Toronto Santa Claus Parade 2013 and Holly Jolly Fun Run

The most highly anticipated winter Toronto event is the annual Santa Claus Parade. (Added Nov. 13, 2014): You may want to read “The 2014 Santa Claus Parade in Toronto” for a more modern view of this annual Toronto event.

When and where is the 2013 Santa Claus Parade in Toronto? Just what is this “Holly Jolly Fun Run“?

Quick Guide to the Toronto Santa Claus Parade 2013

"2009 Santa Claus Parade in Toronto" image by c'est la Viva
“2009 Santa Claus Parade in Toronto” image by c’est la Viva

The Santa Claus Parade in Toronto celebrates the beginning of the Christmas season with a mix of parade floats and clowns. It’s a huge tradition for many: a great frugal family activity to watch the parade and eagerly await the arrival of Santa Claus.

The 2013 Santa Claus Parade in Toronto will be held on Sunday Nov. 17. The parade is scheduled to begin at 12:30pm at Christie Pits, off Bloor just west of Bathurst.

The parade route heads east along Bloor past Bathurst and Spadina, then turns south at Avenue Road. The route will take the eastern half of Queen’s Park Crescent, continuing south past Dundas and Queen. After turning east onto Wellington, the Toronto Santa Claus Parade, 2013 edition, will cross Yonge and Church to end at the St. Lawrence Market just shy of Jarvis. (Wellington merges with, and becomes, Front Street at Church).

What is the Toronto “Holly Jolly Fun Run“?

The “Holly Jolly Fun Run” is a new feature for the Toronto Santa Claus Parade 2013. It’s a 5Km event, called a “fun run” because the organizers don’t want people to treat it as a serious competition. My guess is that there will not be “chip timing”, meaning that up to 2,000 runners will rely on their own sports wristwatches to track their pace.

You need an early start to stake out your location for watching the Toronto Santa Claus Parade, as the sidewalks fill up with spectators. That makes it easy to catch this event, which begins at 12:00 noon…a full half hour before the parade. The run follows the parade route.

Many runners will reach the finish line near the St. Lawrence Market just about when the parade starts.

Be sure to cheer for the runners. They pay $50 to $100 each to participate; funds go to support the parade’s costs which are not covered by Toronto City Hall. (Updated the dollar amount on Nov. 13, 2014).

(Added Nov. 11, 2013): Register for the Holly Jolly Run online by clicking the red “Register Here” button to pay your $100.  Pick up your race kit, including the hat and mitten swag, at the Old Spaghetti Factory on the Esplanade on Nov. 15 or 16. Kudos to this fun downtown Toronto restaurant for helping out. The race also offers bag check service, so you can take a change of clothes and extra jacket in your backpack and leave it at the start area. You should be reunited with it in the finishers’ recovery zone inside the Royal Bank tower.

(Added Nov. 11, 2013): And if you missed out on the Holly Jolly Run, my “Run Races to Keep Motivated for Winter Running” suggests other short runs in Toronto and Ontario to keep you enthused until spring.

References and Resources for the Toronto Santa Claus Parade 2013

Last year my “Tips on the 2012 Santa Claus Parade Route in Toronto” included references for amusing children, and reminders to dress warmly and pick a spot near a building with restrooms…and more.

The official Toronto Santa Claus Parade site includes a map, advice, activities and suggestions. As well, CNW’s article about the 2013 Santa Claus Parade in Toronto explains this inaugural “Holly Jolly Fun Run”.

A Reference for Resourceful Christmas Gift Giving

Finally, in every city, the annual Santa Claus Parade is a reminder that you need to buy Christmas gifts for your children (and other loved ones). A few years ago, Canadian Living recommended gifts for children of different ages.

Books are some of the best Christmas gifts for children age 6-11. Here are two recommendations you can order from First, Janet Lunn’s “One Hundred Shining Candles” is an illustrated hardcover book. Lucy, a 10-year-old tries to hand-craft 100 Christmas candles in 1800s Upper Canada (now Ontario). The Kindle edition of Michelle Zimmerman’s “Magical Christmas” also boasts full-colour images. What will Alex do when he misses his school’s Christmas party? Who becomes involved? (I download e-books to my computer, so I didn’t need a separate Kindle device).

Older children, say 12-16, will enjoy the challenge of “Mindtrap Geometrical Riddles – Genius Level“. Enjoy these riddles and puzzles from geometry and math as group activities or on your own.

My American readers can find these items through

(Added Nov. 10, 2013): What about Santa Claus Parades in the GTA?

Check today’s article, “Five 2013 Santa Claus Parades in the GTA“, if you live in the Greater Toronto Area, or want to catch the action on a different date.

(Added Dec. 7, 2013): Other Santa Claus Parades in Toronto

I totally missed other Santa Claus parades in Toronto, such as the 2013 Etobicoke Santa Claus Parade on Dec. 7, 2013 at 10am from Dwight Ave., just west of Royal York, then westbound on Lakeshore Blvd West, and finishing shy of Brown’s Line at 36th Street. I only noticed because the media reported uncertainty about whether Toronto Mayor Rob Ford would participate.

Looking for More Annual Events or a Holiday in Toronto Canada?

You can find more annual events for your vacation in Toronto Ontario; or for local residents wanting things to do in Toronto this weekend.

Ideas for a Toronto Vacation or Staycation

This blog tracks many of the annual Toronto events that I find interesting, and provides ideas for fascinating, free or frugal things to do in Toronto Canada and sometimes in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area).

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, Decoded Pregnancy and my Fitness and Weight Control blog. That’s why DeHaan Services highlights those online articles on this site.

Click the “Toronto Events” category at the bottom of the right-hand column for recent articles on this topic. Thanks!

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