Santa Claus parades in Ontario 2023
Whether it’s your first time participating in this classic winter experience, or you’ve been to countless parades over the years, Santa Claus parades are the perfect way to bring a family and community together just in time for the holidays. If you’re unable to attend a Santa Claus Parade in person, some of them can be viewed from the comfort of your home. From local musicians and popular bands to special guests and famous celebrities (like Santa!), there’s something to excite people of all ages at these festive events.
There’s no better way to get everyone in the holiday spirit. So, bundle up in your warmest winter clothes, or set up the family computer in a cozy spot, and check out these Santa Claus parades in Ontario.
Greater Toronto Area
The Original Toronto Santa Claus Parade is one of the oldest Santa Claus parades in the world and it will be returning to the streets of Toronto this year to delight and entertain thousands of spectators. Dazzling parade floats, bands and marchers will be joining the parade, and of course, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will be making a guest appearance to close out the celebration. Toronto's Santa Claus parade can be seen in person along the streets downtown or on TV stations such as CTV and CP24. Public transit is recommended to get to the parade, though some paid street parking is available around the area.
Date: Sunday, November 26, 2023; starts at 12:30 p.m.
Location and route: Starts at Christie Pits Park and travels east along Bloor Street, then south on Spadina Avenue and then east along Harbord Street, south along University Avenue, east along Wellington Street, then south on Yonge towards Union Station, then east along Front Street and ends at St. Lawrence Market in downtown Toronto.
Dozens of parade floats glide through the city streets during the Brampton Santa Claus Parade, watched by over a hundred thousand people. Some popular floats in the past include a towering nine-metre-tall toy soldier, a fleet of inflatable helium balloons and a newly designed Santa Claus float complete with illuminated Christmas trees and a giant sleigh. Santa’s helpers travel along the parade route to pick up all the kids’ letters to Santa ahead of Christmas. The parade runs rain, snow or shine, so be sure to dress according to the weather. Parking is accessible and available around the parade route.
Date: Saturday, November 18, 2023 at 5:00 p.m.
Location and route: Starts at Central Park Drive and Bramalea Road, travels north along Bramalea Road, then east along North Park Drive and ends at Jordan Boulevard in Brampton
This year’s Oakville Santa Claus Parade will be themed “Holiday Movie and Icons” to celebrate classic holiday films from cultures and countries across the globe. This parade has been running for over 70 years, bringing joy to members of the community as they come together and celebrate the Christmas festivities. Parade floats are organized by schools, walking groups, community groups and commercial businesses. The event will take place regardless of the weather, so dress in the appropriate winter attire.
Date: Saturday, November 18, 2023 at 9:00 a.m.
Location and route: Starts at Lakeshore Road East and Reynolds Street, travels west along Lakeshore Road, then north along Kerr Street, then west along Stewart Street in Oakville
The Milton Santa Claus Parade has been running every winter season since 1933 thanks to the Royal Canadian Legion and local firefighters. Take in the holiday spirit at this year’s parade, which will also have a “Christmas in the Movies” theme and feature parade floats made by citizens and community groups. Volunteers hand out bags of candy to kids standing along the parade route, excitedly awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus. Five-hour paid parking is available on roads near the parade route.
Date: Sunday, November 26, 2023 at 1:30 p.m.
Location and route: Starts at Main Street West and Whitmer Street, travels east along Main Street West and ends at the Milton GO Station in Milton
York, Durham and Headwaters
Brightly lit floats will make their way down Main Street at The Stouffville Santa Claus Parade. From reindeer and polar bears to fire trucks and steam trains, not to mention Santa Claus himself, there are a ton of fun sights to see at this year’s parade. There is on-street paid parking available close to the parade route in Whitchurch-Stouffville, limited to three hours.
Date: Saturday, December 2, 2023 at 6:00 p.m.
