The Giant Christmas Parade Post, 2009 edition

by DaniGirl on November 1, 2009 · 21 comments

in Happy holidays, Ottawa Family Fun

Edited to add: Click this link for the 2018 Santa Claus and holiday parade info!

This is an exciting year for Santa Parades in and around Ottawa. For the first time ever, the main Ottawa Help Santa Toy Parade will be held in the evening, and the new route will bring it past Parliament Hill. How cool is that? I can’t wait!


This is the fourth year I’ve done a round-up of all the Santa and Christmas and Holiday parades in the Ottawa region, and it’s one I look forward to doing all year. It’s actually a bit of a challenge to track down some of the information for the smaller towns, but that’s now part of the fun.

I just love everything about a parade — rosy cheeked children, marching bands, families walking together, the anticipation of the float with Sir Jollyness Himself at the end. We’ll likely attend at least two this year! And you know what? They start in just two short weeks!

Here’s my annual round-up of all the Santa Parades I could find in the greater Ottawa / Eastern Ontario / Outaouis region, in chronological order:

Kanata Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, November 14, 2009, starting at 10:00 am. The parade will
proceed onto Castlefrank Road, turning onto Abbeyhill Drive and on to Hazeldean Mall.

Barrhaven Lions 13th Annual Santa Parade
Sunday, November 15, 2009, starting at 5:30 pm. Parade route runs along Strandherd from Beatrice to Greenbank.

Cornwall Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, November 21, 2009 starting at 5:00 pm at St. Lawrence High School and traveling West on Second Street to the Royal Canadian Legion. The theme this year is “Christmas Around the World”

Gatineau Santa Claus Parade
Friday, November 27, 2009, starting at 7:00 pm. A tradition that goes back several years, this light-filled parade in the Aylmer sector attracts crowds from the entire region.

Brockville Santa Claus Parade
Saturday November 28, 2009, starting at 2 pm. “Christmas Then and Now.” See their website for parade route and details.

Pembroke Santa Claus Parade of Lights
Saturday, November 28, 2009, starting at 5 pm.

Carleton Place Santa Parade
Saturday, November 28, 2009 starting at 5:00 pm. Thousands of spectators, over one hundred floats, and one jolly St. Nick will meet downtown Carleton Place on Bridge Street for the largest Santa Claus parade in the Ottawa Valley. This year’s theme is ‘A Christmas Melody!’

Orleans 12th annual Parade of Lights
Saturday, November 28, 2009 starting at 6:00 pm. The parade will travel along St Joseph Blvd from Youville Drive to Prestone Drive.

Gananoque Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, November 28, 2009, starting at 6 pm. Come and visit Santa and all his reindeer at the annual Santa Clause Parade down King Street!

Embrun Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, November 28, 2009, starting at 6:30 pm. The parade begins at the Township Office on Notre Dame and will head east on Notre Dame, turning left on St. Augustin, and left on Centenaire St, making its way to the arena on Blais Street. After the parade, the community is invited to gather at the Community Center to see Santa in person!

Stittsville Parade of Lights
Saturday, November 28, 2009, starting at 7:30 pm. Sorry, no location information available, but if you know Stittsville I’m assuming you can figure it out!

Picton Santa Claus Parade
Sunday, November 29, 2009 starting at 3:00 pm. This year, the Picton Santa Claus Parade will assemble on McFarland Drive, a short distance from its former rallying point at Picton fairgrounds.

Casselman Christmas Parade
Sunday, November 29, 2009 starting at 6:30 pm. The parade launches a week-long Christmas festival! See this pdf for details.

Vankleek Hill Christmas Parade of Lights
Friday, December 4, 2009. Our magical parade will dazzle you! Santa’s village from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. (Hey, did you know Vankleek Hill is the Gingerbread Capital of Ontario?!?)

Richmond Santa Claus Parade
Saturday December 5, 2009, starting at 11:00 am. Don’t miss the “Lighting of the Park” on Saturday December 5th at 6:00 pm following the annual Santa Claus Parade at 11:00 am the same day!

Pakenham Santa Claus Parade
Saturday December 5th, 2009, starting at 1:00 pm. Parade begins and concludes at the Stewart Community Centre. The Pakenham Santa Claus Parade is always a wonderful event that takes one back in time.

