2013 Toronto's Annual Santa Claus Parade
The Santa Claus Parade has been a Toronto tradition since 1905. It starts at Bloor and Christie streets and ending at Front and Church streets. This lively parade kicks off the festive season with two dozen marching bands, beautiful floats, and thousands of costumed participants and the man himself - Santa Claus.
How it all began
The Santa Claus Parade used to be referred to as "The Eaton's Santa Claus Parade" because it was sponsored by the Eaton's Department Store.
It all started on December 2, 1905. Santa arrived at Union Station and walked with the Eaton family to their main store. Although it couldn't be considered a parade, it was a such a hit that it became an annual affair.
Through the years, the Eaton's family tried to make the Parade special. Like in 1913, Eaton's arranged for Santa to be pulled by live reindeers from Labrador. This was such a grand gesture that more participants came in the years to come. By 1917, there were now seven floats and the biggest float was a giant swan carrying a band of musicians and clowns, with Santa in the centre of it all. Mother Goose appeared for the first time. And there was Santa arriving by air, landing at the old Aerodrome on Eglinton Ave, in 1919. Every year, something special. In 1930, Mother Goose returns to the parade and becomes the longest continual float in service. It appears every year until 1960, each time painted a different colour. By 1939, the Santa Claus Parade had grown to become such a big phenomenon in Toronto that even the Second World War didn't stop the Parade to keep on going year after year. By 1951, the procession is up to 13 large floats and 20 smaller ones, along with at least 2,000 participants. And in 1952, Santa comes to TV screens, with the parade being broadcast in Toronto for the first time. It's now seen in dozens of countries throughout the world.
For 55 straight years, the Toronto Santa Claus Parade enjoyed a cold but lovely weather. However that ended in1955 when it rained during the parade.
When Eaton's withdrew sponsorship in 1982 ending a remarkable 77-year run, many feared it was the end of the parade. But thanks to some 20 firms that joined together to provide funding, the event was saved.
In 2004, the parade reaches an amazing milestone - 100 years. And despite snow, wind, the Depression, two World Wars and the eventual bankruptcy of Eaton's, there has never been a single year since it started that the Santa Claus parade hasn't been staged in downtown Toronto.
Last year, the Parade was one of the best one ever, and it has been rumoured that this year will even surpass it. We are all looking forward to the 2013 Toronto Santa Claus Parade, which will be held on Sunday, November 17, 2013, and it starts at 12:30 p.m.
Long live the Toronto Santa Claus Parade.
Merry Christmas Everyone!
2013 Toronto Santa Claus Parade Route
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