This Thursday, more than 50 parks across Toronto will emit an orange glow as local residents bid a final farewell to their jack-o’-lanterns with community pumpkin parades.
The first pumpkin parade was organized in Sorauren Park in 2004. Since then, this made-in-Toronto tradition has spread to parks across the city and inspired other cities such as Montreal and New York to start their own. This year’s event includes four more parades than last year and can be found in parks from Guildwood Village Park in Scarborough to Centennial Park in Etobicoke.
“Pumpkin parades are great opportunities for communities to come together,” said Mayor John Tory. “I am proud that the number of parades continues to expand each year so that even more people will be able to take part in the post-Halloween fun.”
The pumpkin parades are organized by community organizations as well as by local businesses and Business Improvement Areas. City park permits and disposal bins are provided to the organizers for free, making it easy to host and cleanup the pumpkins after the event. The pumpkins will be picked up by the City after the parades and processed with yard waste to create compost that can be used in City parks and gardens. The City has partnered with Park People to provide posters and social media templates to assist community organizations with their event promotions.
“I’m happy to see our parks animated with pumpkin parades each year,” said Janie Romoff, General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation. “Toronto’s parks are our common grounds, and this made-in-Toronto tradition is a wonderful way for residents and visitors to connect with each other.”
A map of all pumpkin parades, including hours and links for more information is available at http://pumpkinparades.ca/.
Halloween safety tips also apply to pumpkin parades. Consider carrying a flashlight or attaching a strip of reflective tape to clothing. Be prepared for wet weather by using caution on wet pathways and sidewalks and steer clear of rivers and streams in parks.