Toronto, Get Ready with a Red Nose and a Warm coat!! Your favourite Santa Claus Parade is back again!!

Ho! Ho! Ho! Are you ready to have your best time at Toronto Santa Claus parade? Here, we’ve pulled together some interesting tidbits about the parade’s 113 year old history! So don’t miss it. - Brought to you by PartsAvatar Auto Body Parts!!

Every age group eagerly wait for this parade in Toronto. So, are you also one of them? Before participating, why not brush up your knowledge? Here, we will suggest you how to have best time in Snowy parade!!

Toronto has been hosting this parade for about 113 years. Santa Claus parade is regarded as one of the oldest and largest parade of its type on earth.

The very first parade of Santa Claus was held in Toronto in 1905 which was an idea of Timothy Eaton, the founder of Canada’s famous retail chain. He arranged for Santa to arrive at the old union station on Front Street. He was collected at the union station and was delivered to downtown’s eaten store.  Along the way, he tossed small bags of candy, nuts and trinkets to children lining the route. Hence the parade grew in size each year and attracted large crowds.

Enough with the history! It’s time for some interesting tidbits about this parade.

Real Reindeer pulled Santa’s sleigh!

In 1913, live reindeer was imported from Labrador to pull Santa’s sleigh. The reindeer had their own veterinarian and were fed reindeer moss- their favourite food. There were special baskets on poles carried around where children could drop their letters and each one received personal letter back from him!
It is said that the reindeer was adopted by Eaton’s executive and he retired to his estate outside the city.

Original floats were used!
Unlike today where we have floats by toy companies, the original floats were nursery rhyme characters.

Lions are banned from the parade!
Riders dressed like lions were meant to help pull the horses on Santa’s sleigh. But their costume spooked the horses, and they had to be banned from the parade to avoid commotion.

 Never missed a year!
Despite bad weather, world wars, and even Eaton Company pulling its sponsorship, there had not been a single year that Santa hasn’t made his way down the Toronto Streets and delighted every age group by cheerfully saying “Ho! Ho! Ho!”

Aired live from Toronto!!
Don’t worry if you can’t make it to the parade. You can watch it live, thanks to CBC. The parade was first broadcast on the radio in the 1930s and was aired live on the CBC starting in 1952.
With TVs becoming a big part of people’s home, Santa Claus parade went from being just a holiday parade to being seen in dozens of countries throughout the world and Santa became a television star.

Prime minister can’t send or accept gifts!
According to the federal accountability act of 2009, the Canada’s Prime Minister and his family members are not allowed to accept or send Christmas gift cards, monetary gifts or perishable food items like cookies or cakes.

Canada post help Santa answer every letter!
Canada post volunteers donate 200000 hours annually to assist Santa answer every letter that he receives.

Santa’s parade had a big hand in ending Cold War!
In 1989, the Santa Claus parade was broadcast live by the Russian broadcasters in Soviet Union. It helped change, Russia’s opinion about the west and aired for next three years.

Costumes were made of paper!!
During World War II, there was shortage of materials like metal and cotton. So at that time organizers used paper to create costumes for the parade.

Santa’s Secret workshop!
Many of us think that Santa has his secret toy workshop in the North Pole, but his parade float workshop is located in north York.

Its route has grown by time!
Santa clause parade’s route was so brief in the beginning that it used to cover union station to Eaton centre in just 10 minutes. But, now it has grown to 5.6 km so that kids can have interaction with Santa without any hustle.

Enjoy the parade with Santa’s App!
Two free apps have been created with the organizers so that the mass can enjoy the classic tradition. The App Track Santa shows the location of Santa along the parade and Shake the bells let everyone join in on Santa’s ride with the shake of a phone.

Tips for attendees to enjoy the parade!

Arrive early at the venue. Want to claim a good spot for yourself and your friends? Make your way soon.

Find a good place to stand. Organizers recommend standing near Christie pits, as this way you are exposed to cold weather for less time. It’s not that cold in the beginning of parade, so you can thoroughly enjoy it.

Snacks or meal stores get crowded nearby the parade. It is recommended to bring your own snack. You can bring along cookies and hot chocolate and can enjoy it with your friends and family.

Exiting is quite dangerous. Sometimes, it’s just like a stampede is occurring. So, take your time, wait for five minutes or more till the exit is clear. This way you can get out safely. Sometimes, due to heavy rush while exiting, people lose track of their children, so it will be wise to wait rather than rush.
Don’t forget to bring a blanket!

You can enjoy more if you bring along your friends, family. This way you can hang around with them and can spend quality time chatting, eating cookies and drinking hot chocolate. It’s really pleasant.

Santa’s parade of lights is a spectacular night time parade with colourful and brightly lit floats, dancers and marching bands winding their way through the streets of Oshawa much to the delight of little boys, girls and the young at heart.

Plan a Santa Claus Parade themed day trip or a Christmas lights family evening out and explore the beauty of Toronto! Don’t forget all the delicious eateries to enjoy while you are downtown!!

With Remembrance Day coming up PartsAvatar thank all our Veterans and acknowledge the courage of those presently serving!

