By Sarah Larke
Mississauga resident Kelly Beaudry says she remembers going to her local Santa Claus parade as a child, and the experience was one she thinks every child should have.
“I think it’s a good memory to have as a child, just to be able to go with your family and see Santa and do all the fun activities there,” she says.
Beaudry says she and her family would wake up early, stake out a spot at the parade and wait for the show to start.
“I remember we always used to leave really early, and we’d bring lawn chairs and we’d sit on the curb, and it was always completely packed every time we went,” she says.
That early-morning excitement Beaudry remembers feeling before the parade as a child is just as vibrant for children and adults looking forward to the 114th annual Santa Claus Parade coming to Toronto this Sunday, Nov. 18.
The parade begins at 12:30 p.m. at Bloor St. and Christie St. W., and winds through downtown until it reaches the intersection of Front St. and Jarvis St. at the St. Lawrence Market. The parade floats are made from scratch and are sure to delight those watching Sunday.
“Many have told us Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the Santa Claus Parade,” CEO and Chairman of the parade, Peter Beresford, said in an interview with CityNews.
Media relations worker for the parade Karla Licea says new floats will make an appearance, but the classics always attract excitement from onlookers.
“Santa’s and Mrs.Claus’ floats are always very popular,” she says.
While the parade is always a hit, the tricky part can be preparing for it. For first-timers coming from the Etobicoke area, you want to plan ahead to get there in time to grab a good viewing spot.
“We recommend arriving at least half an hour early for a good spot,” says Licea.
The Santa Claus Parade website suggests taking public transit to avoid traffic and road closures downtown. If travelling from Etobicoke, visitors can get on the subway at Kipling Station and ride it to one of the several stops along the parade route. The parade will begin near Christie Station and end by King Station.
The GO train from Long Branch to Union is also a good option. Information on times, maps and fares can be found at www.ttc.ca and www.gotransit.ca.
Although the parade is an afternoon event, mid-November is often chilly downtown. Coats, mittens and hats can make all the difference when standing outside for several hours.
As a final tip, Licea says parents should have plans to occupy their children during the wait for the parade to start.
“Claiming a spot early can leave some standing time, so come prepared with a colouring book and toys to keep the little ones occupied,” she says. “Snacks and drinks can also help your day run smoothly. Canada Post will collect letters to Santa, so bring those along to get the letter straight to Santa himself.”
Route for the 2018 Santa Claus Parade. Santa’s elves will make an appearance at the
(Instagram/thedaltonschooltoronto) parade this year. (Instagram/tosantaparade)