After a two-year pandemic hiatus, Torontonians will finally be able to see Santa Claus parading through the downtown core this year.

The 118th annual Original Santa Claus Parade returns to the streets of Toronto on Sunday, Nov. 20 following two years of broadcast-only events.

The parade starts at 12:30 p.m. and will be filled with a variety of floats, bands, marchers, and of course Mrs. Claus and jolly Old St. Nick.

This year’s parade will be hosted by Bell Media personalities Melissa Grelo, Kelsey McEwen, and Tyrone Edwards.

Musician and singer-songwriter John Legend will be performing in the parade, along with singer-songwriter Preston Pablo. The event will also feature a performance by the Ontario School of Ballet.

The event is set to run for approximately 2.5 hours and will take place regardless of weather conditions.

The parade route starts at Christie Pitts Park and travels east on Bloor Street West, before turning south on University Avenue. It will end at St. Lawrence Market.

Santa Claus parade route

The Holly Jolly Fun Run is also happening on Sunday. Starting just prior to the parade and following the same route, the run will finish at Maple Leaf Square.

Toronto police have provided estimated road closure times for the parade below:

  • Bloor Street West, from Ossington Avenue to Christie Street, at 7 a.m.
  • Bloor Street West, from Christie Street to Bathurst Street, at 10 a.m.
  • Bloor Street West, from Bathurst Street to Bay Street, at 10:30 a.m.
  • Avenue Road/Queen's Park, from Davenport Road to College Street, at 10:30 a.m.
  • University Avenue, from College Street to Dundas Street, at 11 a.m.
  • University Avenue, from Dundas Street to Front Street, at 11:15 a.m.
  • Wellington Street, from University Avenue to Jarvis Street, at 11:30 a.m.
  • Front Street, from Bay Street to Jarvis Street, at 11:45 a.m.
  • Front Street, from Jarvis Street to Sherbourne Street, at 11 a.m.

Vehicles parked along the parade route will start being towed at 6 a.m. on Sunday. Vehicles will be relocated to a nearby street at no charge to the owners.

Drivers can call 416-808-1400 if they were parked west of Spadina Avenue, 416-808-5100 if they were parked east of Yonge Street, and 416-808-5200 if they were parked in between.

The TTC is encouraging customers to take transit to the run and parade instead of driving through traffic this weekend.

The transit agency will be running additional service on Lines 1 and 2 to accommodate revelers.

“Several subway stations are conveniently located along or near the parade route, including Christie, Bathurst, Spadina, and St. George on Line 2, and Museum, Queen’s Park, St. Patrick, Osgoode, Queen and King stations on Line 1,” the TTC said in a news release on Wednesday.

Santa Claus Parade

The TTC says the 501 Queen, 504 King, 505 Dundas, 506 King, and 511 Bathurst streetcar routes will be maintained through breaks in the parade.

However, the following routes will be diverted during both the run and parade:

  • 13 Avenue Road
  • 19 Bay
  • 72 Pape
  • 75 Sherbourne
  • 94 Wellesley
  • 121 Esplanade – River
  • 126 Christie
  • 161 Rogers Road
  • 300 Bloor-Danforth

In addition, parking at many TTC subway stations is free on Sundays.

There are no planned subway closures this weekend.

If you’re unable to watch the parade in person, the event will be broadcasted in a Primetime Special on CTV on Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

CP24 will also be live streaming the parade online, on the CP24 app and on the CP24 YouTube page.

The Original Santa Claus Parade first launched in 1905 in Toronto. In 2020, the parade marked its first-ever broadcast production filmed at Canada’s Wonderland, to adhere with social distancing rules amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

CP24 and CTV are divisions of Bell Media.