Toronto Santa Claus Parade

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Toronto Santa Claus Parade
Santa Claus Parade Toronto 2009 (1).jpg
A float in the 2009 Parade
Created by Eaton's
Starring Ken Shaw and Melissa Grelo 2010-present - CFTO-DT/CP24
Rosey Edeh (2009) and Leslie Roberts 2005-2009 - Global Toronto
Faye Dance, Sandy Hoyt (1985-1997) and Susan Hay (1990s until 2008) - Global Toronto
Country of origin Canada
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 111 (as of November 15th, 2015)
Location(s) Downtown Toronto from Christie Pits along Bloor Street West, south on Avenue Road/Queen's Park Crescent/University Avenue to Front Street West, east along Front to St. Lawrence Market
Running time 3 Hours
(with commercials)
Production company(s) Eaton's 1905-1977
various corporate sponsors 1982-present
CTV (media since 2010)
Original network CTV 2010-present
Global 1982-2009
CBC 1952-1981
Original release 1952 – present
External links
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 on the third Sunday of November in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The next parade will be held on Sunday, November 20th, 2016. More than a half million people attend the parade every year.[1] The televised parade, broadcast nationwide on the CTV Television Network, starts at around 4pm and runs about an hour and a half.


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 one of 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.[citation needed]

Near demise and revival[edit]

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 retired from the parade organization in 2014.[4] Today the parade is funded by various corporate sponsors (including McDonald's, Canadian Tire, Lowe's, The Walt Disney Company, Toys R Us, Mattel, Sears Canada, and Tim Horton's) which are featured in floats.


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.

Toronto Christmas Parade Celebrity Clowns.JPG


From 1952 to 1983, CBC Television broadcast the parade. The parade aired on CFRB radio from the 1930s through the 1950s and then on CBC Radio.

Global 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.[5] 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.[6]

CHFI-FM is the current radio broadcaster having taken over from CBC Radio since the 1980s.

On April 6, 2010, CTV and parade organizers announced an agreement under which CTV stations nationwide, along with CTV-owned Toronto-based 24-hour news channel CP24, would air live coverage of the parade through 2012.[7][8][9] In consequence, the 2010 parade also aired on CTV-owned CHUM-AM 1050, which at the time operated a TV simulcast with CP24.

Closure and access[edit]

Streets around the downtown core are closed 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.[10]


  1. ^ Rehel, Jason (17 November 2012). "Five Things You Need To Know Before Heading To The Santa Claus Parade On Sunday". National Post. Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  2. ^ "Unrivaled memories of the Santa Claus Parade in Montreal 1925 to 2012". Destination Centre-ville. October 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  3. ^ "Saving the Santa Claus Parade". Torontoist. 16 November 2012. Retrieved 2013-05-13. 
  4. ^ "Santa - About". Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "Global Television Ushers In The Festive Season With The 105th Annual Santa Claus Parade" (Press release). GlobalTV. 23 October 2009. Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  6. ^ "CBS All-American Thanksgiving Day Parade". Internet Movie Database. 22 November 1973. 
  7. ^ "Santa Claus Parade comes to CTV". CTV News. 6 April 2010. Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  8. ^ "CP24 to broadcast Santa Claus Parade live" (Press release). CP24. 6 April 2010. Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  9. ^ "Only Five More Sleeps Until THE SANTA CLAUS PARADE on CTV and CP24, Nov. 21" (Press release). CTV. 16 November 2010. Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  10. ^ Freeman, Joshua (17 November 2013). "Road closures in effect for the 109th Santa Claus Parade". CTV News. Retrieved 2014-05-13. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Toronto Santa Claus Parade at Wikimedia Commons