Perth Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, December 5, 2009, starting at 5:00 pm on Sunset Blvd. This year’s Santa Claus Parade’s theme is “Christmas In The Caribbean”.

Ottawa Help Santa Toy Parade
Saturday, December 5th, 2009 starting at 6:00 pm. This is so exciting – the main Ottawa parade downtown has switched to a new evening parade for its 40th anniversary! Route travels Wellington Street in front of the Parliament Buildings. New toys (no used toys, please) and cash donations will be collected by the Ottawa Firefighters.

Hawkesbury Santa Claus Parade
Saturday December 5, 2009, starting at 7:00 pm. Departing from Geneviève and Main Street.

Almonte Santa Claus Parade
Sunday December 6, 2009, starting at 1:30 pm. The parade begins at the Almonte Community Centre parking lot. Santa and Mrs. Claus will make their way to the Upper Hall of the community centre following the parade where they will be available to meet the children. Hot chocolate and hot dogs will be served compliments of the Almonte Lions Club. There will also be free public skating from 2 to 4 pm.

Killaloe Annual Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, December 12, 2009 (sorry, starting time was not available at the time of publication) Following the parade, enjoy a visit with Santa at the Lions Hall at 18 Lake Street in Killaloe.

holly border

And don’t fret if you can’t make it to the parade – how about one of these other fun family events with a holiday theme in our region?

Christmas Lights Across Canada

Each year, the National Capital Commission coordinates the Christmas Lights Across Canada program, including a lighting ceremony on Parliament Hill and more than 300,000 lights sprinkled throughout downtown Ottawa. Edited to add: how cool is this? The NCC just announced that the Christmas Light Ceremony on Parliament Hill this year will coincide with the arrival of the Olympic Torch Relay in Ottawa, on Saturday December 12, starting at 5:45 pm. You can read more details in this post.

Upper Canada Village: Alight at Night
Over a quarter million lights adorn the heritage buildings, trees and fences of Upper Canada Village creating a one-of-a-kind magical backdrop for its annual Alight at Night Festival… a true winter wonderland! Open nightly starting at 4:30 pm from November 28, 2009 through January 3, 2010. (Except Christmas Eve & Christmas Day)

12th Annual Trees of Hope at the Fairmont Château Laurier
Each year, corporate teams decorate trees to raise funds for the CHEO. You can visit the decorated trees and cast your vote for your favourite from late November through early January. (I’ll confirm the dates as they come closer!)

2009 Canadian Pacific Holiday Train
The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train hits the rails again this November, visiting over 130 communities in eight states and six provinces. In the last decade, the Holiday Train has help raise $4 million and 2 million pounds of food for local food banks. Local stops include

  • Smiths Falls: Sunday, November 29, 2009 from 8:15 p.m. to 8:45 p.m at the Smith Falls Train Station, 63 Victoria St.
  • Perth: Monday, November 30, 2009 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Wilson St. railway crossing, South side
  • Belleville: Monday, November 30, 2009 1:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., South Church St. railway crossing, south of Dundas St. East
  • Trenton: Monday, November 30, 2009 2:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., Railway crossing at West Street
  • Brighton: Monday, November 30, 2009 4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., East of railway crossing at Prince Edward St.

If I’ve missed anything, or if you’d like to share information about your family-friendly Ottawa Christmas / Holiday event, please feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at danicanada (at) gmail (dot) com and I’d be happy to add them to this post!

P.S. Because you know I love a little serendipity — do you think there’s a cosmic significance to the fact that the Ottawa Santa Parade, Sesame Street and me all turned 40 this year? 🙂

Let the holiday craziness begin!


{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Laura November 1, 2009 at 9:42 am

This is a happy post – thank you. I heard that Christmas Parades welcome Halloween candy donations (to pass out along the route). After looking at the stash my children brought home yesterday I am trying to figure a way to get rid of most of it. Have you heard of this program or did I dream it during a sugar induced sleep?

2 Kathleen November 2, 2009 at 8:05 am

Thanks Dani!
I’m by no means ready for anything Christmas, but hey, the kids will be before we know it.

