Edited to add: Click this link for the 2018 Santa Claus and holiday parade info!
Kanata Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, November 17, starting at 10:00 am. The parade will proceed onto Castlefrank Road, turning onto Abbeyhill Drive and on to Hazeldean Mall.
Ottawa Help Santa Toy Parade
Saturday, November 17 starting at 11 am. Note! The parade is back to a daytime schedule for 2012! The route looks the same as last year, though, starting at the National Archives on Wellington street, head east on Wellington Street and then turn right on Bank Street. It will continue south on Bank Street then turn left on Laurier Avenue, continue east on Laurier Avenue past City Hall and onto the Queen Elizabeth Driveway. New toys (no used toys, please) and cash donations will be collected by the Ottawa Firefighters.
Kemptville Kinsmen Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, November 17, starting at 1:00 pm. While logistics are still being ironed out, it is expected the parade will leave from Holy Cross Church, down Clothier St., turn right on Prescott St. and end at University of Guelph-Kemptville Campus.
Cornwall Santa Claus Parade
Saturday November 17, starting at 5:00 pm from St. Lawrence Intermediate School 1450, Second Street East. It will then proceed west to the Canadian Legion Branch 297 where the awards will be given immediately after the parade. Five bands, including the local Nativity Guards and cadets corps, will play in the parade.
Barrhaven Lions Club Light Up the Night Santa Claus Parade
Sunday, November 18, starting at 5:30 pm. The parade runs down Strandherd Drive, starting at Beatrice Drive and ending at the park n ride, where it turns north for dispersal.
Brockville Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, November 24, starting at 2:00 pm.The Brockville Rotary Santa Claus Parade will start at North Agusta Road and Pearl Street then travel West on Pearl Street E. to Park Street, South on Park Street and lastly, West on King Street to Gilmore Street. The parade will feature many floats, bands, horses, clowns, community groups, dignitaries and finally the star attraction, Santa himself. Volunteers will collect non-perishable goods, snowsuit donations and letters to Santa.
8th Annual Carleton Place Santa Parade
Saturday, November 24 starting at 5:00 pm. Thousands of spectators, over one hundred floats, and one jolly St. Nick will meet downtown Carleton Place for the largest Santa Claus parade in the Ottawa Valley, supporting the Lanark County Food Bank and Christmas Basket Fund. This yearâ€™s theme is â€˜A Christmas Giftâ€™ and will leave from Carambeck School to travel up the townâ€™s main thoroughfare, Bridge Street.
Pembroke Santa Claus Parade of Lights
Saturday, November 24 starting at 5:30 pm. It’s a Caribbean Christmas in Pembroke this year! Bring your jingle bells to show your appreciation for this year’s floats.
Orleans Parade of Lights
Saturday, November 24 starting at 6:00 pm. Once again the Ottawa Professional Firefighters Association will be hosting Santa’s Parade of Lights on St-Joseph Blvd. in Orleans. Toy and cash donations will be collected by firefighters along the route.
Saturday, November 24 starting at 6:00 pm. After the Santa Claus Parade all participants and spectators are invited to the Legion. A special visitor may appear so that you may share your special Christmas wishes!
Stittsville Parade of Lights 2012
Saturday, November 24 starting at 6:30 pm. The SVAâ€™s annual Parade of Lights is a community favourite, drawing thousands of spectators along the parade route. Each year, dozens of beautifully decorated community floats set the tone for Santaâ€™s much anticipated arrival at the end of the parade. Before the parade begins, residents are invited to purchase â€˜Reindeer Insuranceâ€™ as both protection from any damage that might be inflicted by Santaâ€™s four-legged companions, and as a way of supporting future SVA social events. The parade is followed by a park lighting ceremony and hot chocolate.
Smiths Falls Santa Parade
Sunday, November 25 starting at 1:00 pm. The parade will start at the Youth Arena and proceed down Beckwith Street to Chambers Street, turning up Market Street to Main Street where many of the children involved will disperse to the Legion to have a light lunch and visit with Santa.
Russell Village Christmas Parade
Sunday, November 25, starting at 1 pm.
Clarence-Rockland 2012 – Christmas Parade of Lights
Sunday, November 25, starting at 4:30 pm. Parade runs on Laurier Street.
