On Sunday 19th November I took myself downtown to watch the Santa Claus Parade. I didn’t have particularly high expectations, for no reason other than the fact that I have never really been to a Christmas Parade before (sorry – those we have in Brisbane don’t count) therefore didn’t understand the enormity of it – THIS WAS THE DAY THAT SANTA CLAUS ARRIVED IN TORONTO!
I initially stopped on University Avenue to watch maniacs, I mean, extremely dedicated people, running a 5km race despite it being 4ºC. They were all dressed in Christmas attire, so it was very entertaining. It was also really nice seeing how enthusiastic the crowd was. After 5 minutes of watching this, some children in front of me starting squabbling and their mother told them to stop, as they had another 3 hours to go! Well…. I wasn’t loitering around York St for the next 3 hours, so I visited my new favourite cafe “Dineen” (amazing coffee) to read some Marian Keyes (who I saw interviewed at Indigo Yonge and Eglinton on Saturday) and pass a bit of time.
I parked myself on the corner of Wellington and Yonge streets to watch the parade. It was amazing and I can honestly say I have never felt so emotional at a parade before. There were what felt like about 5,000 marching bands (maybe only 10) and other floats celebrating the Christmas Season, but it was the general feel of the event that gave me that warm “fuzzy” feeling. Everyone was so excited and it was beautiful seeing how those in the parade interacted with the audience. You certainly wouldn’t have been able to wipe the smile off my face (because it was frozen)!
Towards the end of the parade, around about the time I lost feeling in my fingers and toes, it started snowing. I was tempted to squeal this fact with excitement, not unlike the scene in Elf where Will Ferrell’s character hears Santa is arriving, but thankfully the multitude of children around me did this instead. It could possibly have been considered strange for a grown woman to get so excited. To be honest I had probably already earned the label “weird ” by initiating conversation with people around me…
When Santa Claus arrived, the crowd went absolutely nuts. Whether this was because they, too, had started losing feeling in their extremities or if it was because they were pleased to see the big man in the red suit, I’m not sure. What I am sure about is that I felt a sense of belonging and it made me all the more excited to be here In this beautiful country.
Following the parade, I promptly went to Hudson’s Bay and purchased a pair of gloves that had thermal lining
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