On November 11, as an act of remembrance, honour those men and women who have served for the peace of this great nation- Brought to you by PartsAvatar Car Parts.

More than 118,000 Canadian soldiers have died serving for this nation. We are enjoying peace and harmony because they fought for us. Then as a human being it is our moral duty to pay respect to those who gave their lives and futures so that we may live in peace.
But first it is very important to know the history. Let us have a peek at the past!

A Day of remembrance
Every country has a special day commemorating those who fought and died in the line of duty. Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of the end of World War 1 on November 11, 1918. It is also known as Armistice Day.

World War 1 resulted in loss of huge number of lives among civilians and military personnel. Thus Remembrance Day commemorates those who died in armed conflicts especially during World War 1. November 11 is observed as Remembrance Day in many common wealth nations like U.S., Australia and New Zealand etc.

Remembrance Day celebrations
In Canada, Remembrance Day is observed as a holiday for government employees, private business, schools and provincial governments. In Atlantic and Western parts of Canada it is observed as a holiday while in Ontario and Quebec it isn’t.

We pay homage to those who respond to their country’s needs. On November 11, people attend commemorative ceremonies and a tribute of 2 minute silence is given to them.

Following are the ways in which you can spend Remembrance Day:

Wear poppies on your lapel
Bright red poppy is seen as a symbol of Remembrance Day all over the world.  After the First World War, the red poppy was symbolized as the bloodshed by the soldiers on the western front. Poppies were a common sight amidst the violence that reminded soldiers that there is still beauty and hope in the world.

To honour those who died while serving in military or in other wars, pin a poppy on your shirt lapel as a silent but meaningful gesture. Do wear your poppy on the left close to your heart. It is typically worn from the last Friday of October until the closing of commemoration ceremony.

Reflect on Canada’s past and struggles
It’s a perfect time to introduce Canada’s role played in the World War 1 and other wars to your young generations. It is a time to reflect on the historical relations Canada had maintained with other commonwealth nations.

Two minutes of Silence
At 11.00 A.M., joint the rest of the country in observing two minute of silence to commemorate the time at which armistice was signed in 1918. Bow your head, stand still, reflect and honour veterans in this meditation of gratitude.

Cite the poem “Ode of remembrance”
The Ode of remembrance is the part of the poem “For the fallen” which originally honoured the British soldiers who died on the western front. It is now recited as a general commemoration of all soldiers who died in the line of duty.

Visiting National War Memorial in Ottawa

The official national ceremonies are held at the national war memorial in Ottawa. These events begin with the tolling of Carillon in the peace tower, during the serving members of Canadian forces arrive at confederation square, followed by Ottawa diplomatic corps, ministers of crown, royal Canadian legion, vice regal party and royal party.

Remembrance Day at Calgary
A parade is observed at central memorial park held by Calgary highlanders. Military museums also offer free admission on this day. Public addresses and speeches are held at Battalion park ceremony.

Honour your loved ones!
We can spend quality time with our family members on this day. For those with relatives who died while serving in the military, it is special day for honouring those loved ones.

Certain Protocols to follow in ceremonies!
The very first thing is to wear poppy. With poppies come questions about exactly how to wear them? What are the don’ts of ceremonies? Here are some protocols you should follow strictly:

1. Pins shouldn’t be substituted with safety pins or rubber bands to keep a poppy from falling off. The legion doesn’t like using Canadian flag pins to hold on poppies.

2. Poppy is generally worn on the left lapel close to your heart.

3. You can also wear poppies to honour veterans in other ceremonies or funerals other than Remembrance Day.

4. You can wear as much poppies as you want to, there is no rule to this. It is observed that Queen Elizabeth II routinely wears several poppies when honouring the war dead.

5.  Don’t recycle to reuse this year’s poppy, next year.

6. You don’t need a photo to immortalize this instant. Feel the unity and the reverence.

Quick Facts about Remembrance Day
1. It was first observed 1919 as was originally called as Armistice Day to commemorate armistice agreement that ended the First World War on Monday, November 11, 1918 at 11.00 A.M.

2. The first Remembrance Day was observed on November 11, 1931 after a bill was passed in house of commons to change the name.

3. On this day we remember and pay homage to more than 2300000 Canadian Men and women who have served throughout our nation’s history.

3. Replica poppies are sold by royal Canadian legion to provide assistance to veterans.

4. The governor general of Canada presides over the national ceremony which is held in national war memorial in Ottawa.

5. In advance of the ceremony, the veterans, Canadian Armed forces, RCMP officers and cadet march to the memorial lead by a pipe band and a colour guard.

6. Many nations which are either member of commonwealth like Australia, New Zealand, U.K. and U.S. or non commonwealth nations like France, Belgium and Poland observe Remembrance Day on November 11.

7. U.S. changed the name of Remembrance Day to Veterans Day but they celebrate and observe it on the same day i.e. November 11.

Bottom Line
It is our duty to remember those brave men and women for their devotion and courage to ideals. For one brief moment of our busy lives, shouldn’t we remember why we must work hard for peace? So the next time you recon an army, navy, air force officer, soldier thank and salute them!

