canadian team coach for the star-packed game that kicks off a weekend of NBA all-star festivities.
Clad in a suit beside Mayor John Tory at centre court, the 29-year-old whose (real name is Aubrey Graham) called the city "a cultural mosaic" that has taught him "so much about life."
"With this amazing honour ... I feel like I have a new purpose, a new goal."
That goal is to encourage youth to "unify, take pride in the city," he said, noting he wants to make it a "peaceful, incredible place."
"I will never stop loving this city, I will never stop representing this everywhere I go," he added.
"This is probably one of the biggest moments of my life — if not the biggest moment of my life."
The Canadian team at Friday's game included tennis stars Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic, actor Tom Cavanagh and Arcade Fire lead vocalist Win Butler.
The American team, co-coached by actor Kevin Hart, included actors Jason Sudeikis, Anthony Anderson and TV personality Nick Cannon.
Drake is up for five Grammy Awards on Monday, including best rap album for "If You're Reading This It's Too Late."
In April, he's set to drop his highly anticipated new album, "Views From the 6."
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