For many families, the holiday season doesn’t officially begin until their local Santa Claus parade takes place. For us here, that’s Toronto’s Santa Claus Parade (Sunday, starting at 12:45 p.m.)—the longest running children’s parade in the world. This year the Toronto parade even has its own free iPhone apps. Track Santa’s progress on the route or use your phone to Shake the Bells to ring out as each float passes by. Not in Toronto? You can also Shake the Bells at a parade near you.
St. John’s—Nov. 28, 2010, 1 p.m. The theme of this year’s Annual Downtown Christmas Parade is “A Toyland Christmas.” Attendees are asked to bring a non-perishable food item for the Community Food Sharing Association. And if weather permits, Santa will be flying along the parade route in his special reindeer helicopter.
Halifax—Nov. 20, 2010, 6.p.m. The 15th Annual Chronicle Herald Parade of Lights features lights, music and floats. Non-perishable items, unwrapped toys and cash donations will be collected. Canada Post will also collect letters to Santa.
Moncton—Nov. 27, 2010, 6 p.m. This parade, celebrating its 43rd year, is the largest parade in Atlantic Canada. The theme is Christmas Movies.
Montreal—Nov. 20, 2010, 11 a.m. This traditional parade takes place along Sainte-Catherine Street between Du Fort and Sainte-Urbaine.
Ottawa—Nov.20, 2010, 5 p.m. During Ottawa’s 41th anniversary Help Santa Toy Parade, the Fire Fighters’ Association will help collect new toys and cash donations for the less fortunate children in Ottawa-Carleton.
Cobourg, Ont.—Nov. 21, 2010, 2.p.m. This parade is celebrating it’s 55th anniversary. Letters to Santa and non-perishable food donations will be collected along the route.
Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont.—Nov. 20, 11 a.m. Featuring 14 bands, kids are encouraged to bring letters for Santa, bring a toy for the toy drive and canned goods for the food bank.
North Bay, Ont.—Nov. 21, 2010, noon This year’s theme is Old Fashioned Christmas with awards given for Best Overall Float and group with Best Spirit.
Regina—Nov. 21, 2010, 1 p.m. The theme of the 25th annual parade is Christmas Then & Now. The parade route begins at 25th Avenue and travels south along Albert Street to the Southland Mall.
Edmonton—Dec. 5, 2010, 10 a.m. The 23rd Jingle On Indoor Annual Santa Claus Parade features marching bands, mascots, floats and more takes place in the downtown pedway system (second level).
Vancouver—Dec. 5, 2010, 1 p.m. Those attending the seventh annual Rogers Vancouver Santa Claus Parade are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to be collected for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society.
Victoria—Nov. 27, 2010, 5:30 p.m. The Island Farms Santa Light Parade features bands, floats and Santa, of course. Attendees are encouraged to bring a food item for the Mustard Seed Food Bank.