The Best Santa Claus Parades in Toronto and the GTA
It's a must-do every year and a lovely family tradition. The music, the floats, and the anticipation of seeing the big man himself...we love it all. Here's where to catch the man in red around town this holiday season.
Bowmanville Santa Claus Parade: Saturday, November 18
This year's parade has a new route, so be sure to check out the website for more info. Don't forget to have the kids' letters to Santa ready to be collected by his elves. Foodbank donations will be accepted throughout the parade so take along a few cans to contribute.
The 113th Santa Claus Parade: Sunday, November 19
A true Christmas classic, this parade is one that simply can't be missed (quite literally, given the size of it). Featuring 25 floats and 21 marching bands, this is the hot ticket when it comes to Santa Claus parades. It kicks off at Christie Pits and ends at the St. Lawrence Market. And if you can't make it in person, you can watch it all live on CTV.ca, without ever leaving your pajamas. Good to know: GO Transit offers a discounted fare for getting downtown on parade day. Be sure to check out our guide on surviving the day.
Santa Fest in Maple: Sunday, November 12
Santa Fest in Maple is a 3 km Santa Claus parade that starts at Canada's Wonderland and ends at the Vaughan City Hall. If you arrive an hour earlier than the main event, you can catch the third annual Block Party on the corner of Melville and Major McKenzie's. There'll be music, a dance party and complimentary refreshments ahead of the big man's arrival on float at 2 pm.
Richmond Hill Santa Claus Parade: Saturday, November 18
This parade features a number of diverse floats, walking groups and marching bands from in and around the community. And this year's theme is True North Strong and Free! Plus, candy cane clowns will be handing out some sweet treats along the way and special helpers will be collecting letters to Santa. There will also be hot beverages to warm up spectators, but the best is saved for last, with Mr. and Mrs. Claus joining the fun at the end of the parade.
Weston Village Santa Claus Parade: Sunday, November 26
In its 38th year, Weston Village's parade is becoming something of a Christmas stalwart, attracting crowds of 20,000 annually. The 50+ entries include community floats, bands, clowns and of course, Old St Nick. If you have any non-perishables in your cupboard, Weston Area Emergency Support Food Bank will be collecting along the route. Promising a great show, come rain or shine, the action kicks off from Weston and Church street at 2 pm.
A Main Street Christmas Parade: Saturday, December 2
One parade not enough for you? Then have twice the fun with a Victorian Christmas themed parade at 4 pm, followed by the Farmer's Parade of Lights at 8 pm. Local farmers will display their tractors and harvesters decked out in colourful festive lights. The first parade gets underway at Schomberg Arena and the Farmer's Parade of Lights starts from the Schomberg Library.
Etobicoke Lakeshore Santa Claus Parade: Saturday, December 2
With 15 professionally-built floats and 10 marching bands, this is another popular holiday parade not to be missed. The event will be filmed by Rogers TV and can be seen on cable several times over the festive period. After the parade you can enjoy live music, free hot chocolate and skate with the man in red himself.