Marco Polo’s Holiday traditions from around the world – Day 14: Toronto Santa Claus Parade

It’s Day 14 of our Advent Calendar and only 10 more days until Christmas! Today our destination is Toronto, as we explore the 100-year-old tradition of the Santa Claus Parade. Did you miss yesterday’s post? Check it out here!



Every year in mid-November, people gather on the streets of Toronto – or tune in via the television – to watch the Toronto Santa Claus Parade. Now, Santa Claus parades may not be a tradition limited strictly to Toronto, or even Canada, but Toronto can boast that theirs is the oldest Santa Claus Parade still held every year. Though sources vary, some stating that the tradition goes as far back as to 1905, the official website tells us that in 1913 the Eaton’s department store in downtown Toronto, arranged for a Santa Claus to arrive at their store, in a sleigh pulled by reindeer. Children, excited to see the man in red, followed the sleigh as it went through the streets and finally stopped at the Eaton’s department store. Within the next few years, more attractions and floats were added to the parade, and today, the parade – no longer sponsored by Eaton’s – consists of multiple massive floats and around 2000 costumed performers. The parade is broadcasted worldwide, and while there are Santa Claus parades in other cities too, the Toronto Santa Claus parade certainly takes the crown.

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