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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 18, 2012

Santa Claus Parade

This is the weekend of the Santa Claus Parade in Toronto.  It is a unifying  social event which celebrated across Canada. The Toronto Parade is the oldest children's parade in the World.  It was started by the T. Eaton Company as a marketing ploy to get people to his stores.  It has become much more than that for the millions of Canadians who as children enjoyed the parade as a clear indicator the Christmas was coming and Santa Claus is a joyful reality for us all. 

 It has always been a secular event. Christian churches and organizations have never been a part of it.  This means that all people of a broad range of religious traditions can enjoy this yuletide side of Christmas.  This is more important now than in the days when this parade first began, or in the days of my youth, because we are now a multicultural society, particularly in our large urban centers.

Sadly the iconic economic retail empire of Eaton of Canada did not last as long as the parade. Eatons failed as a great retailer. I assume it did because it failed to adapt with the changes in retailing yet in it's history it pioneered many forms of retailing that are common today: widely distributed catalogues,  nation wide mail order business and local delivery. It even became the anchor store in many malls. In the end, if failed, leaving us the Santa Claus parade and the Eaton Center, (ironically the anchor retail store site in downtown Toronto but without an Eaton's store.  I find this sad to this day to see such a Canadian retailing institution disappear only to have American retailers flood into Canada to take advantage of the market here. Such is history but every year with the Santa Claus Parade we have a moment we can remember Eaton's of Canada and the great store that it was .

Santa on his float last  year

       The historic plaque that acknowledges the significant to the culture of Toronto

Below is a two part video of the history of the Toronto Santa Claus Parade.  It is an interesting look at the history of the city over the 100 plus years of the parade. My parents enjoyed it as children, my siblings and I were often there to see it and my son had a couple of years when we lived close enough to be there on the street.  We all have been able to view it on TV since the 50's. It is widely anticipated..

 I could not resist posting this video below.  It is one made by Eaton and distributed to school and organizations that wanted to show it.  It reflect the values of me youth..  The family depicted is worthy of the family of the sitcom "Leave it to Beaver".   Corny for sure but many of the ways of talking where the things said to me and my siblings at that time of 1953.   I am a little surprised there is only one child depicting a time when three or four was the norm.  I hope it brings a smile to your lips as you recognized a time past. You can find the second video of this two part story on youtube if you just have to see it all.


At 8:56 a.m., Blogger Anvilcloud said...

The passing of Eatons is a sad thing. I have an Eatons watch, given to my uncle upon working in the store for 25 years. I've now had it much longer than 25 years. Sadly.

At 9:38 a.m., Blogger possum said...

Funny, we were just talking about so many of the old stores and Xmas shopping... and how much of a thrill it was to have a quarter to spend in Woolworth's - the length of time spent trying to make the decision on what to buy! I usually bought a box of clay (plasticine) in 4 colors... One year I had enough money for a BIG box of 64 Crayons from Crayola.
I really miss the old department stores. I hate to admit, I do shop at Walmart, but mostly for cat food and garden stuff.
As for parades, I never liked going to them. I hate crowds... but I wouldn't miss the Rosebowl Parade for anything - on TV!


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