Christmas Specials Wiki
Christmas Specials Wiki
Santa Claus Parade Toronto 2009 (1)

Eaton's Santa Claus Parade, 1918, Toronto, Ontario. Having arrived at the Eaton's store, Santa is readying his ladder to climb up onto the building.

The Toronto Santa Claus Parade is a Santa Claus parade held annually in mid-November in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. More than a half million people attend the parade every year.[1] The televised parade starts after noon and lasts about three hours.


The Toronto Santa Claus Parade was first held on December 2, 1905 with just a single float, and was operated and funded by the Eaton's chain of department stores. It now has over 25 floats, 24 bands, and 1,700 participants. The parade route is almost 5.6 kilometres (3.5 mi) long. It is one of the biggest productions in North America and the oldest annual parade in the world.[2]

From 1925 to the 1970s, the floats from the parade were reused in Montreal. This arrangement was cancelled due to the FLQ Crisis.

Near demise and revival[]

Eaton's association with the parade ended in 1982 and almost led to the parade's demise.[3] Businessmen led by George Cohon and 20 corporate sponsors stepped in to save the parade. Cohon remains co-chair of the parade organization. Today the parade is funded by various corporate sponsors (including McDonald's, Canadian Tire, Lowe's, Sears Canada, and Tim Horton's) which are featured in floats.


Toronto Christmas Parade Celebrity Clowns

In 1983, the Celebrity Clowns began and remains a tradition of the parade today.

In 2011, the parade route moved its southbound leg from Yonge Street, via Dundas Street West, to Avenue Road, Queen's Park Crescent and University Avenue. Thus ending the tradition of passing the Toronto Eaton Centre, once home to the parade's former sponsor. Eaton Centre, one of many parade sponsors, continues to host the pancake breakfast.


From 1952 to 1983, CBC-TV broadcast the parade. The parade aired on CFRB radio from the 1930s through the 1950s and then on CBC Radio. The 2010 parade also aired on CP24 Radio 1050 which at the time operated a TV simulcast with CP24, current broadcaster CHFI-FM.

Global Television carried the parade in Canada made the feed available in several other countries, including New Zealand, Ireland and Norway, primarily by broadcasters owned by or affiliated with Global's parent company CanWest between 1984 and 2009.[4] The United States network CBS broadcast the parade as part of its All American Thanksgiving Day Parade coverage during American Thanksgiving, rotating its coverage between the Toronto Santa Claus Parade, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Hudson's Thanksgiving Parade, Gimbel's Thanksgiving Parade and later, the Disneyland Stars Parade.[5]

On April 6, 2010, CTV and parade organizers announced an agreement under which CTV stations nation-wide, along with CTV-owned Toronto-based 24-hour news channel CP24, would air live coverage of the parade through 2012.[6][7][8]

Closure and access[]

Streets around the downtown core are closed from from approximately 8:00 a.m. through afternoon of parade day. While some parking is available, organizers encourage viewers to take public transit. GO Transit (via Union Station) and Toronto Transit Commission's subway stations provide access to the parade route.[9]



  1. Rehel, Jason (17 November 2012). "Five Things You Need To Know Before Heading To The Santa Claus Parade On Sunday", National Post. Retrieved on 13 May 2014. 
  2. Unrivaled memories of the Santa Claus Parade in Montreal 1925 to 2012. Destination Centre-ville (October 2012). Retrieved on 2013-01-17.
  3. Saving the Santa Claus Parade. Torontoist (16 November 2012). Retrieved on 2013-05-13.
  4. Global Television Ushers In The Festive Season With The 105th Annual Santa Claus Parade
  5. Error on call to Template:cite web: Parameters url and title must be specified. Internet Movie Database (22 November 1973). Retrieved on 2014-05-13.
  6. "Santa Claus Parade comes to CTV", CTV News (6 April 2010). Retrieved on 13 May 2014. 
  7. CP24 to broadcast Santa Claus Parade live
  8. CTV News: Only Five More Sleeps Until THE SANTA CLAUS PARADE on CTV and CP24, Nov. 21
  9. Freeman, Joshua (17 November 2013). "Road closures in effect for the 109th Santa Claus Parade", CTV News. Retrieved on 13 May 2014. 

External links[]

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