I Attend The Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade So You Don't Have To

I Attend The Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade So You Don't Have ToI live in the south end of Toronto, just a short walk from Lake Shore. That makes attending the annual Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade awfully convenient.

With my youngest napping and my oldest kids otherwise engaged, I attended the parade this morning with my nephew Nate. Nate has an irrational fear of sirens and this parade has a surprisingly heavy use of sirens, but I still managed to photograph every float.

Here are pics from this year's parade, along with a little snark, completely free of charge.

The first "float" is the "Rehab Unit". That reminds me, Rob Ford was dumping candy canes on little kids last year after being uninvited from the big parade, but he was nowhere to be seen this year.

Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade 2014

Then we had a gentle reminder that Toronto is hosting the Pan Am Games next summer. That sparked a debate between me and my brother as to which is less interesting to us, the Pan Am Games or Commonwealth Games. It was a draw.

Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade 2014

This next float brought back wonderful memories of watching Looney Tunes on Saturday mornings. That's not snark, that's totally legit nostalgia.

Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade 2014

Here we have some sort of underwater motif. It's colourful and cute, and although it wouldn't make the cut at the big downtown parade, it was almost too good for the Lake Shore parade.

Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade 2014

I'm not sure if this is Cinderella or not. It's really more of a generic homogenized prince and princess float that I'm sure was a big hit with the little girls in attendance.

Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade 2014

I'm pretty sure this is an Alice in Wonderland float, because there's the Cheshire cat on the roof. When I first saw the clocks I actually thought of Jessie Spano and the fact there's never enough time.

Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade 2014

Now we're just getting lazy. Is this even a float or just a truck delivering hay that took the wrong exit from the Gardiner Expressway?

Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade 2014

Fun Fact: I thought the animatronic penguin on the bench was a real kid and was very impressed by the makeup job.

Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade 2014

Nothing says winter in Toronto like Trinidad and Tobago's official musical instrument, the steelpan.

Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade 2014

I caught 2 minutes of the live Peter Pan musical the other night and couldn't take it anymore. I thought the young lady playing Captain Hook on this float did a far better job.

Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade 2014

Geek alert: Red Hat Linux made an appearance. (No, not really.)

Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade 2014

This Snow White float is top notch. Well done, Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade.

Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade 2014

What amuses me about this little parade is how just about anything could be a float. This is a fire truck. It is also a parade float.

Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade 2014

Somehow I doubt this Thomas the Tank Engine-ish float was licensed from Gullane Limited.

Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade 2014

This was, without a doubt, my favourite float in the entire parade. It's a group of hillbillies complete with moonshine and beards. Bumpkin sensibilities be damned!

Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade 2014

I believe these are polar bears wearing sunglasses and riding a snowmobile called "Polar Express". Why the hell not?

Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade 2014

This is the scariest looking Grinch I've ever seen. A good effort nonetheless!

Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade 2014

I cannot look at this old ambulance without seeing the Ecto-1.

Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade 2014

Ok, really.... how is this a float? This is a spinning class in progress. That's not a float, that's a pre-cinnamon dolce latte activity.

Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade 2014

I think this is a dragon, but I suppose it could be a dinosaur. I can say for certain, however, that it's a very bright green.

Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade 2014

T'was the night before Christmas, and these mice still lacked noses and eyes and mouths...

Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade 2014

And now, for the penultimate float... a skiing snowman!

Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade 2014

The Santa Claus float at this parade is far lower to the ground than the Santa Claus float at that other Toronto parade. I like this better as it makes Santa seem like more of a regular guy. He's not all high and mighty, he's on our level.

Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade 2014

There you have it, the 2014 Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade in its entirety. The elves were extremely generous with the candy canes and the weather cooperated fully.

I'll be back next year.


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Comments (6 - click here to join in!)

Speysidephil

@mike

Were you the only person there, I don't see too many on the sidelines.
Anway I'd say the organizers of this parade have "given up".

December 6, 2014 @ 10:11 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Speysidephil

Let's just say you could show up as it began and get a front row seat for you and a dozen friends. Plenty of room for everybody!

December 6, 2014 @ 10:36 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

This parade actually reminds me far more of the St. Patrick's Day parade downtown than the Toronto Santa Claus parade in November.

December 6, 2014 @ 10:53 PM

Ryan

I'm hoping that this is what the "DragonSaur" was attempting to replicate: http://youtu.be/VL8daMgZo18

December 7, 2014 @ 8:56 AM

Ryan G / Hobo Gauntlet

I don't like parades.

In fact dislike them in every possible way. Part of it has to do with the fact that I used to be in them. When we were kids, my folks got us into an Irish accordion marching band. Yes. Accordion. I thought maybe I'd meet girls, but since I was new I didn't know how to play anything so I was given a flag to carry. A dude carrying a flag doesn't get girls. Trust me.

But I just don't get the appeal of parades and being childless means I don't have to endure them. If they're good, they're rammed and people fight to get a good spot for their kid. If they're weak, although you have no problems getting a view, half the floats consist of four greasy car salesmen waving out the window of a cadillac strung up with an auto dealership banner. And who cares about seeing a fire truck? Living in the city I see them almost every day, and firetrucks, particularly with sirens, symbolize tragedy, death and sadness.

And if that's not enough for me to hate parades, I have one more reason. Years ago when in university, a friend had a brilliant idea. He'd make up little red plastic stop-signs printed with "STOP at my house Santa", and we'd walk along the route and sell them for five bucks. We'd make hundreds and hundreds of dollars, he said. Instead, we lost hundreds and hundreds of dollars. It was freezing, I got hassled by parade organizers and I sold exactly two signs, one of which was to my seven year old niece..at full price.

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snark. a part of a balanced breakfast. more at hobogauntlet.blogspot.ca
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December 7, 2014 @ 12:45 PM

Broni

We love the Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade. Our tradition is to go for breakfast at the Lucky Dice greasy spoon then step outside with a minute to go before the parade. There's always a great spot to watch the parade from (which lasts an hour exactly).
Mike, your play-by-play was spot-on and I also liked the hillbilly float which I think was new this year, and looked like a bunch of drunks had taken a wrong turn somewhere and ended up in a parade.

December 7, 2014 @ 11:48 PM

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