Beach Metro’s 2017 guide to holiday events in the Beach and East End

The Beaches Santa Claus Parade marched across the community on Nov. 25, 2017, winding its way from Kingston Road and Victoria Park to Community Centre 55 at Main Street and Swanwick where there was a BBQ and visit with Santa, pictured above waving to onlookers along the parade route. The parade is a fundraiser for Centre 55’s annual Hamper’s Share a Christmas drive, which kicked off earlier this month.

With the Beaches Santa Claus Parade kicking off Centre 55’s Share a Christmas Campaign and DECA’s festival of lights lighting up East Lynn Park last weekend, it’s safe to say the holiday season is here — if only we’d get some snow, right? To help you organize your December, we’ve put together a list of some of the festivities planned in the Beach and East End. Have an event we missed? Leave it in the comments!

Light Up the Beach

Santa was joined by Rick DeClute, left, and hundreds more at the eighth annual DeClute Light Up the Beach event.

Tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, it’s the 10th anniversary of DeClute’s Light Up the Beach event along the boardwalk at the foot of Lee Ave. beginning at 7 p.m. Enjoy a cup of soup or hot chocolate while the boardwalk is illuminated for the winter. The lights will shine bright until February — all for a good cause, with proceeds going to support addiction and mental health services at Michael Garron Hospital. To make a donation:

Breakfasts with Hamper and Santa

Hamper waves from the bed of the Community Centre 55 truck. He’ll be at Centre 55 for breakfast on Dec. 2.

Take Breakfast with Hamper at Community Centre 55, 97 Main St., on Dec. 2 from 8-10 a.m. Pancake breakfast (fresh fruit, coffee, tea juice), arts and crafts for children (write a letter to Santa) and a visit from Hamper the Reindeer.

You can also enjoy breakfast with Santa at the Beach Valu-Mart (Queen St. E. & Silver Birch Ave.) from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Dec. 2. Bring your camera and take photos with Santa. Donate a non-perishable food item to Centre 55’s Share A Christmas program. Santa will also be at the Dawes Road Legion on Sunday, Dec. 3 from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and at the Kew Gardeners Cottage at the foot of Lee Ave. on Dec. 9 from 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. among other East End appearances.

Tree Lightings and Carolling

Ron Millar, front, plays baritone while Kevin Lau, rear, plays tenor horn with the Scarborough Citadel Salvation Army band, who performed several Christmas carols for Carolling in the Park on Dec. 8, 2015. Held in the Glen Stewart Ravine for 26 years, this year’s Carolling brought over 300 people out on a warm December night to sing along with the brass band and drink hot cider served by local Scouts.
PHOTO: Andrew Hudson

Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, the Toronto Beaches Lions host the annual Christmas in the Park Tree Lighting at Kew Gardens (Queen St. E. & Lee Ave.) from 5:30-6:30 p.m. While you’re in the area, visit the Beach Guild of Fine Art show at the Gardeners Cottage, on all weekend, and take a stroll west along the boardwalk to the Lions Christmas Tree Lot at Woodbine Beach.

On Dec. 12, enjoy Carolling in the Park at Glen Stewart Park, Queen St. E. (at Glen Manor Drive), 7:30-8:30 p.m. Carol singing, hot chocolate and cider, Santa Claus, Salvation Army Band. Proceeds to Salvation Army Band. Info: David Breech 416-759-9997 ext. 0

On Dec. 14 there is a Carol Sing at St. Paul’s United Church, 200 McIntosh St., 7 p.m. All are welcome to a good old fashioned evening of traditional carols, hot chocolate and cookies. Music led by the St. Paul’s Choir. No charge for this event, but donations to the By The Bluffs Food Bank are welcome.

The Friends of Glen Stewart Ravine group hosts a Bird-Friendly Tree Decorating Event on Dec. 16. Meet at the Glen Manor entrance to the ravine (not the Balsam Ave. location as previously published), 1:00-2:30 p.m. to deck the trees with festive treats for our fine-feathered friends. Some materials provided, or bring your own all natural decorations and birdseed. Hot chocolate will be provided. Free event, all welcome.

Holiday Concerts and Plays

Derek Arnold, Beth Bolton, Karen Harris and friend serenade the crowd with Christmas music at Kingston Road United Church, December 10, 2016.

For its 10th anniversary season, Toronto Beach Chorale presents G.F. Handel’s “Messiah” at Kingston Road United Church, 975 Kingston Rd., Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m. Help celebrate our 10th anniversary season! The TBC welcomes a professional orchestra and four guest soloists for a performance that will send your heart soaring. Tickets and info:

“I’ll Be Home for Christmas” Songs & Stories of Joyful Christmas Homecomings takes the stage at Birchcliff Bluffs United Church, 33 East Rd. (Warden Ave. & Kingston Rd.), on Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. Storytellers are Councillor Gary Crawford, Broadcaster Avis Favaro, Professor Don Gray, Rev. Christine Smaller. $10/adult $2/child. Funds raised support Bluffs Food Bank. Info: 416-694- 4081

On Dec. 17, enjoy the always special ‘A Christmas Carol’, a dramatic reading of this favourite Christmas classic at Beaches Presbyterian Church, 65 Glen Manor Dr. (S of Queen), 3:30 p.m. Readers include Tom Allen and Raina Douris from CBC’s Radio 2. Great music and delicious snacks are the icing on the cake for this wonderful event. Proceeds go to support BPC’s Refugee Fund. Tickets $25. Tickets and info:, 416-699-5871

For more, visit the Arts and Entertainment section. We will be posting more stories and events in the coming weeks.

If you need help with gifts, goodies or decorating, holiday bazaars and craft sales have been stationed at local churches and community centres for weeks — check our community calendar for dates and locations for those upcoming events.

Our food columnist Jan Main always has tasty ideas for festive appetizers and the best tips for planning a holiday party.

And if you’re feeling creative, why not enter our Winter Writing Contest? Details here.

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