2020 COVID update: The live park version of the Pumpkin Parade is cancelled this year for public health reasons. Instead, please join our Virtual Pumpkin Parade! Post your jack-o-lantern creation on social media and tag @SoraurenPark, #pumpkinparade2020 and #pumpkinparadeTO. The Friends of Sorauren Park will repost to create the world’s greatest online gallery of pumpkin art.
[The following applies to a normal year… better days ahead!] Every November 1, the day after Halloween, the world-famous Pumpkin Parade takes place at Sorauren Park. With more than 1,500 pumpkins on display in recent years, the Parade is a neighbourhood and even regional highlight of the season. From witches and cats, to politicians and world events, the artful jack-o-lanterns represent the spirit of Halloween and also the spirit of the times.
Add your pumpkin to the parade. It starts at 6 pm, with the busiest times after dinner. There is no competition… but will your pumpkin get noticed? And what will be the dominant theme this year? (Ten days after a national election!)
Place your pumpkins along the inside edge of the path around the park. Please light your pumpkins with wax candles and not battery-powered lights or tin-bottomed tea lights that contaminate the eventual compost. Your candle-lit pumpkins make the parade come alive.
Walk or take transit to the park. The streets are narrow and busy and there is no parking at the park. The 505 Dundas and 506 College streetcars stop at the top of Sorauren, a three-minute walk from the park. The 504 King stops along Roncesvalles, one block away. The 47 Lansdowne bus stops at Rideau St., also a short walk away. Be safe.
The Sorauren event was launched by neighbours in 2004 and has sparked similar events across Toronto, Montreal (Parade des Citrouilles) and in Upper Manhattan (hello Inwood). It has been blogged in Copenhagen.
To see a video featuring Colleen Kennedy, founder of the Sorauren Pumpkin Parade, click here (thanks to Roncesvalles-Macdonell Residents’ Association). Park People and the City have also produced a video, shot mostly at Sorauren Park, about the enduring appeal of pumpkin parades. Put “sorauren park pumpkin parade” into your favourite search engine to find more great photos of parades past.