Holiday tunes and cheer paired with the swishing of snowpants and scraping of snowboots on the pavement as the crowd gathered along the parade route. The yearly tradition shuts down most of the roads in the city's centre and marks the beginning of the festive season.
Parade participants spent weeks preparing the dozens of floats decked out with bright lights, eclectic characters and corporate and public branding.
-Hargrave Street, Colony Street, Vaughan Street, Kennedy Street, Edmonton Street, Garry Street, Fort Street, Carlton Street, Donald Street, and Smith Street will be closed at Portage Avenue;
Five-year-old Callie Hedlin had one of the highest vantage points from atop her father's shoulders. Andrew Hedlin, who stands six feet eight inches tall, and his immediate family was joined by grandma, grandpa and the cousins at the event.
Lorlene Perrick brought her two daughters and two step-sons, who were all bundled up in winter coats, mittens and Winnipeg Jets gear. "They're pretty excited," Perrick said, moments before the paraders took off.
"You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch," blasted from a float carrying a green brute in a red suit who was caged up as part of the Crimestopper's float.
Diehard Winnipeg Blue Bombers fan Monica Cook roared as the team's float passed by. "Let's bring it home this year!" she exclaimed.
Cook has the team's logo permanently branded on her body in the form of a tattoo of the football going through the W. "Why follow them and not be optimistic about it?" she asked. The Bombers take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Sunday in the CFL's Western Final in Regina.
Kathleen Vitt took Felix, who is nearly three months old, to his first Santa Claus parade. The two were joined by other family members.
"We're more here for the two year olds who can kind of take it in, but we're enjoying our time, too," Vitt said.
Curtis Sankar perched in front of the bus stop in front of the Bay with all of his nieces and nephews.
"It was really, really fun," Daniel, one of the children who was with Sankar, said. The kids were thrilled to see their cousins and sister marching with the Clifton School patrols.
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As the end of the parade approached, kids stood on tiptoes to catch a glimpse of Santa and his reindeer. In perfectly Ottawa fashion, he called out a bilingual season’s greeting: “Merry Christmas, tout le monde.”
Thousands of people are expected to descend on downtown Toronto Sunday for the 115th annual Santa Claus parade.
This year’s parade is set to follow a different route, with a starting point at Parliament Street as opposed to Christie Pits.
But at a fundamental level, the scene was much the same as it was 50 years ago. Multiple generations bundled up to spend a day sharing in the holiday spirit, continuing traditions or starting new ones.
Numerous road closures are set to be in place in the city’s downtown core for the parade, which is set to get underway at 12:30 p.m.
“We loved playing. We’d stop along the way and play a Christmas tune,” said Casagrande, who was then just a beginner drummer in the fire services band. His favourite song to play?
Some restrictions will start taking effect throughout the morning, with full closures coming into place in the late morning hours.
Closures will include Bloor Street between Parliament and St. George streets, as well as Avenue Road and Queens Park from Davenport Road to College Street.
University Avenue will also be closed from College Street to Front Street and Wellington Street will be closed from University Avenue to Jarvis Street.
Environment Canada says spectators can expect mainly sunny skies Sunday with a high temperature of 1 C.