Christmas in the Capital

by DaniGirl on November 10, 2007 · 6 comments

in Life in Ottawa, Ottawa's hidden treasures

Edited to add: Click this link for the 2017 Santa Claus and holiday parade info!

I love Christmas. I love parades. I *really* love pink-cheeked children wrapped in snowsuits lining the streets for the Santa Claus parade. I look forward to it every year, and am just happy now that at least I have a good excuse to go every year… maybe to more than one!

Just as I did at this time last year, I’ve compiled a list of local Santa Claus parades. If I’ve missed one in the greater Ottawa neighbourhood, drop me a note and let me know!

38th Annual Ottawa Help Santa Toy Parade
Saturday November 17, 2007, starting at 11 am. The parade will start at Elgin and Laurier, City Hall. (Edited to add: note the revised parade route! Parade will now travel from Elgin Street down Laurier Ave to O’Connor, and follow O’Connor – instead of Bank Street – as far as Gladstone. The route will then follow Gladstone to Bank, and follow Bank Street to Landsdowne Park.) Bring toys for collection and distribution to Ottawa’s less fortunate families.

Barrhaven Lions 11th Annual Santa Parade
Saturday November 17, 2007, starting at 6 pm. Follows Strandherd Drive from Beatrice to Greenbank.

Kanata Santa Claus Parade
Saturday November 17, 2007, starting at 10 am. Parade runs from Castlefrank to Abbeyhill Drive to Hazeldean Mall.

Gananoque Santa Claus Parade
Sunday November 18, 2007, starting at 1 pm. Come and visit Santa and all his reindeer at the annual Santa Clause Parade down King Street.

Gatineau Santa Claus Parade
Friday November 23, 2007, starting at 7 pm. A tradition that goes back several years, this light-filled parade in the Aylmer Sector attracts crowds from the entire region. Departure from the marina at 7pm.

Santa’s Parade of Lights, Orleans
Saturday November 24, 2007, starting at 6 pm. Once again the Ottawa Professional Firefighters Association will be hosting Santa’s Parade of Lights on St-Joseph Blvd. in Orleans.

Carleton Place Santa Claus Parade
Saturday November 24, 2007, starting at 5 pm. Sponsored by the Carleton Place BIA, departing from the Carambeck School/Pool location.

Stittsville Parade of Lights
Saturday November 24, 2007, starting at 7:30 pm. The floats will line-up at the Ottawa School Board parking lot across from Brown’s Independent Grocers, beginning at 6:00 pm. The parade is set to begin at 7:30 pm. and will travel along Stittsville Main St. to Carleton Cathcart St.

Smiths Falls Rideau 175 Santa Clause Parade
Sunday November 25, 2007, starting at 1:30 pm. Annual parade featuring marching bands and floats celebrating the Rideau 175 theme as well as the local arrival of “Jolly Old St. Nick.” Location: Community Centre.

Rockland Parade of Lights
Sunday November 25, 2007, starting at 4:00 pm. The Clarence-Rockland Chamber of Commerce is proud to invite businesses and community groups of the City of Clarence-Rockland to participate in the 2007 edition of the Parade of lights, departing from Héritage Avenue. Children are invited to the Knights of Colombus Hall after the Parade to meet and take pictures with Santa Claus.

Pakenham Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, December 8, 2007 starting at 2 pm. Join Santa and the Pakenham community for the annual parade followed by free hot dogs, hot chocolate, free skating and a visit with Santa.

Perth Santa Claus Parade
Saturday December 1, 2007, starting at 5 pm. (Sorry, no location details on this one, but I’m assuming if you know Perth, you know where to go!) (Edited to add: thanks to Hugh Chatfield, who provided a wealth of information about the parade and other events in Perth, including a Facebook site and a Flickr Photo stream. Detail from the Facebook site: “The Perth & District Children’s Santa Claus Parade will wind its way through the streets of Perth on Saturday, December 1, leaving Sunset Blvd. at 5pm. The theme this year is “A Nursery Rhyme Christmas.” Join the hundreds of people on Foster and Gore streets watching this classic parade.”)

Almonte Santa Claus Parade
Sunday, December 09, 2007, starting at 2:00 pm. Join everyone on Bridge/Martin/Ottawa Streets in Almonte for an afternoon of Christmas excitement as Santa Claus pays a visit.

In addition to the parades, here are some other ideas for Christmas fun in the national capital region:

Upper Canada Village – Alight at Night
November 29, 2007 to January 5, 2008
5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day)
Bundle up for an evening stroll around the this gorgeous 1860s-era village, and see heritage buildings all magically lit, with over 200,000 lights – a true winter wonderland! For an additional fee, take a horse-drawn carriage ride, skate outdoors under the stars or ride on an illuminated toy train!

Christmas Lights Across Canada
December 6, 2007 to January 6, 2008
Launched in 1985 by the National Capital Commission (NCC), Christmas Lights Across Canada is one of a host of unique programs which was created to liven up the winter months. Originally only Parliament Hill was illuminated, but the program has grown to include 16 NCC sites and over 51 other sites along Confederation Boulevard.

Canadian Pacific Rail Holiday Train
See the Holiday Train as it stops in Smiths Falls and Perth, Sunday December 2, 2007.

Got any other tips or ideas to share? Leave a comment or e-mail me at danicanada (at) gmail (dot) com and I’d be happy to add them to this post.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 hw November 10, 2007 at 4:38 pm

Thank you! I totally would have missed the Santa Claus parade next weekend. My newly endowed Mommy name would have been smeared with mud!

2 Barbara November 10, 2007 at 10:59 pm

Thanks, Dani.

We made it to Alight at Night last year but not inside the village. The story is funny, nearly a year later, but wasn’t so funny at the time. For the dramatic details, see: My advice, though, is to make reservations at the Harvest Barn and then go really early as you will have to get through the admission line before you can go to the restaurant. The lines were surprisingly long and it’ll be cold. I’ve also been told to walk the circuit rather than taking the wagons. I’m going to try that out this year.

3 twimomplusone November 11, 2007 at 5:40 pm

guess you forgot about us eastenders!

Orleans Parade of Lights Saturday the 24th in the evening

Rockland’s parade of Lights Sunday November 25th starting at 4:30

4 DaniGirl November 11, 2007 at 7:42 pm

Twinmom, maybe you’ve been playing too much Scrabulous?? I had those ones in there already!! *wink*

5 BeachMama November 12, 2007 at 4:08 pm

Great list Dani. We will be in attendance this year, like last year here in Barrhaven. We may even take on another one that morning in Kanata or Downtown.

6 twimomplusone November 12, 2007 at 4:51 pm


now for the important stuff: a four letter word with a j or x or q or f in it…

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