Location and route: Starts at Ninth Line and Main Street, travels along Main Street and ends at Park Drive in Whitchurch-Stouffville
Organized and run by the community, the Oshawa Santa Claus Parade features a multitude of incredible floats created by local citizens. Kids won’t be bored thanks to fun activities like gingerbread house building and purchasable light-up reindeer noses (whose proceeds go towards funding the parade). The parade runs rain or shine, and feel free to bring any extra equipment such as lawn chairs or blankets that will make your experience more comfortable. For places to park, check out the nearby Midtown Mall or other plazas and side streets close to the parade route.
Date: Saturday, November 18, 2023 at 6:00 p.m.
Location and route: Starts at King Street West and Gibbons Street, travels east along King Street West, then north on Simcoe Street South, then west on Bond Street West and ends at Gibbons Street, in Oshawa
Over 70 performances appear in the Newcastle Santa Parade, including marching bands, clowns and beautiful light-up floats. This year’s parade theme is “Deck The Hall,” so you can expect plenty of fun parade costumes and creatively designed floats that will delight kids and adults alike. Be sure to arrive on time—the fireworks display that signals the beginning of the parade begins promptly at 5:30 p.m. Paid on-street parking is available in areas close to the parade route.
Date: Sunday, November 19, 2023 at 5:30 p.m.
Location and route: Starts east from North Street, travels along King Avenue to Arthur/Brookhouse Street in the east in Newcastle
Huron, Perth, Waterloo and Wellington
The KW Santa Claus Parade is run by the Lions Club of Kitchener and features almost a hundred parade floats from the local community. Remind your kids to write their letters for Santa, as Canada Post will be there to pick them up. The Food Bank of Waterloo will be collecting food items and local firefighters will be collecting toys for the Knights of Columbus’ Toy Drive, so consider bringing donations. The parade may start as early as 9:45 a.m., so arrive early if you’re planning on standing near the beginning of the parade route. It lasts for 1.5 hours and Rogers TV will be broadcasting the celebration from City Hall.
Date: Saturday, November 18, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.
Location and route: Along Weber Street, from Frederick to Erb Street in Waterloo
Countless festive tractors, wagons and graders decked out in Christmas lights glow in the night sky during the Rockwood Farmers’ Santa Claus Parade of Lights. All the parade floats are created by local farmers and their families, a tradition started by the Brander Family Farm 30 years ago. Rockwood is a small village and space fills up quickly, so be sure to find a good spot early to watch the parade and catch a glimpse of Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Several restaurants in the area will be open and ready to serve anyone looking for a warm drink or meal. The parade lasts 1.5 hours.
Date: Thursday, December 14, 2023 at 7:00 p.m.
Location and route: Starts at Fifth Line just north of Rockwood, travels south along Fifth Line, then west along Highway 7, then north along Fourth Line to end at the Brander Family Farm in Rockwood
Hamilton, Halton and Brant
The Hamilton Santa Claus Parade is a volunteer-run parade that’s been running for over 45 years. Kids and families from across the community come together to celebrate the beginning of the festive season. Three permanent floats are included in the parade every year: the Santa Claus float, the Mrs. Claus float and the famous 25-year-old Frosty the Snowman float. The weather during the parade can become very cold, so dress warmly with extra hats, gloves and scarves, and bring blankets and cushions to keep everyone comfortable. A food drive will also be set up so remember to bring a non-perishable food item if you can. Look for posted signs indicating where on-street parking near the parade is permitted.
Date: Saturday, November 18, 2023 at 11:00 a.m.
Location and route: Starts at Bay Street and Barton Street, travels east along Barton Street to John Street, turns south on John to Wilson Street, then west on Wilson/York Boulevard to Hess Street North and Cannon Street in Hamilton
The Burlington Santa Claus Parade is sponsored and run by local businesses. Kids and adults alike will love the community floats, marching bands and costumed characters (including Santa Claus, of course) that regularly appear during this festive parade. Letter carriers will be walking along the parade route, so remember to bring your letters for Santa. The 2023 parade will be celebrating Burlington’s 150 years by inviting non-profit organizations to submit designs for parade floats based on the city’s history—three community floats will be chosen. You can support the Burlington community by bringing a non-perishable food donation to the parade, which will be collected by the Burlington Teen Tour Boosters for the local food bank.
