The Christmas season has officially kicked off and there is no place like the GTA for the holidays. One of the main attractions is Santa Claus who will be making an appearance in several events this weekend.
Santa comes to the GTA
Santa will be quite the busy bee this weekend — the star attraction in at least three parades in the GTA. So, if he can be jolly, you better turn that frown upside down.
In Toronto, the Santa Claus Parade takes place on Sunday and travels along a different route due to construction (see the map below). It starts at 12:30 p.m. at Bloor Street East and Parliament Street, then heads along Bloor to Queen’s Park Crescent East, along University Avenue to Wellington Street West, then onto Yonge Street and Front Street East, ending at Front and Jarvis Street. Ahead of the two-and-a-half-hour parade, the the Holly Jolly Fun Run kicks off at 11:45 a.m.
Road closures and transit
Road closures start at 7 a.m. and will be in effect along Bloor Street, Avenue Road, Queen’s Park, University Avenue, Wellington Street and Front Street. Click here for a full list.
Elsewhere in the GTA, the Santa Claus Parade will also be bringing cheer to residents of Brampton on Saturday evening, as part of the Winter Lights Festival. The festival kicks off on Friday with the lighting of the Christmas tree and an outdoor market. Then at 5 p.m. on Saturday, the Santa Claus parade rolls into town.
Around an hour later, Santa will be at the Richmond Hill Santa Claus Parade. The parade will be decked out with colourful floats and marching bands. Canada Post employees will also be collecting letters to deliver to Santa at the North Pole. There will also be comfort food and drinks to warm you up.
Christmas market opens in Toronto
‘Tis the season for Christmas markets and one of the more well-known ones will be opening this weekend. The Toronto Christmas Market opened on Thursday with the tree lighting ceremony. The market is home to carolers, vendors selling all things Christmas, tummy-happy food and warm drinks, heating spaces for beer and mulled wine, and plenty of other festive things. The market is open Tuesday to Sunday and is closed on Mondays. Admission on weekdays is free until Friday at 6 p.m. and $6 after that and into the weekend. Children under five years old can enter for free but require a ticket for the weekends. The market runs until Dec. 22.
Baking for the holidays
Most kids love Christmas cookies, so why not get them into the spirit of baking their own creations. The Scarborough Museum is offering a Holiday Baking Bonanza on Sunday afternoon for kids six to 11 years old. They can learn to bake and decorate donuts and also make snickerdoodle cookies. The young chefs will also get a chef-in-training kit, which has a wooden mixing spoon, chef hat, chef apron, and other fun stuff.
Christmas joy in Markham
Santa will also be making a stop this weekend at Home for the Holidays, an outdoor Christmas festival at the Markham Fairgrounds. The event starts on Friday and runs until Sunday. Vendors will be selling ornaments and other Christmas decorations, stained glass, fresh greenery to decorate your home, and gifts for your shopping list. There will also be yummy shortbread and other treats to taste, as well as Victorian carolers to put you into the Christmas spirit.
Partial Line 1 closure
On Saturday, subway service will be shut down on Line 1 between St. Clair West and King stations due to signal upgrades. Shuttle buses and Wheel-Trans service will be running.
Dupont Station will be closed but all other stations will remain open for fare sales. Riders travelling northbound who require an elevator should exit the train at Queen Station.