Sleigh bells are ringing as the Santa Claus parade prepares to return to Toronto this weekend for the first time since 2019, after the COVID-19 pandemic put a two-year halt to the in-person event,
The 118th annual Original Santa Claus Parade will hit the downtown core this Sunday starting at 12:30 p.m. People can expect to see a wide variety of festive floats, marching bands, and of course, Mrs. Claus and Santa himself. Celebrity Clowns will be making a comeback as well and will be celebrating 40 years with the parade. The event will also feature performances by musical artists John Legend, Preston Pablo and the Ontario School of Ballet.
Clay Charters, the president and CEO of The Original Santa Claus Parade, told CBC Toronto his team has been working on the event for an entire year and is "excited" to be back on the street.
"It's special to be able to be a part of an event ... that brings an entire city together," he said.
The parade route will begin at Christie Street and Bloor Street West, then moves east along Bloor to University Avenue before ending at St. Lawrence Market.
There is also a designated accessibility viewing area on College and University.
The TTC is encouraging parade-goers to take public transit rather than drive and plan their trip in advance.
You can easily access the parade route from several subway stations, including Christie, Bathurst, Spadina, St. George, Museum, Queen's Park, St. Patrick, Osgoode, Queen and King, the TTC says.
The transit routes below will be diverting Sunday due to the parade.
13 Avenue Road
161 Rogers Road
The Holly Jolly Fun Run will be bringing some extra holiday cheer 45 minutes before the Santa Claus Parade along the same route. The run will end at Maple Leaf Square in front of the Scotiabank Arena.
The TTC also said in a news release that they will be adding additional trains to Line 1 and 2 to help people get to the parade.
The 501 Queen, 504 King, 505 Dundas, 506 Carlton and 511 Bathurst streetcar routes will also be operating through gaps in the parade.