Toronto’s Santa Claus Parade goes virtual for second year in a row

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Santa Claus will arrive in Toronto through your television screen this year for his annual parade – the second time he has made a virtual appearance since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

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With more details to be released on November 2, Torontonians can rest assured that Santa Claus is still coming to town for his 117th parade, CEO Clay Charters confirmed to Star, noting that spectators will be in the evening on December 4. You can tune in on CTV at 7 pm. or CTV2.

Several factors hindered the decision to virtually host the parade, with a significant portion of the audience (children under 12) remaining unaccompanied, and the inability to mandate a vaccine passport system during a public event, which Usually attracts more than a million people.


Although the parade will have to be seen through a single screen, several other prestigious winter events are gearing up to bring back the festive cheer to the city for the first time since the pandemic began.

From watching the Nutcracker at the ballet to being photographed beside Santa at the mall, the star has compiled a list of Toronto’s major holiday events and how they play out this year:

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one of a kind show

where: Enercare Center

When: November 25 – December 5

The One of a Kind show will return this year for guests to experience some of Canada’s smartest makers in person. The 11-day event is a great way to get in touch with the holiday spirit and support over 400 small creators throughout the winter season.

Proof of vaccination and mandatory masking will be required for entry to the show. There will also be contactless ticketing, timely admission and improved hygiene to ensure the safety of guests, vendors and staff.

Distillery Winter Village

where: distillery district

When: November 18 – December 31

Distillery Winter Village won’t just bring a new name to the city this year. The market promises unique and exclusive programming while still allowing residents to have a “picture-perfect holiday experience” and explore the distillery district’s rich history.

The event will begin with a tree lighting ceremony and end with a family New Year event and countdown. Guests will also be able to browse through an exclusive selection of local shops, restaurants, and local craftspeople.

For those who plan to visit the market on a weekend or Friday evening, tickets must be purchased online – otherwise, admission is free.


where: Four Seasons Center for the Performing Arts

When: December 10 – December 31

One of the largest and most elaborate productions in the National Ballet’s repertoire is returning to the stage for a live performance this winter.

Production is set to showcase James Kudelka’s holiday staple version of the show, but some changes have been implemented to ensure safety. All children’s roles will be played by students from the National Ballet School of Canada and there will be no outside actors. Canon dolls will also not be played by celebrity guests this year.

Audience members over the age of 12 must be vaccinated to view the production and all other children must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test or negative PCR test to participate. Tickets under the age of 12 will be waived in price to cover the cost of a test.

Swedish Christmas Fair

where: Virtual

When: Order online before 15th November

Toronto’s Swedish Christmas Fair, presented by SWEA, has gone online this year, allowing patrons to shop through hundreds of Swedish food and design products such as caviar, herring, chocolate, Swedish Christmas ham, straw goats, decorations, designer goods and more. Huh.

Not only guests can visit here Fair website For ordering before mid-November, they can also find Swedish cuisine, information on Swedish culture, and videos featuring Toronto Swedish folk dances and singers.

Curbside orders can be taken in Toronto November 20-21. A spokesperson said the annual fair, which first began in 1982, is expected to return in person next year, but there are also plans to put some features online to provide hybrids.

mall santa

where: various malls

Yorkdale, Scarborough Town Center and Square One Shopping Center have confirmed that they will offer the Santa Experience at malls this holiday season. The saints and their dwarves will be fully vaccinated and social distancing will be practiced.

Guests must wear masks for their photograph and complete a COVID-19 screening at check-in.

Cadillac Fairview, the mall operator that runs Toronto’s Eaton Center, Fairview Mall, Don Mills and Sherway Gardens, says they will provide both personal and virtual options for shoppers to accompany Santa. Full details not yet released, but they are expected soon Website.

season christmas show

where: International Center in Mississauga

When: November 12 – November 14

Back for its first in-person event since the start of the pandemic, the season’s Christmas show will feature its signature Makeful Market, where guests can shop for fine art, ceramics, jewelry and more. There will also be live presentations and holiday craft workshops during the three-day event.

this year, buy tickets Not only does the show accept patrons for all celebrations, it will also give them access to Fall Cottage Life Show. Proof-of-vaccination and mandatory masking will be required and there will also be timely entry for guests to avoid crowding.

Ross Petty’s Holiday Music

where: Virtual

When: December 18 – December 19

For the second year in a row, Ross Petty is bringing music lovers a virtual production this holiday season where viewers can choose their own adventure in a brand new performance from Alice in Winterland.

Although “Panto” will not be performed at Toronto’s Elgin Theater, as has been the case 24 times before, the festival’s favorite will allow families to decide whether Alice will follow the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole, Mad Invite to hater’s tea party or learn latest tiktok dance.

Tickets are $35 per family and will allow the production to stream over the weekend before Christmas.

Wreath Workshop

where: Old Mill Toronto Restaurant

When: November 27 and November 28

Enjoy a hot cup of apple cider (spiked or non-spiked) and make your own traditional wreath to take home and hang this holiday season.

Hosted by Danielle Pagura, Tickets Are available online And providing the greens, tools, and accessories needed to make the festive garland cost more than $100 in tax. Snacks such as pastries and cookies will also be included and all wreath makers must be fully vaccinated to go inside.

Drive Thru Fun Company Presents Snow Magic

where: Ontario Place

When: November 12 to January 16

It is an event that will allow families to stay safe and warm in their vehicles during the 1.7 km of mystical fun.

During the experience, guests will witness pyrotechnics, navigate through a “blizzard” and view 18 themed art installations, including an enchanted forest, mythical creatures, and a snow moon. The radio can be tuned to 89.9 FM to listen to music during the drive-thru.

Tickets are $65 per vehicle during peak demand times and $45 when off-peak.

the tenors

where: Massey Hall

When: 22 December and 23 December

Juno Award-winning and multi-platinum vocal group, The Tenors, will return to the stage this December with their Santa Wish Tour for two nights on the town.

The group, consisting of Victor Micklef, Fraser Walters and Clifton Murray, will perform holiday hits at the newly renovated Macy’s Hall, marking the opening of Canada’s Tyler Shaw. Shaw and the Tenors have also released the holiday single, “O Holy Night” together.

Proof-of-vaccination will be required at the show and tickets can be purchased Online.

Annual Toronto Polar Bear Deep

where: Sunnyside Beach

When: January 1 afternoon

Spend your New Year’s Day taking an icy dip in Lake Ontario with the Toronto Polar Bear Club in support of the Toronto charity, Boost Child and Youth Advocacy Center.

While the logistics are still to be determined, the dip is likely to happen in phases to help maintain social distancing.

Co-founder Keith Jolie said that being able to hold the event, which has been running since 2006, this holiday season is a “light at the end of the tunnel”.

Irelyne Lavery is a Toronto-based staff reporter for the Star. Reach him via email: [email protected]

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