Parts Avatar Canada will hold a moment of silence so out thoughts can be with the fallen soldiers and veterans. Remember them well!

Want to explore Canada via Road trip ?? Here are some tips for driving across the Border into Canada !!

You should plan your routes before entering Canadian border! There is pretty much to explore in Canada. So, here are some tips for your trouble free road trip!!- Brought to you by PartsAvatar Auto Body Parts.

If you are driving from America to Canada there are quite a few things that you should keep into your consideration especially if you are on a road trip. Here we have outlined some tips for you to have a trouble free journey.

Drive on the right
Canadians drive on the right like most other countries. The best way to deal with having to drive on the wrong side of the road is to take your time and start out slowly.

Seat Belts Law
Safety standards are high on Canadian roads. Seat belts are compulsory. Ensure that the driver and others in the car are wearing seat belts otherwise a fine up to $2500 will be applied.

Necessary documents

Everyone wants their border crossing to go smoothly. The best way to make your trip memorable is to be prepared. You will need to show your driving license and a proof of insurance.

All visitors arriving in Canada need a passport or passport equivalent with the exception of children. You can also carry green card as the proof of insurance.

If you are crossing border from US, be ready to address the border officer at border service booth. He will be going through your passport and other documents.

Speed limit
Canadians practise defensive driving, but there is a rare chance of collisions from speeding. Wide open roads mean some drivers are impatient and will break speed limits.

If you are used to driving in the US, speed limits in Canada can seem pretty liberal. Overall, speed limits allow for faster driving in Canada than in the US.

Make sure you know the difference between kilometres and miles before you get behind the wheel and also know speed limits of every province and territory as they may vary.

Major roads in urban areas- 37 to 44 mph
2 lane highways outside cities and towns- 50 mph
Multi lane highway driving- 62 mph

Minimum driving Age
If you are driving across Canada, it good idea to make sure you know legal driving ages for provinces you may pass through.
In Alberta, learner’s permit can be obtained at the age of 14 but can only be used while driving with a non probationary licensed driver over 18. In other provinces, the learner’s permit (G1) is available at the age of 16.

Car rental companies will insist you are a minimum of 21 years old with a minimum of 1 year experience.

Written permission of guardian is mandatory
If you think you can easily cross the border without telling your parents, you will definitely end up in huge trouble. Adults who are not parents or guardians should have written permission from the parents or guardians to supervise the children, including the name and contact information of the guardian.

Even if you are not divorced from the child’s other parent, bring the other parent’s written permission to take the child over the border. Have the necessary ID for your children ready to present to a customs officer. Legal custody documents should be carried if divorced parents share custody of their child.

Check/ Empty your trunk
Sometimes supervisors at the border order their officers to pop every trunk, just for a look see. Unnecessary items in your trunk will just add more time to their questioning.

Be prepared for basic questions like “how long you will be staying?”, “why are you travelling to Canada?” and “where will you stay?” Answer with confidence.

On the spot fines and child safety rules
Traffic violations are generally dealt with tickets but in some provinces there are on the spot fines for small infringements but they aren’t common.

It is strictly illegal to use safety camera warning devices in Canada and you can face fine of about $650 for violating rules. Make sure there isn’t any!

Children less than forty pounds are supposed to travel in an approved child safety seat. Babies and toddlers must be in a rear facing seat fixed in the back.

When you return
When you return to US, you have to declare all the goods you acquired outside US such as gifts, prizes or awards. Keep the receipts of duty free shopping if the officer asks for them.

It is mandatory for the travellers to consume what they buy at duty free while they are in Canada. Also make sure to declare any repair or alterations you made to your vehicle while you were in Canada like repair or replacement of auto parts.

Roll down the front and back car windows
When you reach the border, roll down your front and back windows so that border officer can interact with everyone sitting inside.

Watch out for wild animals
There are various signs deployed on the roads to alert the drivers to certain wildlife type that are seen nearby. A real hazard can happen if you hit a deer or moose particularly when they show up out of the blue.

There is a high chance of getting killed after colliding with large animals. So, better slow down around those areas.

Watch out for icy roads
Winter driving in Canada can be a scary experience. Canadian winters are quite harsh and roads are often blocked with snow. So watch out for icy roads, rock avalanches, snow or other extreme conditions.

Some roads are very isolated. It would be worse if you get stuck for hours without any aid. Always have the number of local emergency services available.

Other road rules in Canada

1. Canadian drink driving laws are quite strict. If you already have a drunk driving conviction on your license within last five years, your admission in Canada will be prohibited. In other provinces you can be charged with $1000 fine money along with one year suspension of your license.

2. Always give way to pedestrians on pedestrians crossing.

3. It may be helpful to familiarise yourself with some basic French travel phrases before you go. You will come across many places with road signs in French.

4. At crossroads, only the direction of turn that is legal will be signposted, all other turns are illegal.

5. If the police stop you for any offence, remain seated in your car and switch off the engine.

6. Bribing a police officer is a serious offence, don’t even try to!

7. You cannot use a mobile phone without a hands free kit in Canada.

So, now that you know what you need to prepare, you can enjoy trouble free trip.

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