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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Santa Claus Parade

Today is the Santa Claus Parade in Toronto. Christmas is coming! I am not ready.

The Toronto Santa Claus Parade is the oldest and largest Christmas parade in the world. It is 105 years old this year. It is a Toronto institution. My parents watched it as children, my siblings and I have memories of standing in crowds, or sitting on the curb watching the parade and waiting for the final float with Santa himself on board; and, for the few years I lived near Toronto after returning from the US, my son got to watch the parade alongside his cousins. I hope my grandchildren have seen it in person. If not, it is not too late. I wrote a long blog entry a couple of years ago on this. You can find it here.

Santa in the 1957 Santa Claus Parade. It is from the later part of my era of me watching the parade.

For 77 years, the T. Eaton Company sponsored the parade, which they founded. It terminated at their large department store where Santa entered though a second story window to take up his place on his thone in Eaton's Toyland. How we loved our yearly visit to this wonderous place full of toys.

Eaton's was a major institution in Toronto dominating retailing there and across Canada though their mail order business. People in remote rural communities could buy almost anything through the catalogue. In Toronto, at one time, you could even order your groceries and have them delivered by Eatons. Eaton's vans were a familiar sight on the streets around Toronto as they delivered orders made over the phone. Sadly Eatons is no more. It failed to adapted and did not survive the changing retail scene. In Toronto, the Eatons Centre is a monument to what was.
The Santa Claus Parade now has many sponsors and executive of companies can even be celebrity clowns for a fee. I wonder if it is more commercial now than what I remember? I believe it is still largely a volunteer organization that puts it all together and makes it a success.

Here you can go and look through the 1909-1910 Fall and Winter Eaton's Catalogue. By clicking on the page, it turns over. You can also zoom it to enlarge the images. I have it open at the toy section. I am surprised at how many of the toys are still popular today, nearly 100 years later. The prices are also a shock. In the section of wood burning cook stove you could buy a lovely one for $35. I have been offered $3,000 for my antique stove.

The government of Ontario has an archive of the Parade covering the many year of its existence.
It is interesting to view. There are even short clips of the parades past to view.

It has been years since I was at the Santa Claus Parade. I live too far away. It is best watched with children. It would be interesting to view it now and see the crowd. Canada is now so much more ethnically and culturally diverse now compared to when I was a child and even since I moved away when my son was a child. I wonder how many of the newcomers have gotten in the spirit of the Parade and how the parade has changed due to the new demographic. The parade has always been a secular event. Religous communities do not participate, to my knowledge, ecept for the Salvation Army and the YMCA. All groups should be able to participate in the parade as well as the watching of it.
Must go. The parade is about to start of TV. I hope this is the beginning of the Christmas season for some. (Delayed for Americans because of Thanksgiving. :) )


At 4:52 p.m., Blogger Laurie-Ann said...

Hello you dear man. I just now read your comment on my second to last post.

Thank you for the kind things you said. I am often quite fascinated by you. You have lived such an interesting life...your politics are in in line with live in an area close to my heart..and you just seem so loving, kind and honest.

The next time I go home for a visit...I might take a drive out to visit you and your gorgeous dog. With your permission of course.

Take care...and thank you.

Laurie (casey under my other google acct.)

At 5:05 p.m., Blogger amelia said...

My hubby and I are so grateful that we don't have to do the parade any more! Our kids do it with their kids now while we stay home and knit and read and nap!! Much nicer that being with the masses and standing in the cold for hours. We have done our share now the youngsters can take over!!
On another note. What amazing weather we're having. I hope you've been out enjoying it. We went driving across Pine Poultry and Rabbit Trail today just to have a look around and apart from the roads needing grading, it was a gorgeous drive!!

At 5:35 p.m., Blogger possum said...

I have never been a parade person. Guess I have lived in the boondocks too long, never got to see them as a kid. However, it has been a tradition to watch the Rosebowl Parade ever since color TV came to be. That was when the tree got dismantled and decorations put away. Even now when we don't decorate for Xmas or have a tree, I still love to watch that parade.
Thanks for sharing yours!

At 12:33 a.m., Blogger Peggy said...

I am never too old for the Christmas parade. I love the floats, the bands playing aways bring tears to my eyes, and seeing Santa just brings that Christmas magical feeling. this year I will get to enjoy it with grands. I always watch Macy's parade on tv each Thanksgiving and dream of seeing it and the Rose bowl parade in person. I am just a kid at heart when it comes to parades.

At 8:49 a.m., Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I remember the Santa parade in Montreal. It would be held on the weekend before or after (I forget which) the Toronto parade. I've only been to the TO parade once, around the mid-seventies when Thesha was young.

At 10:31 a.m., Blogger Climenheise said...

I enjoy parades, but attend few. Pioneer Days in Steinbach is about it for me. (Not that most people even know where Steinbach is!) But a Christmas Parade? Now? When winter hasn't even come to Manitoba? Maybe there's something to be said for waiting until after Americans' Thanksgiving Day!

At 10:21 p.m., Blogger Berni said...

I always thought the Macy's parade was the biggest. Nice to know Canada got them beat even if it is a parade sanctifying the ghoul of Christmas. Not a big Christmas fan at least not how it is celebrated these days. I am looking forward to a Mexican Christmas which is more in keeping with the nativity story and gifts are given out on the Day of the Kings January 6.

At 8:00 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

The information here is great. I will invite my friends here.



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