When it comes to Toronto’s annual Santa Claus Parade, it’s good to have friends in high places (we’re talking about the kind with an office or condo directly overlooking the parade route). But if you don’t have any of those, or if you really want to be a part of the action, we’ve got a few recos on how to do the Santa Claus Parade—from getting there to what to wear. Because Santa Claus is coming to town this Sunday, November 20.
Despite all the street closures, you can still drive downtown, but the TTC will be a less-aggravating option. At least eleven TTC stops let you off directly or almost directly on the route. If you’re intent on driving, private lots significantly hike up their prices on parade day. Look online for Green P parking garages or downtown office underground parking garages nearby your planned viewing spot.
The parade route is long, so there are many places to watch. You’ll find big crowds where it starts at Bloor and Christie, but being at the front also means it’s over earlier (good for parents worried about an afternoon meltdown). The key spots (Avenue and Bloor, Yonge and Dundas, anywhere in front of the Eaton Centre) are usually jam-packed, but the clowns are plentiful and the bands generally play their loudest for the TV cameras situated nearby. The end of the parade (Front between Yonge and Church) is generally less crowded, but it means waiting at least an hour from the start to see the first float. Over 500,000 people spread themselves out across the route, so wherever you decide to watch the parade, get there early.
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