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Is Santa here yet? Christmas season comes alive this weekend in Toronto

CityNews | posted Friday, Nov 17th, 2017

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“Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?,” Charlie Brown says in A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Linus Van Pelt replies: “Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.”

Grab hold of the Christmas spirit and never let go. The festivities are already underway, with the tree at the Eaton Centre already lit up and the Toronto Christmas Market opened for the holiday season. The big news (if you didn’t already know) is that Santa is on his way this weekend, one of many appearances he is making in the city. Now, all we need is some snow (don’t be a snow hater, remember what it felt like when you were a kid).


Events

Santa Claus Parade
The jolly St. Nick is mostly known for handing out presents, but it is his message of being kind to others and sharing happiness that people embrace around the world. And that’s what Santa will bring when he comes to Toronto on Sunday.

The 113th edition of the Santa Claus parade starts at 12:30 p.m. at Bloor and Christie streets. It then heads down Bloor to Queen’s Park Crescent East, University Avenue, Wellington Street, Yonge Street and ends at Front and Jarvis streets around 3-4 p.m. Click here for the parade route.

If you are coming to the parade from outside of the city, GO Transit will be running special train service on the Milton, Kitchener, Stouffville and Barrie lines. Round trip fares are $5 for children and seniors, $10 for adults, and $20 for a group.

Toronto Christmas Market
Shortbread, fudge, waffles, poutine, and gingerbread … is your mouth watering yet? Those are just some of the yummy treats you can indulge in at the Toronto Christmas Market, which opened at the Distillery District on Thursday. And what would a European-style Christmas market be without beer gardens and Glühwein (mulled wine)? Aside from the food and drinks, you can get merry with Christmas music performances and traditional dances. Several vendors will also be on hand, selling Christmas treats and ornaments. You can also meet up with Santa and bring along your pet on Tuesdays to pose for a photo with him. Admission to the market is free during weekdays with a $6 fee starting at 5 p.m. on Fridays and into the weekend. Revenue generated from the admission fees will go towards the event and three charities.

Holly Jolly Fun Run
Ahead of the Santa Claus parade, people will be getting into the Christmas spirit in the Holly Jolly Fun Run. Those taking part in the 5k event will run along the same route as the parade. The run starts at 11:45 a.m. on Bloor Street between Manning and Euclid avenues and ends on Bremner Boulevard at Maple Leaf Square. As an added bonus, after the run there will be snacks.

Christmas lights glow
Several neighbourhoods in the city get lit up for the holidays on Saturday, including at the main event in downtown Toronto. Join the Illuminite party at Yonge-Dundas Square as the tree is lit up during an evening of music and dancing. The events runs form 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The Village of Yorkville Park at Cumberland and Bellair streets will also be illuminated, as lights will be turned on during the Holiday Magic event, which runs from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Refreshments are available for a $2 donation – money raised will go to the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research.yongedundas-tree2013

Road closures

Bloor Street West from Christie Street to Ossington Avenue will be closed from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday for the Santa Claus Parade. There will also be road closures from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. along the parade route, as well as for the staging area. Road closures will also in effect for the Holly Jolly Fun Run and other events. Click here for a full list.

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