Join us in 2015 for our 25th Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade! This year is shaping up to be our biggest and best yet. The parade takes place on Saturday, December 5, 2015. It starts at 10am at Dwight Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard West in Etobicoke. Join us for what is sure to be an amazing kick-off to the holiday season!
Plan your parade day travel accordingly. The following roads will be closed on parade day:
There are Green P parking lots along the parade route. As well there is street parking on most of the side streets. Please read the parking regulations and respect the residents of the area - do not park in front of driveways.
Whether you are marching in the parade or watching it as it travels along Lake Shore Blvd. W. you will want to be warm. Dress in layers, wear a hat, mitts and scarf, and bring a blanket for sitting on. The sidewalk is cold!
This year is the 25th Anniversary for the Etobicoke Lake Shore Christmas Parade. It all started early in 1991, when the Lake Shore Village (New Toronto) BIA came to Long Branch BIA with the idea of starting a Christmas parade on Lake Shore again after a 25 year hiatus. It was felt that this would be a way to bring a large number of people to the Lake Shore to let them know that it was alive and well and would hopefully attract them to the area.
A steering committee was formed and both BIAs provided seed money and our first parade was launched on December 5, 1991.
For the first two years, our floats consisted of borrowed 48-foot flat- bed trailers that were dropped off just a few days prior to the parade. We would work furiously almost round the clock to decorate them. On parade morning, the tractor-trailer drivers and truck cabs would hook onto the trailers and assemble at our marshalling area.
Over the years we have been adding our own floats with money from donations and from the two BIAs. Today we have a total of 15 floats; four of them are self-propelled.
In 1995, Arnold Hughes, a bandleader and designer with Carabana brought a third dimension to our floats and our characters. Larger than life characters were made with wire frames and covered with a fabric called fun fur.
In 1996, the City of Etobicoke Council endorsed the parade as the official Christmas Parade of Etobicoke. That year was a tremendous year of growth. We had our first motorized turntable. Bruce Loveless and a group of young men from the community rebuilt our forty-foot float as the Santa float with outriggers. Nine wire-frame and fiberglass reindeer, covered in gold foil, were mechanically made to move up and down. A large number of colourful costumes have been made by volunteers to complement many of the floats.
In 1998, our thirty-foot self-propelled float was acquired from the Grey Cup Parade. Dan Gibbs rebuilt its Volkswagen car engine and the float was covered with new plywood. Arnold Hughes made eight four-foot high mice with wire framing, and they were covered with fun fur by volunteers to create our very own mouse choir that rotated on top of a cheese box.
In 2000, celebrating our 10th year, a new self-propelled Anniversary Train was built with a locomotive, two cars and a caboose and lots of elves.
Over the years Santa and his elves have been busy refurbishing and enhancing our 15 floats.
We have a very small core group of dedicated volunteers who donate many hours each year to put this parade together. We sincerely thank these volunteers and the generous sponsors who make this magnificent event possible.
The parade fulfills an important role in our community as businesses, industry and residents come together to present the best event possible to welcome Christmas to our neighborhood.
Our annual Christmas Parade has been ranked as 4th best in Ontario. The media has reported that as many as 70,000 people attend this parade. Highlights of the parade include 10 marching bands and 15 professionally built floats. The parade is filmed by Rogers Television and can be seen on Cable 10 several times over the Christmas season.
If you are interested in helping us out, and participating in the excitement,
call Angelo Cundari @ (416) 562-2585 or Carlos Guerreiro @ 416-910-5203.
Phone: (416) 562-2585
Parade date: December 5, 2015 @ 10am