Choose one or more nearly-free outdoor Christmas caroling events in eastern Toronto in early December 2012.
(Updated Nov. 24, 2014): Or “Enjoy Christmas Carols Outdoors in Toronto for 2014“. (Updated Nov. 30, 2013): I found some new and some returning events: see “2013 Outdoor Christmas Caroling in Toronto and Mississauga“.
Singing Christmas carols is a terrific family activity during the Yule season. These three events also answer the question, “Where can my kids see Santa Claus other than in a shopping mall in Toronto”?
Where to go Christmas Caroling in Toronto?
I easily found three answers to the question, “Where to go Christmas caroling in Toronto?”: Kew Gardens, Sunnybrook Park or Glen Stewart Park.
The secret is to know both “when” and “exactly where“.
Christmas Carols in Kew Gardens in Toronto
On Saturday Dec. 1st, 2012, head for the Alex Christie Bandshell in Kew Gardens. If you arrive by 5pm, you will see the lighting of the Christmas Tree as well as a visit by Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. Sing Christmas carols along with the rest of the crowd.
This is a nearly-free event, but the Beaches Lions’ Club appreciates donations of “Loonies for the Lions”.
The festivities end by 7pm, so this is a very family-friendly event. Actually, all Christmas festivals befriend children as well as adults.
Kew Gardens is on Queen St. East, roughly midway between Woodbine Ave. and Main Street. It’s best to take TTC; either the 501 Queen Streetcar or a bus south from the Woodbine or Main stations on the Bloor-Danforth line.
My one concern for your family is that this event covers suppertime, but I’m sure that Toronto’s restaurants in the Beach neighbourhood would welcome you that evening.
Christmas Carols in the Pines by Brentcliffe Road
The Northlea United Church at 125 Brentcliffe Road will host a one-hour session of Christmas carolling on Sunday Dec. 9, 2012 from 7 to 8pm. The Salvation Army will provide the band, but participants should bring their own flashlights.
Here is my direction for drivers from the far east of Toronto. Drive west along Eglinton, from Don Mills and past Leslie. Eventually the next right turn is north onto Brentcliffe which curves west and north as it goes past the church.Brentcliffe eventually connects to Glenvale Blvd.; turn left and drive west to connect to Bayview Ave.
The park is on the north border of the church. Santa Claus has asked a Boy Scout troop to provide hot chocolate. There’s no word about making donations, but I’d be prepared to help the Salvation Army with some coins, since it is the Yuletide season.
Caroling in Glen Stewart Park
Head back to the Upper Eastern Beach on Tuesday Dec. 11, 2012 and sing carols in Glen Stewart Park from 7:30pm for an hour.
Once again the Salvation Army, a local United Church, Boy Scouts and Santa Claus join forces to sing sweetly in a Toronto park.
Glen Stewart Park is south of Kingston Road, between Glen Manor Drive and Beech Ave. but extends south to touch Queen St. East. I’d start from Queen Street and head north, since the venue is “south of the bridge”.
This is definitely a nearly-free event, as the Salvation Army will receive a collection.
My Thought about Christmas Caroling
I can’t imagine a Christmas without singing carols, largely because my church always ensures we have ample opportunity. Those of you who attend a church regularly, or just during the Advent season, might enjoy the extra atmosphere from singing outdoors.
For those who don’t follow the Christian faith, it’s still an enjoyable passtime to sing Yuletide songs. Some Christians bemoan “Xmas presents”, the frantic rush to buy Christmas presents, and the way the visit by Santa Claus with his reindeer has supplanted the birth of Jesus in popular culture. Nonetheless, many cultures celebrate the winter solstice; if you’re from a different faith or culture, you might consider this to be an educational opportunity to meet some neighbours.
Besides, I recently wrote “Must Toronto Ask When is Diwali in 2012?” and, last year, “A Quick Introduction to Kwanzaa Holiday Entertaining“. If you have more suggestions on religious festivals celebrated in Toronto during the winter, please let me know.
Reference (added Nov. 26, 2012): Beach Metro News, Nov. 20, 2012 print edition, Community Events notices page.
(Updated Dec. 9, 2012): Check Roots Canada‘s outdoor wear for women or men to prepare for any outdoor winter activities in Toronto. At the time of writing, the women’s Tremblant Down Sweater is 30% off; so is the men’s Delirium Insulator Jacket.
As a possible follow-up to Christmas caroling, you might search for “Christmas books for children” at Barnes and Noble or at Chapters Indigo. “The Night before Christmas” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” are classics.
Looking for More Annual Toronto Events?
Check the “annual events” or “Toronto events” categories toward the end of the left-hand menu for other fascinating, free or frugal annual events in Toronto.
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