Date: Sunday, December 3, 2023 at 2:00 p.m.
Location and route: Starts at Guelph Line and Prospect Street, travels south on Guelph Line to New Street, travels west along New Street onto James Street, and ends at Brant Street, in Burlington
Presented by the Ontario Power Generation, the Niagara Falls Santa Claus Parade boasts an impressive lineup of guests including Mayor Jim Diodati, City Council and dignitaries, Police Chief Brian MacCulloch and the city’s team of firefighters. Plus, kids will love meeting their favourite characters like Olaf, Goofy, Mickey Mouse, Mario, the Grinch and more. At the end of the parade at City Hall, a tree lighting ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m. The city’s Christmas Market will then open, welcoming visitors to shop from artisanal vendors and local businesses among the light displays and live entertainment. Parking lots available via parking meter are situated close to the parade route.
Date: Saturday, November 18, 2023 at 3:30 p.m.
Location and route: Starts at Victoria Avenue and Armoury Street, then travels along Valley Way and ends at City Hall in Niagara Falls
Grimsby’s 66th annual Santa Claus Parade will be held again this year to start the holiday season. One of the longest-running events in the town, the parade features over 90 entries ranging from community floats, walking groups and marching bands to various other forms of entertainment. The 2023 theme is “Classic Christmas Movies.” The parade runs for five hours so be sure to check the weather and dress appropriately in warm clothes. Find paid on-street parking close to the parade route.
Date: Saturday, December 2, 2023 at 5:15 p.m.
Location and route: Starts at Blessed Spirit Secondary School, travels east along Livingston Avenue and Main Street and ends at the Ontario Street intersection in downtown Grimsby
Get in the holiday spirit at the Belleville Santa Claus Parade, which welcomes about 60 parade floats, bands, Christmas-themed activities like crafts, a holiday market and family photo ops, and of course Santa Claus himself. Letters for Santa will be collected by the Rotary Club of Belleville, as well as toy donations for the Belleville Professional Firefighters Christmas Toy Drive. Paid public parking at $1 per hour is available in the downtown area.
Date: Sunday, November 19, 2023 at 4:30 p.m.
Location and route: Starts at Bridge and Sidney Street, travels east along Bridge Street and ends at Bridge and Herchimer in Belleville
2023 marks the 87th Santa Claus Parade in Port Hope. The theme will be “Jingle Bell Rock.” Enjoy live music, parade floats and displays from local businesses and community groups. The Fare Share Food Bank will be collecting non-perishable foods, so bring along an item to donate. The Rotary Club will also be collecting parade donations. Be sure to check out Memorial Park before or after the parade, which will be decked out for the winter season with thousands of Christmas lights after the Port Hope Candlelight Festival on November 24.
Date: Saturday, November 25, 2023 at 1:00 p.m.
Location and route: Starts at Bramley Street and Ridout Street, travels along Walton Street and ends at Queen Street and Augusta Street in Port Hope
Decorated and lit-up parade floats made by members of the community will be on display at the Trenton Santa Claus Parade. The town also participates in decorating the light poles around downtown, creating a truly festive atmosphere in time for the holidays. A tree lighting ceremony is held at Pedestrian Park after the parade, the same place where kids will also have the chance to tell Santa Claus what presents they’re looking forward to the most. Currently, free on-street parking is available near the parade route.
Date: Sunday, November 26, 2023 at 4:30 p.m.
Location and route: Starts at Community Gardens, travels along Campbell Street, turns left on Dundas Street East and across the Veteran Skyway Bridge, travels along Dundas Street West and ends at Queen Street in Trenton
Run by a private group of volunteers, the London Santa Claus Parade has been running since 1956. This year’s parade will last 1.5 hours and will be themed “Christmas Lights Extravaganza.” There will be parade floats from organizations and local businesses, as well as several musical acts. The London and District Food Bank will be there to collect non-perishable food items, so remember to bring food items. Anyone who can’t make it to the parade in person can watch the live stream on the city’s media YouTube channel. Municipally owned paid parking lots are available near the parade route.
Date: Saturday, November 18, 2023 at 6:00 p.m.
