After attending 9 Toronto Santa Claus Parades in a row, I didn't make it downtown for this year's event. But I did attend the Etobicoke Lakeshore Santa Claus Parade along Lake Shore in New Toronto yesterday morning.
I was there to support my new hood and check out this annual event for myself. Unlike the main Toronto parade, there is plenty of room for all in attendance but the trade-off is comparably underwhelming floats with a fraction of the budget and a rather small town vibe. And by small town, I just mean small...
The very first "float" was the "Rehab Unit", rather appropriate since Rob Ford threatened to crash this party.
Toronto sports teams were well represented. There was Carlton from the Leafs, Jason from the Argonauts and a mock-up of the Leafs and Raptors dressing rooms. Oh, and Mike "Pinball" Clemons was walking the route and I told him I liked his jacket. He seemed to appreciate that.
Then there was this big unwelcome distraction called Rob Ford. He walked the route while tv cameras followed him, and his driver slowly drove Rob Ford's Escalade on the other side, saying "Merry Christmas" to us as he rolled by.
There were floats, too... many clearly unauthorized by the copyright holders, others mashed together in nonsensical ways. Here are a few of the better ones.
And finally, there was the guest of honour himself, Santa Claus.
It was cold, but I didn't have to battle crowds and I was home in seconds. Nice job, Etobicoke Lakeshore.