a peek inside the fishbowl

23 Oct, 2009

Santa. Parade. Ottawa. (New info for 2009!)

Posted by andrea tomkins in: - Ottawa for kids|Ottawa|Yaktivism

Mark your calendars because the date of the Ottawa Help Santa Toy Parade has been announced. This year it’s going to be on December 5th, 2009 ! I know it’s early yet but I am TOTALLY EXCITED.

Did you know that the Ottawa Santa Claus parade is celebrating its 40th anniversary?

Please note, there are some changes this year:

  • The parade is going to be in the evening instead of the daytime (the new start time is 6:00 p.m.)
  • There’s apparently a new route, so check the website before you go
  • Due to numerous unsuitable used toys that have been dropped off along the parade route over the years, they will be no longer accepting used toys of any kind. Used toys can be dropped off at Salvation Army thrift stores. NEW toys will be collected along the route and at any Ottawa Fire Station from November 21 to December 19, 2009

Can’t make it to the parade but still want to donate? There’s an online donation feature at their official website.

12 Responses to "Santa. Parade. Ottawa. (New info for 2009!)"

1 | John James

October 25th, 2009 at 7:10 am


I have to say Andrea that I am completely disappointed with the new time for the Help Santa Toy parade this year.

Yesterday my 3 year old announced that she wanted to give the Play-doh set we bought for her to a little girl who had no toys. We were planning on taking her to the parade to have her give it to Santa, but with a 6pm parade, I know she’ll never last till the end. She’s usually heading down the road to her bedtime routine about 6:20.

I feel that the change in time will be an opportunity lost not only to us, but possibly to many other parents of young children who like keeping their bedtime routines intact, even on weekends.

2 | andrea

October 27th, 2009 at 8:26 am


I’ve contacted the organizers and they tell me it’s going to be a great show.

I’m looking forward to it: Christmas lights and Santa go together like cookies and milk.

FYI, the parade will take about 1 hr 20 minutes to pass any given point (if that helps you figure out bedtimes) and there will be beaver tails at two locations along the parade route.

3 | Rosemary Vaughan

October 27th, 2009 at 8:51 am


My daughter and I are looking forward to the new time and the twinkle of lights at night – so magical! Mind you, my five year old goes to bed at 8:30pm on Saturday nights, so I can understand the frustration of parents of younger children…but it is the holiday season…and it is Santa – I think parents will find their kids very resilient to bed times with all the excitement :o)

4 | Suzanne

October 31st, 2009 at 12:50 pm



I would like to say that the change of time will be great! Even though I have a 4 yr old, I think seeing the lights and all the sparkle will be a delight for him. I know I will have to make changes as well to the routine he has going to bed at 7:30…but if I can sit there and watch Christmas movies allllllll year long…I know he will love to still see Santa at that time. He will probably keep me awake haha!!

5 | Kerri

November 24th, 2009 at 7:23 am


Wow, how exciting, I think the new time is fabulous and I have 6 year old twins and a 5 year old, yes, it is harder in the evening but we will just make sure they have a good nap in the afternoon!
Can’t wait to see all the lights etc at nighttime, will be soooooooooo exciting for our little monkeys!! hee hee.
Good job guys. :)

6 | vendy

November 29th, 2009 at 12:44 pm


I was looking forward to it as every year. But the time had disapointed me.
My baby is starting to get ready for bed around 7:00 pm.
There already is night Santa Parada in Orleans and Nepean so why this one?

7 | Mr. Milkface

November 29th, 2009 at 8:59 pm


The latest news is a conflict with the NAC and the Nutcracker performance. A pause in the parade is proposed but how do you pause a parade? I’ll be in it for my first time with my new friends at http://www.capitalcitysquad.ca and any delay where we aren’t actively moving could be a problem as our costumes aren’t all winter friendly. Hopefully the NAC and the Firefighters work this out.

8 | chantale

December 4th, 2009 at 10:06 am


Im curious to know what the route is for the parade? My daughter has not been yet so, it will be fun for her.

9 | andrea

December 4th, 2009 at 3:05 pm


The official website has a map. You can check it out here: http://www.toyparade.org/

NAC posted a press release re: the potential parking/traffic issue here.

10 | Mom in Ottawa

December 5th, 2009 at 10:36 am


Have to say our family is very dissapointed with the late parade. No way our little one will be able to stay up that late (not to mention the parade starts at suppertime). We were really looking forward to him seeing Santa as it is the first year he understands Christmas.

11 | Andre

December 5th, 2009 at 9:27 pm


I went to the parade and found it really great. A lot of kids and family as well as singles. I think the move to 6 PM was a good move.

12 | Frank J. Barrett

December 7th, 2009 at 1:54 pm


Glad you changed to the Parade of lights am sure you had more folks and children out to watch the Parade at 6pm

Have been in Orleans and Ottawa Parades for years
your girls and guys are doing a GREAT job -keep it up

I just love to be part of it

FrankO a Grin N’ Barrett Klown

Thank God I am still able to walk the full route
at 81 years young the 29 Dec 2009

PS –the Party at City Hall on the 5th was a real Bonus
thank you —-for those that took part —well done

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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