The 2013 St Patricks Day Parade in Toronto
Early in March, everyone’s most burning questions are:
- What is St Patrick’s Day?
- What day is St Patrick’s Day?
- When and where is the 2013 St Patrick’s Day parade in Toronto?
Let’s douse the flames on those burning questions, and add some updates with other St. Patrick’s Day activities in Toronto.
(Added 2013-03-16): I’ve linked to a link about road closures near the end of the article.
What is St Patrick’s Day?
From a religious view, St. Patrick’s Day is the Catholic church’s commemoration of their missionary to Ireland, St. Patrick.
At this time, popular culture is happy to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as an excuse to drink Guinness stout ale and wear green clothing. Buy a “St Patrick Day T shirt” and fit right in to any Irish pub.
Let’s return to the Irish saint for a moment.
According to PF Moran’s “St. Patrick” article, St. Patrick was born in 387AD (or 387 CE) in Scotland. At age sixteen, he was captured and sold as a slave in Ireland. Six years later, the already devout Patrick escaped to continental Europe.
Patrick served as a priest under St. Germain for perhaps 18 years, and then was sent to convert Ireland to Christianity. Druid leaders opposed Patrick, who nonetheless impressed several Irish chieftans. Once given permission to travel and preach freely, Patrick spent decades travelling throughout Ireland on his mission. Patrick died on March 17 of some year, but it is not clear whether he was about 73, 74 or 106 years old at that time.
I’ve read other opinions that consider that “St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland” is a legend and metaphor for purging pagan religions, since snakes didn’t live in Ireland then. Some regard St. Patrick as a foreign oppressor who crushed indigenous druidic beliefs.
What Day is St Patrick’s Day?
When is St Patricks Day? St Patrick’s Day is March 17th every year.
Remember that parades and parties might not be held on that precise day of the month. In Toronto, St. Patrick’s Day parades are usually held, like many traffic-stopping annual events, only on Sundays.
Check with your Catholic church or local pub to learn exactly when they plan to celebrate St Patricks Day.
St Patrick’s Day 2013 happens to fall on a Sunday.
When and Where is the 2013 St Patrick’s Day Parade in Toronto?
According to the organizer’s web site, “St. Patrick’s Day Parade Toronto“, the 2013 St Patrick’s Day parade in Toronto will be held on Sunday March 17, 2013. It’s one of Toronto’s most popular annual spring events, and free for all to attend.
This year’s St Patrick Day parade will start at noon, heading east along Bloor Street from the St. George subway station.
The 2013 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Toronto will then turn south on Yonge Street, west on Queen Street, and end at Queen and University Avenue.
The organizers expect the parade should take about 90 minutes to pass any given point.
It’s not clear whether it will interfere with the 501 Queen streetcar, but I wouldn’t want to count on the 505 Dundas or 506 Carlton streetcars during the parade. My recommendation is to use the subway to any of the stations along the St. Patrick’s Day Parade route. Don’t even think of driving through the downtown core on Sunday March 17, 2013.
Road Closures for the 2013 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Toronto
(Added March 16, 2013): Thanks to City News Toronto for predicting “Roads closed for Sunday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade“.
My Other Articles Related to St. Patrick’s Day or What to Do in Toronto
Sunday March 17, 2013 happens to be the end of Spring Break for Toronto and most Ontario school boards. I recommended the St. Patrick’s Day Parade as the final activity for March Break in Toronto, but “2013 Spring Break Activities in Toronto” suggests six other ways to enjoy March Break with things to do in Toronto.
While we’re on the subject of child-oriented activities for St. Patrick’s Day, let’s remember that some restaurants serve green food especially for this event.
It’s not clear whether McDonald’s has trademarked the “Shamrock Shake“, but you can turn any food or drink into a minty St. Patrick’s Day treat. Add a touch of green with liquid green food dye. For a minty milkshake, add concentrated mint syrup. Amazon claims that the French will even mix Teisseire mint concentrate syrup into their beer, in case the food dye isn’t enough to make you feel extra Irish for St. Patrick’s Day.
There’s something about about St Patrick’s Day that may lead you to quaff a pint of Guinness in your local Irish pub to celebrate “St Party Day”. My “Lens for Irish Pubs in Toronto” breaks the city into six sectors by geography, and lists a precious few Irish alehouses in each. Well, actually, there’s a whole lot in some areas. Let me know if I’ve missed your favourite Irish pub in Toronto!
Last year I’d included some other background on St. Patrick in “The Toronto 2012 St. Patricks Day Parade Will March on March 11“…but remember that that was 2012.
(Added March 15, 2013): Buy some local produce and watch the Gilchrist-Canavan school’s Irish dancers at the Evergreen Brickworks Farmers Market on St. Patrick’s Day 2013. Evergreen Brickworks is in the Don Valley, at 550 Bayview Ave. south of Pottery Road. That’s a one-hour window of opportunity from 10:30-11:30am.
(Added March 15, 2013): The 2013 Canadian Masters Indoor Track and Field Championship will be run, jumped and thrown on March 16-17, 2013 at the Toronto Track and Field Centre at York University. Spectators are welcome to use the upper viewing area only. York University is on Steeles Ave. West, just east of Jane Street. The schedule and map (PDF) explain the event times (from 9:30 through early afternoon both days) and location.
(Added March 15, 2013): The 2013 Achilles 5Km race in Toronto also runs on St. Patricks Day. Watch the start and finish at 255 Bremner Blvd, easily recognized as “the south east from the CN Tower, at the Steam Whistle on the railway roundhouse”. Remember that a 10:15am start for a road race means taking the TTC and walking a bit to get past the road closures on Bremner, Spadina Ave., and Wellington Street where it cuts Bay Street. The Achilles organizers recommend taking the Yonge-University subway to Union Station, and then using the Skywalk to the CN Tower.
The Irish Festival in Ottawa
(Added March 10, 2013): The Irish Society of the National Capital Region holds the Irish Festival in Ottawa every March. This includes a St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Ottawa on March 16th, 2013. So you could take in both the Ottawa Irish Festival with their parade on the 16th, and hustle back to Toronto for our parade on Sunday.
This is just one of many festivals organized under the umbrella Ottawa Festivals, or, as they also like to say, the National Capital Region.
Looking for More Annual Toronto Events?
Use my Squidoo lens, “The DeHaan Lens of Annual Toronto Events” to plan your other weekends. It tracks all the annual Toronto events that I find interesting, and provides ideas for fascinating, free or frugal events in Toronto.
Disclaimer: DeHaan Services has no relationship to the organizer(s); I am not reimbursed for writing this article. However, DeHaan Services does write web site or advertising copy for clients. Our skills are demonstrated in online articles in Decoded Science, Environmental Graffiti, Squidoo and Suite 101. That’s why DeHaan Services highlights these online articles on this site.
Thanks for reading about the 2013 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Toronto.