I 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.
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.
This next float brought back wonderful memories of watching Looney Tunes on Saturday mornings. That's not snark, that's totally legit nostalgia.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Fun Fact: I thought the animatronic penguin on the bench was a real kid and was very impressed by the makeup job.
Nothing says winter in Toronto like Trinidad and Tobago's official musical instrument, the steelpan.
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.
Geek alert: Red Hat Linux made an appearance. (No, not really.)
This Snow White float is top notch. Well done, Lake Shore Santa Claus Parade.
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.
Somehow I doubt this Thomas the Tank Engine-ish float was licensed from Gullane Limited.
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!
I believe these are polar bears wearing sunglasses and riding a snowmobile called "Polar Express". Why the hell not?
This is the scariest looking Grinch I've ever seen. A good effort nonetheless!
I cannot look at this old ambulance without seeing the Ecto-1.
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.
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.
T'was the night before Christmas, and these mice still lacked noses and eyes and mouths...
And now, for the penultimate float... a skiing snowman!
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.
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.