This Sunday is Toronto’s 109th’s annual Santa Claus Parade (update 110th as of Nov 14th/14).  When it originally started on December 2, 1905 by the Eaton’s chain of department stores, it had just a single float. It now has over 25 floats, 24 bands, and 1,700 participants (Wikipedia).

With that much history lets take the Vintage Inn Time Travel Bus and see what past parades looked like from the 1920s-1950s.

Note: Vintage Fashion Lovers-The crowd pictures when you look close enough have some lovely vintage fashion. Happy Hunting 🙂

1920s

Santa and his Reindeer

Eaton's Santa Claus Parade, Santa Claus & reindeer on curve. - November 20, 1926

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The Cloche hats and coats are just lovely in these pictures

Eaton's Santa Claus Parade, Noah's ark & animals. - November 20, 1926

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1930s

History Fact: In 1939 when the Second World War brought on shortages, organizers were forced to make the elaborate costumes out of paper (A Century of Memories by Citynews)

Toronto Santa Claus Parade 1930s

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I love that the road is dirt in these two pictures, hard to imagine that this was even so in a city with concrete and asphalt everywhere now

Toronto Santa Claus Parade

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1940s 

1950s

History Fact: In 1952 the parade was televised for the first time, appearing on CBC (A Century of Memories by Citynews)

1956 Parade-The baton twirling ladies are fantastic looking!

Toronto Santa Claus Parade 1956

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Love the costumes below

Toronto Santa Claus Parade 1956

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Fun in the Snow!

Toronto Santa Claus Parade 1956

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To end here is an excellent short historic overview of some of the most memorable moments in the parades history (some I stated above already):

“A Century of Memories-The History of Toronto’s Santa Parade”

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Will you be attending your own cities Santa Claus Parade? Or do they do other cool traditions for the holiday season?

Liz

3 comments on “Toronto’s Santa Claus Parade: 1920s-1950s Holiday Fun!”

  1. Would you believe it, we lived in the GTA for six whole years and never once did we make it to the parade (blame it mostly on me, my health never wanted to cooperate enough to let me go out when parade day came). I wish we would have at least once, it really seems like such a blast – who knows maybe I’ll be out that way in November again one year and can see it then. For now, I’ll just delight in these wonderful vintage photos of it.

    ♥ Jessica

    *PS* I really must tell you how much I love, and appreciate, that you share so much about vintage Canadian history. It warms my history loving canuck heart to no end.

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