Eager Santa watchers line Toronto streets for parade
Published Sunday, November 20, 2011 4:19PM EST
Thousands of revellers lined downtown Toronto streets on Sunday for the city's 107th Santa Claus Parade.
Families decked out in felt Santa caps formed a sea of red and white as Canada's oldest children's parade left Christie Pitts park at about 1 p.m.
With 60 floats and 22 bands boasting more than 1,000 members, Toronto's parade is also the country's largest.
In an effort to accommodate growing crowds, the long-running parade had adjusted its route.
This year it headed east on Bloor Street West, south on University Avenue and then east on Wellington Street before ending at St. Lawrence Market.
This was the first year that Mrs. Claus made an appearance at the festivities. She appeared in her own float made to look like the couple's cozy North Pole home.
The parade's endpoint was about a block away from the Occupy Toronto encampment at St. James Park, where protesters have been camped out for more than four weeks now.
It takes more than 3,000 volunteers working all-year round to create the parade that draws thousands each November.
Big-name sponsors have helped pitch in with this year's parade floats. Companies such as Hasbro, Mattel, Warner Brothers and Swarovski have been named as sponsors.
Earlier on Sunday, protesters with Occupy Toronto told CP24 that "Occu-Elves" would be attending the Santa Claus parade to distribute candy canes to children.
However, the "Occu-Elves", who had promised not to disrupt, were prevented from joining in the parade by police.