Toronto St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Toronto St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Photo: topatrick.com
Originally a religious holiday, Saint Patrick’s Day is widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora around the world, especially in English-speaking countries where many people identify themselves in Irish. The largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Canada are held in the cities of Montreal, Vancouver, Quebec City, and Toronto. The Toronto St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the largest parade of its kind in Canada.

The St. Patrick’s Day parade of Toronto dates back to the 19th century. After a few small scale parades in the 1840s, the Catholic Church began to organize the celebrations which revolved around the holiday mass. The parades were abandoned in the 1870s because most Irish immigrants had integrated into Canadian society and no longer felt the need to publicly express their national and cultural identity.

Toronto’s Irish parade in its modern form was founded in 1987 and has since become one of the largest Saint Patrick’s Day parades in North America, attracting about 100,000 spectors. The event is organized by the St. Patrick’s Parade Society. It focuses on celebrating the history, culture and heritage of Ireland through entertainment.

The Toronto St. Patrick’s Day Parade is held on the Sunday before Saint Patrick’s Day (March 17). It kicks off at noon on the corner of St. George Street and Bloor Street and ends at Nathan Phillips Square. The procession lasts one and a half hours at any given point along the route. The parade takes place rain or shine.

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade of Toronto features more than 100 colorful floats, marching bands, bagpipe bands, dance groups, Irish societies, and more. Most revelers and a lot of spectators wear green to add to the festive atmosphere. On the parade day, you can see Irish flags and shamrock leaves all over downtown Toronto.

Traditionally, volunteers from the Toronto Paramedic Association march in the parade and collect donations for the Daily Bread Foodbank. Spectators are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Food Drive.

Toronto St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Photo: AnimeEd



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