Gatineau Santa Claus Parade
Friday, November 30, starting at 7:00 pm. A tradition that goes back several years, this light-filled parade that departs from the Aylmer marina and attracts crowds from the entire region.
Richmond Village Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, December 1, starting at 11:00 am. Later that night at 6 pm, enjoy the annual â€œLighting of the Park.â€
Osgoode Santa Parade
Saturday, December 1. Don’t miss “Christmas in the Village” while you’re there!
Manotick Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 1, starting at 1:00 pm.
Perth Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, December 1, starting at 5:00 pm. Different themes each year, with a multitude of twinkling lights and Christmas music make this a magical parade not to be missed. Always a special appearance by Mr. Claus himself! A very special way to welcome in the Christmas season in Perth!
Embrun Village Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, December 1 starting at 6:30 pm.
Gananoque Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, December 1 starting at 7:00 pm.
Hawkesbury Santa Claus Parade
Saturday December 1, starting at 7:00 pm. Let yourself be carried away by the magic of this beautiful tradition which will unravel on Hawkesbury’s Main Street.
Athens Parade of Lights
Saturday December 1, starting at 7:00 pm.
Casselman Santa Claus Parade
Sunday, December 2, starting at 5:00 pm. The parade is the finale of the annual Christmas Festival that runs from November 29 to December 2, 2012.
Vankleek Hill Christmas Parade of Light
Friday, December 7 at 7:00 p.m.
Pakenham Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, December 8.
Carp Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, December 8, starting at 12:00 p.m. This year there will a bonfire with hotdogs and hot drinks at the end of the parade route and Santa will greet the children in the Mess Hall!
Metcalfe Santa Claus Parade
Sunday, December 9, starting at 1:30 pm. (This one was hard to confirm – check locally for details!)
Almonte Santa Claus Parade
Sunday, December 9, starting at 5:00 pm. (This one was also hard to confirm – check locally for details!)
Note: I had to drop a few towns this year as I couldn’t find any information about Metcalfe,
Gananoque, or Cornwall. If you have any info about these parades, please let me know and I’ll update the listings!
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: December 6, 2012 to January 7, 2013
Each year, the National Capital Commission coordinates the Christmas Lights Across Canada program. The Christmas Lights program was launched in 1985 to brighten the Ottawa winter, and at first the lights were only on Parliament Hill, but over the years the program expanded. Now, Ottawa and Gatineau glow each winter with more tha 300,000 Christmas lights at over 60 sites along Confederation Boulevard. The program also includes all 13 provincial and territorial capitals, making it Christmas Lights Across Canada. Here’s my shivery, embarrassingly amateur video of the 2006 lighting ceremony (you can see why I’m a photographer and not a videographer!!)
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 Festivalâ€¦ a true winter wonderland! Times and dates vary, so check the link for details, but the lights are up from November 30 through January 5, 2013. (Closed December 24 & 25)
Manotick’s Olde Fashioned Christmas
Saturday December 1 and Sunday December 2. The Village is transformed into a Village of Yesteryear. There will be a Victorian Tea and Penny Sale, horse-drawn wagon rides, pictures with Santa, face painting, strolling carollers and more. I’m looking forward to the Sunset Carolling at Watson’s Mill!
2012 Canadian Pacific Holiday Train
The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train hits the rails again in November, visiting over 150 communities. Since the program’s inception back in 1999, more than $6.4 million and over 2.6 million pounds of food has been collected in Canada and the United States. The goal of the Holiday Train is to collect food and money for local food banks and to raise awareness in the fight against hunger. At each event, the Holiday Train provides a box car stage, a line up of great musical talents and a corporate contribution to the local food bank. The community, in turn, is encouraged to donate food and funds, all of which stays in the community. Local stops include Merrickville and Smiths Falls on November 29 and then Trenton, Belleville and Brighton on November 30. Check this link for more details on the schedule.
Alexandria Festival of Lights
November 24 to January 5, 2013. This is a community event that not only brings forth colorful trees but unique and individual displays from businesses, schools, and local organizations. There is no entrance fee into the festival for either the exhibitors or the public. Events include wagon rides, pictures with Santa and a scavenger hunt, plus fireworks on New Year’s Eve.
If I’ve missed anything, or if you’d like to share information about your family-friendly Ottawa Christmas or Holiday event, please feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at danicanada (at) gmail (dot) com and Iâ€™d be happy to add them to this post!
Let the holiday craziness begin!