Why I Love Toronto Reason
The Santa Claus Parade!!
I remember every year before the Santa Claus Parade I would sit down with my mom and we would make these awesome lists for Santa. I would tell her what to put on the list and she would handwrite it for me. I also always used to tell her to ask him if he liked the cookies I left out last year or if he would prefer a different type cookie. I also would ask if I should leave carrots for the Reindeer to improve their eye sight just in case there was a storm on Christmas Eve. After we sealed the letter I would put it next to the door, so I wouldn’t forget to bring it to the Santa Claus Parade.
I always say that once the City Hall Christmas Tree is lit and Santa Claus comes to town that the Christmas season has officially started. After the jolly old man comes to town it is time for everyone to get their Christmas trees out, string the lights around the house, hang the garland, buy some egg nog and make sure they have missile toe every wear they go so that they have an excuse to kiss the hot guy or girl in their office that is so dreamy – but I digress.
As a child I loved going to the Santa Claus Parade to see the floats, the clowns walking on their hands, mother goose, the Coca-Cloa Polar Bears, the marching bands and of course Santa himself. I still go every year except this year because everything fell on the wrong weekend for me! But alas I will just have to watch it in HD when I get home tomorrow with a cup of apple cider. Plus HD makes you feel like you are there anyways.
This year will mark the 108th year for the parade which began in 1905 by Toronto/ Canada’s most influential man Timothy Eaton (my opinion). Eaton’s Department Store was the sponsor of the parade until 1982. The one thing I love about this parade is that is has gone on through the worst of times. It ran during the depression and both World Wars, which is understandable because Santa to children and even their parents represent hope and happiness.
As I said the first parade was in 1905 and being 108 years old a lot of interesting things have happened, from the way Santa has arrived to the weather. I think it would be would be interesting to share some highlights over the 108 years of the Santa Claus Parade.
When Santa first came to Toronto in 1905 he arrived at Union Station and walked with the Eaton family to their flagship store.
When the parade began the only attraction was Santa and since then more floats, bands and footmen have be added to the event.
In 1913 Santa was pulled on his sleigh by real reindeer from Labrador (which at the time was not even part of Canada).
In 1919 Santa arrived by plane at the Aerodome on Eglinton Ave. – interesting mode of transportation.
1917 was the year children were first introduced to Mother Goose.
During the Second World War, the 1939 parade saw costumes made from paper because of shortages in material.
In 1950 the parade was the largest in North America.
The CBC aired the first televised version of the Santa Claus Parade in 1952. Today it has been televised on Global, CP24 and CTV.
In 1955 it rained on Santa for the first time! Not snow but rain!
2011 was a big year because Mrs. Claus got her own float!!
For many the parade is the beginning of Christmas. We welcome Santa, the kids mail their lists and the shopping begins. This is a huge tradition and I bet you every kid in Toronto has been to the parade at least once and has given Santa a letter.
So for those of you have been to the parade and have given Santa a letter reblog this post! Spread the holiday cheer and when you do, mention your favorite float and the one thing you can remember putting on your list for Santa.
Santa Claus is coming to town.
Images from Government of Ontario Archives and TOSanta Twitter