Of all of Montreal's parades, the Montreal Santa Claus Parade, otherwise known as the Défilé du Père Noël, is easily the most popular one of all, attracting in the upwards of 300,000 people to the city's downtown core for a glimpse of its twentysomething floats and its notably engaging participants. It's also one of Montreal's most popular Christmas events.
In 2017, the Défilé du Père Noël runs November 18, 2017. First debuting in 1925, the Montreal Santa Claus Parade is in its 67th edition, having skipped a few years.
Défilé du Père Noël in 2017: The 67th Edition
The 2017 Santa Claus Parade is held on Saturday, November 18, 2017 starting at 11 a.m. at the corner of Fort and Ste. Catherine, moving along Ste. Catherine until it reaches St. Urbain. Here's a map of the Santa Claus Parade.
Défilé du Père Noël in 2017: How Long Does the Parade Last?
The Montreal Santa Claus Parade starts at 11 a.m. and lasts roughly two hours but it's been known to draw out longer than that. The first float of the parade usually reaches the end of the parade route by 12:30 p.m.
Quick Tip: Beat the Crowds
Try to get there early to get a good view because this downtown parade gets so packed, you can forget about circulating on surrounding streets. Ste. Catherine Street, from Peel to de Bleury, gets completely congested by mid-parade, so much so that it's nearly impossible to walk on the sidewalks or even leave the parade area in that central section of city blocks while it's happening.
So plan ahead.
My recommendation is to stick to a spot west of Peel to allow for easy access and an even easier departure. BUT if your family was set on meeting Santa before or after the parade, you'll just have to brave the masses. That's why it gets so packed in the central portion of the route. That's where Santa meets up with families after the parade, at the centrally-located Eaton Centre.
For the Little Ones: Meet Santa After the Parade
Bring the kiddies to meet Santa on parade day at Complexe Desjardins. The man of the hour arrives between 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. Following Santa Claus' arrival, ''the company Les Animeries with the dancers of the École supérieure de ballet du Québec will present the show Où est donc passé le père Noël?''
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