Location and route: Starts at Quebec Street and Queens Avenue, travels west along Queens Avenue, travels north on Waterloo Street, travels west on Dufferin Avenue, travels south on Clarence Street, travels west onto Queens Avenue and ends at Ridout Street.
At this year’s annual Petrolia Santa Claus Parade, visitors can expect plenty of innovative parade floats and entertaining winter activities for kids. The weather can be chilly—make sure the whole family is dressed in extra layers and bring folding chairs and cushions for anyone who wants to sit comfortably while waiting for Santa’s arrival.
Date: Saturday, December 2, 2023 at 2:00 p.m.
Location and route: Downtown Petrolia (route TBA)
Grey, Bruce and Simcoe
The South Grey Chamber of Commerce and the Municipality of Grey Highlands is hosting the Markdale Santa Claus Parade in downtown Markdale. The event will include a Christmas Market, Tree Lighting Ceremony and more holiday fun.
Date: Friday, November 24, 2023 at 6:00 p.m.
Location and route: Along Main Street in downtown Markdale
The Santa Claus Parade in Wasaga Beach traditionally includes entertainment, treats and the town’s annual tree lighting ceremony in Oakview Woods. Check their website for up-to-date information about this year’s event.
Date: Saturday, November 25, 2023, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Location and route: Starts at Dunkerron Avenue and ends at the RecPlex Community Centre at 1724 Mosley Street.
Algonquin Park, Muskoka and Parry Sound
The Gravenhurst Santa Claus Parade takes place in the town’s historic downtown, providing the perfect winter backdrop to the Christmas festivities. The parade will feature the theme “Marching Through Time” and last 1.5 hours. Check back for more parade location and route details.
Date: Saturday, November 25, 2023 at 11:00 a.m.
Location and route: Historic Downtown Gravenhurst (route TBA)
Santa and his friends will bring cheer at the Help Santa Toy Parade, returning for the 54th year in 2023. The parade is in direct support of the Salvation Army's Toy Mountain campaign. They collect gifts for less fortunate families in Ottawa communities. New and unwrapped toys will be accepted along the parade route, or at any fire station in Ottawa.
Date: November 18, 2023 at 11:00 a.m.
Location and route: The route starts at Elgin and Laurier, then heads west to Bank, then south to TD Place in Lansdowne Park.
The Timmins Santa Claus Parade is the community’s largest event and the largest Santa Claus parade in the region, attracting over 10,000 spectators every year. More than 50 parade entries are expected and over 1,000 people will be helping as volunteers or participating as groups in the parade. This year’s parade theme is “Bright Lights, Christmas Delight!” The parade route on Third Avenue runs past many shops in Timmins—stop by for a cup of coffee or hot chocolate at a café to warm yourself up. If you want to park in a municipal lot close to the parade route, you’ll need a parking permit from the city.
Date: Saturday, November 18, 2023 at 6:00 p.m.
Location and route: Along Downtown Third Avenue in Timmins
Enjoy this year’s annual Rotary Santa Claus Parade in Sault Ste. Marie. This festive experience is known by the community as a holiday tradition and attracts thousands of spectators each year. There is no set theme, so prepare to see an eclectic mix of creative and colourful holiday parade floats on Queen Street.
Date: Saturday, November 18, 2023 at 6:00 p.m.
Location and route: Starts at Queen Street East and travels from Church Street to Gore Street, in Sault Ste. Marie
This year is Thunder Bay’s 31st Rotary Annual Santa Claus Parade. Over 20,000 spectators come out to watch the large number of beautifully designed floats travel through the city streets. Be swept up by the holiday spirit along with the rest of the community and enjoy the Christmas music ringing through the air, resonating from every parade float. Keep an eye out for participants walking along the parade route handing out candy to the kids who’ve been good this year. Families will have the opportunity to meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium after the end of the parade. Public on-street parking is available close to the parade route.
Date: Saturday, November 18, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.
Location and route: Starts at the Superstore on Harbour Expressway, travels north along Memorial Avenue and ends at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium in Thunder Bay
Last updated: January 2, 2024