Beach Metro’s guide to holiday events in the Beach and East End Toronto

The 10th Annual Hamper's Santa Claus Parade is Sunday, Nov. 27 at 1 p.m. PHOTO: Beach Metro News File

While the city-wide Toronto Christmas Parade weaved its way through downtown this past Sunday and holiday bazaars have been a fixture at worship and community centres for several weekends, this weekend kicks off a number of marquee events for the East End holiday season.

Friday, see the boardwalk illuminated with Declute’s Light Up The Beach 2016. In support of the Michael Garron Hospital Foundation, on Friday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. Santa Claus and his guests will be at the foot of Leuty Avenue on the boardwalk in the Beach for the annual celebration that sees the boardwalk magically lit up with 80,000 lights.

Santa was joined by Rick DeClute, left, and hundreds more. Hundreds of people joined Santa this past Saturday for the eighth annual DeClute Light Up the Beach event. 80,000 lights were lit on 20 trees along the boardwalk near the Leuty Lifeguard station. This year, the event had the Toronto East General Hospital as a partner. The crowd was also kept warm with hot chocolate and soup from Velouté Bistro & Catering.
Hundreds of people joined Santa for the 2015 DeClute Light Up the Beach event. 80,000 lights were lit on 20 trees along the boardwalk near the Leuty Lifeguard station. PHOTO: Beach Metro News File

Saturday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., check out DECA’s Festival of Lights at East Lynn Park featuring Pegasus Studio Dancers, the S.P.A.C.E dance school, the Fire Guy, and the East End Music Project Choir. A non-perishable food item for Centre 55 gives you a chance to win a prize.

'The Pyroneer' from Zero Gravity Circus performs at the DECA Festival of Lights on Nov. 29, 2014. PHOTO: Andrew Hudson
‘The Pyroneer’ from Zero Gravity Circus performs at the DECA Festival of Lights on Nov. 29, 2014. PHOTO: Beach Metro News File

On Sunday, Community Centre 55 and the Kingston Road Village Business Association host the 10th annual Hamper’s Santa Claus Parade. The parade’s Grand Marshall will be East End Olympic champion Penny Oleksiak.

An example of neighbours and businesses celebrating the holidays together, the event serves as a kick-off for Centre 55’s 30th Share-a-Christmas program, which helps families who have fallen on hard times. As such, organizers are asking you to bring a toonie for the program. Letters to Santa will also be collected.

The parade route begins at Victoria Park and Kingston Road Sunday, Nov. 27 at 1 p.m., travelling west along Kingston, north up Walter Street to Centre 55 on Swanwick Avenue and Main Street where Santa and Mrs. Claus will receive the children and there will be music, tree trimming, face painting, refreshments, photos with Santa and a VIP reception.

The annual “Christmas in the Park” tree lighting ceremony will be taking place on December 3 in Kew Gardens at the Alex Christie Bandshell. The event runs from 5:30 p.m.  to 6:30 p.m. and will feature carol singing, hot chocolate and dignitaries, as well as a special visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus who will be arriving in style riding a convertible along Queen Street East. For more info, visit www.beacheslions.com.

For those who wish to remain active during the season, December 4 it’s the Tannenbaum 10k along the Martin Goodman Trail. Beginning at 10 a.m. this annual run is a flat, fast, and very festive race in the heart of the Beach. Santa and his helpers even get off the sleigh and onto the raceway. The race raises money — over $18,000 each year — for Centre 55’s Share a Christmas Program. Sign up at www.tannenbaum10k.com.

Jake Qian runs to a sparkling 39:11 finish at the Tannenbaum 10 k run held along the beaches on Dec. 6. The 10th annual benefit run, which supports Community Centre 55’s Share-A-Christmas program, drew a record 984 participants who ran or walked the return course from Kew Beach to Tommy Thompson Park. PHOTO: Andrew Hudson
Jake Qian runs to a sparkling 39:11 finish at the Tannenbaum 10 k run held along the beaches on Dec. 6, 2015. The 10th annual benefit run, which supports Community Centre 55’s Share-A-Christmas program, drew a record 984 participants who ran or walked the return course from Kew Beach to Tommy Thompson Park. PHOTO: Beach Metro News File

December 10, join Santa at the Cottage at the Gardener’s Cottage on Lee Avenue in Kew Gardens from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hosted by the Toronto Beach Rotary, visitors are encouraged to drink hot chocolate, eat treats, and chat and take pictures with Santa — bring your camera. Donations of non-perishable food items will benefit Centre 55’s Christmas food drive.

Carolling in the Park, a Beach favourite, takes place December 13 at Glen Stewart Park. Meet at Glen Manor Drive and Queen Street East (south of the bridge, north of Queen) from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sing along is accompanied by the Salvation Army Band and song sheets will be provided.

Ron Millar, front, plays baritone while Kevin Lau, rear, plays tenor horn with the Scarborough Citadel Salvation Army band, who performed several Christmas carols for Carolling in the Park on Dec. 8. Held in the Glen Stewart Ravine for 26 years, this year's Carolling brought over 300 people out on a warm December night to sing along with the brass band and drink hot cider served by local Scouts. PHOTO: Andrew Hudson
Ron Millar, front, plays baritone while Kevin Lau, rear, plays tenor horn with the Scarborough Citadel Salvation Army band, who performed several Christmas carols for Carolling in the Park on Dec. 8, 2015. Held in the Glen Stewart Ravine for 26 years, this year’s Carolling brought over 300 people out on a warm December night to sing along with the brass band and drink hot cider served by local Scouts. PHOTO: Beach Metro News File

For holiday entertainment, Acoustic Harvest presents John Huston’s take on a Christmas Carol December 4. The Cantemus Singers perform “In Dulci Jubilo!” December 3 and 4. Toronto Beach Chorale opens its 2016/2017 season with an evening of beautiful, festive music on December 4. See more holiday entertainment and arts in our November 29 issue.

A list of holiday bazaars and craft sales can be found in our community calendar.

Is your festive favourite not listed? Let us know in the comments or send a note to editor@beachmetro.com. We will update this post as more events come in.


Did you enjoy this article? If so, you may consider becoming a Voluntary Subscriber to the Beach Metro Community News and help us continue providing the community with more local content such as this. For over 40 years, our staff have worked hard to be the eyes and ears in your community, inform you of upcoming events, and let you know what and who’s making a difference. We cover the big stories as well as the little things that often matter the most. CLICK HERE to support Beach Metro News.

2 comments

On Saturday, December 10, get into the festive spirit at the Cadence Holiday Concert presented by Beach United Church. Based in Toronto, Cadence is an award-winning a cappella ensemble that has been wowing audiences for nearly 20 years. The concert starts at 7:30pm. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for youth. Proceeds support community programs by Beach United Church.
Find details and EventBrite ticket purchase link at: http://beachunitedchurch.com/calendar/cadence-holiday-concert/

Click here for our commenting guidelines.

Leave a Reply

*