SantaClausParade

The ultimate survival guide to get through the Santa Claus parade

Bring food, drinks and a whole lot of patience for this popular annual event

It’s that time of year again — colder weather, shorter days and a visit from Santa Claus.

Santa is coming to town for the 111th annual Toronto Santa Claus parade on Sun. Nov. 15.

While there will be a lot fun and games, it’s important to properly prepare, too. Here are some tips on how to survive the parade.

  • Prepare for the weather:
    Toronto weather is notoriously known to be unpredictable in November. Dress warmly and consider layers your best friend. Don’t forget to pack gloves, scarves and hats. Appropriately garb will help you stay warm and enjoy the  parade.
speedosantas
Revellers attending the Santa Claus Parade.
  • Arrive early:
    The Toronto Santa Claus Parade is the biggest of its k in Canada, with more than half a million people in attendance on average. With such a huge crowd, it can be difficult to find a good spot to watch the parade if you don’t plan ahead.
    Arrive early to grab front-row seats and get a good view of Santa. If not, be ready to fight through the crowds or prepared to lift you child on top of your shoulders so they can catch a glimpse.

    2014 Santa Claus Parade
    Spectators watch last year’s Santa Claus Parade. (Xuyun Zeng/Toronto Observer)
  • Prepare to pass time:
    There will be long waits between floats and, most importantly, it will take awhile for Santa to arrive. Bring other forms of entertainment to pass time like tablets and books. For the children consider colouring books and toys.
  • Avoid driving:
    Driving and parking downtown is already a headache, and when there are thousands of pedestrians and road closures for a parade, it can be aggravating.
    There are numerous TTC stops along the parade route, including Christie, Bathurst, Spadina, St. George, Museum, Queen’s Park, St. Patrick, Osgoode, Queen and King stations.
    And for those outside the city, GO Transit will be running a special schedule for the parade which will bring you to Union Station.

Toronto's new streetcars are twice as long as those presently in service.

  • Don’t get hangry:
    There’s nothing worst than being hungry and miserable. You will be there for a while, so pack plenty of food and beverages. There are also plenty of delicious restaurants along the route.
    Food trucks_Arielle
  • Get comfortable:
    Pack some chairs and blankets to make your outing as pleasant as possible. Avoid standing for hours or sitting on the ground.

  • Letter to Santa:
    If you haven’t already written your wish list, don’t forget to bring your letter to Santa. Santa’s little helpers will be walking along the parade collecting letters to bring back to St. Nick. Don’t forget to put it in an envelope addressed to Santa Claus, North Pole, H0H 0H0.

    2014 Santa Claus Parade
    Clowning around during the 2014 Santa Claus Parade route. (Xuyun Zeng/Toronto Observer)