Santa Claus Parades in Toronto and the GTA

by José Gonzalez

The big man in red is coming to town to help get everyone in the mood for the upcoming holiday season. Although it doesn't quite match his travel speed on Christmas Eve, Santa Claus makes several appearances in Toronto and the GTA for these annual parades. Ho Ho Ho! [Photo by Lee Zavitz, courtesy of ZedPro Media]

Santa Claus Parades in Toronto and the GTA

Beaverton Lions Santa Claus Parade
Hosted by the Lions Club, this parade includes the chance to visit with Santa in person at the Beaverton Fire Hall. Another unique feature of this parade is that it takes place at night, so many of the floats are covered in Christmas lights. This year's theme is “Christmas with Cartoon Characters.”

Bowmanville Santa Claus Parade
This year brings a few alterations to the annual favourite, it's changing both the date of the parade and the route. This year's parade is set for November 18, and the route goes from Scugog out to the edge of the mall, no longer turning down Liberty as it had in previous years.

  • When: November 18 at 10:30 am
  • Starting at: Starting at Scugog
  • More information

Uxbridge Santa Claus Parade
This year's parade theme is “150 years of Christmas in Canada.” Kids are encouraged to bring along their letters to Santa as people from Canada Post will be on hand to collect letters to be delivered to the North Pole before Christmas Eve.

  • When: November 18 at 11 am
  • Starting at: Brock St. & Centre Rd.
  • More information

Santa's Parade of Lights Oshawa
Travelling along King St. and then Bond St., this parade route travels through the heart of Oshawa. It also starts close to dusk, so make sure you bring some warm clothing, especially for the little ones who might get chilly once the sun goes down.

  • When: November 18 at 6 pm
  • Starting at: King St. West and Stevenson Rd. South
  • More information

Oakville Santa Claus Parade
Held rain or shine, bright and early in the morning, this is a great way to kick off the first weekend of the holiday season in Oakville. There's also a colouring contest for kids, with winners having their artwork featured on the parade website.

  • When: November 18 at 9 am
  • Starting at: Reynolds St. and Lakeshore Rd. East
  • More information

Brampton Santa Claus Parade
Attracting crowds of more than 100,000 in recent years, this parade is a major event for the town of Brampton. Floats from previous years have included appearances by musical clowns, the Grinch, and of course, Santa himself. This parade is a nighttime event, so expect colourful lights and cold temperatures!

  • When: November 18 at 5 pm
  • Starting at: Ken Williams Dr. and Sproule
  • More information

Richmond Hill Santa Claus Parade
Set during the evening, organizers are reminding everyone to dress warmly before heading out to enjoy this parade. This year's theme is “True North Strong and Free,” in honour of Canada's 150th birthday.

  • When: November 18 at 6 pm
  • Starting at: William F. Bell Parkway and Leslie Street
  • More information

Toronto Santa Claus Parade
Easily the biggest parade visited by Santa each year, you'll need to brave the crowd and the weather to enjoy the dozens of floats, marching bands, clowns and more who celebrate through Toronto's downtown core.

  • When: Sunday, November 19 at 12:30 pm
  • Starting at: Parade begins at Christie St. and Bloor St.
  • More information

Milton Santa Claus Parade
Santa first showed up in Milton in 1907 in a local shop, and the first proper parade was held in 1933. Now 110 years later, Santa is a regular visitor during the holiday season, this year celebrating with the parade theme “150 years of Christmas.”

  • When: November 19 at 1:30 pm
  • Starting at: Scott Boulevard and Main Street West
  • More information

Markham Santa Claus Parade
Presented by the Rotary Club of Markham, this parade includes nearly 100 floats and marching bands. Running in the evening, there are plenty of Christmas lights and cool weather, so dress accordingly. This year the parade's theme is “Canadian 150 Heritage Christmas.”

  • When: November 24 at 11 am
  • Starting at: Hwy 7 East and Main Street
  • More information

Pickering Santa Claus Parade
Held for 49 years, this Pickering annual favourite includes floats from community groups, schools, sports groups, businesses and volunteer organizations. This year's theme is “150 Years of a Canadian Christmas - a Sesquicentennial Celebration.”

Ajax Santa Claus Parade of Lights
As the name suggests, this parade includes floats covered in Christmas lights. The parade route leads to Ajax Town Hall to be followed by an annual tree lighting ceremony, officially kicking off the holiday season.

Beaches Santa Claus Parade
This parade through Toronto's east end starts in the early afternoon, but is immediately followed by a barbecue, crafting for children, and kids can take photos with Santa at Centre 55.

  • When: November 26 at 1 pm
  • Starting at: Victoria Park & Kingston Rd.
  • More information

Weston Village Santa Claus Parade
This parade brings more than 50 floats, bands, and clowns to the northern end of Toronto. You're also invited to bring non-perishable food items as donations for the Weston Area Emergency Support Food Bank.

  • When: November 26 at 2 pm
  • Starting at: Weston and Church Street
  • More information

Lakeshore Santa Claus Parade
Set along one of the more scenic parts of the city, this parade travels close to Lake Ontario and finishes off with its signature Skate with Santa event at Samuel Smith Park. While in the park, you can enjoy some hot cocoa and take a picture with Santa Claus himself.

  • When: December 2 at 10 am
  • Starting at:  Dwight Ave. And Lakeshore Blvd. West
  • More information
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