3 Annika November 2, 2009 at 9:44 am

Love it. THANKS!

4 Guillermo November 2, 2009 at 12:32 pm

Thanks for such a great info, the latin community in Ottawa-Gatineau now knows where to go!

5 Chantal November 2, 2009 at 1:42 pm

Thanks Dani! I will be coming back to this post again and again 🙂

Cornwall Santa Claus Parade: Nov 21st starting at 5pm. Parade goes all along 2nd street (East to West direction). Theme this year: Christmas Around the World.

6 Chantal November 2, 2009 at 7:24 pm

That first weekend in December is huge here in Mississippi Mills. On Friday night is Light Up The Night, an awesome concert and fireworks show, Saturday is the Pakenham parade and Sunday is the Almonte parade (which you have listed).

7 SC November 3, 2009 at 10:09 am

Thanks Dani… I look forward to this post every year, even more so now with E in the picture.

For any readers living east of Ottawa, in my neck of the woods…

Embrun Santa Claus Parade is scheduled for November 28th @ 6:30PM.
The parade begins at Township Office on Notre Dame and with head east on Notre Dame, turning left on St. Augustin, and left on Centenaire St, making its way to the arena on Blais street. After the parade, the community is invited to gather at the Community Center to see Santa in person!

Casselman Christmas Parade takes place the following evening on November 29th @ 6:30PM.

8 DaniGirl November 3, 2009 at 11:46 am

Thanks Sara and Chantal! I’ve added Cornwall, Casselman, Embrun AND Hawkesbury! The “far east” is now represented!

9 Rebecca November 3, 2009 at 7:39 pm

Love this post! I hope you tweet it a few more times to remind us 😉

10 Rebecca S November 11, 2009 at 10:47 pm

RT @DaniGirl: Hey, did you know the Kanata and Barrhaven Santa parades are on this weekend? http://tinyurl.com/yl9v3el

11 Betidings Calendar November 11, 2009 at 11:52 pm

RT @DaniGirl: Hey, did you know the Kanata and Barrhaven Santa parades are on this weekend? http://tinyurl.com/yl9v3el

12 frugalfunottawa.ca November 12, 2009 at 1:17 am

RT @betidings RT @DaniGirl: Hey, did you know the Kanata and Barrhaven Santa parades are on this weekend? http://tinyurl.com/yl9v3el

13 Wendy Gervais November 24, 2009 at 8:18 am

Hi, I am interested in seeing the CP Christmas train in Smiths Falls, but your website says it is coming at 7:15 on Nov 29 th and the CP site says 8:15, do you know which one is correct. please reply, when you get a chance. Thanks you

14 DaniGirl November 24, 2009 at 8:37 am

Hi Wendy! Thank you very much for pointing out the difference. I’d copied the info directly from the CP site, so they must have changed the schedule. I’ve updated my post, but do check back on the CP site before you go to make sure the timing hasn’t changed again!

15 Betidings Calendar November 27, 2009 at 1:01 pm

RT @DaniGirl: Tonnes of Christmas parade fun this wkend: Gatineau, Carleton Place, Orleans, Stittsville, & more! http://tinyurl.com/yl9v3el

16 Christine LaRocque November 27, 2009 at 1:03 pm

Yay CP! RT @DaniGirl: Tonnes of Christmas parade fun this wkend: Gatineau, Carleton Place, Orleans, & more! http://tinyurl.com/yl9v3el

17 KNadeau November 27, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Do you know if you can make toy donations at the Orleans parade?

18 Laura November 27, 2009 at 1:32 pm

RT @DaniGirl Tonnes of Christmas parade fun this wkend: Gatineau, Carleton Place, Orleans, Stittsville, & more! http://tinyurl.com/yl9v3el

19 Loukia November 27, 2009 at 1:42 pm

RT @DaniGirl: Christmas parade fun this wkend: Gatineau, Carleton Place, Orleans, Stittsville, and more! http://tinyurl.com/yl9v3el

20 Valerie November 30, 2009 at 3:05 pm

this has been very useful, thank you – now could you do a post comparing different Christmas tree farms? 🙂

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