40 years of Santa in Weston: a guest article by Marion O’Sullivan

The little girl who always wanted to go to the Macy’s Christmas parade, as yet, has not gotten her wish, but she got something even better. This is my 10th anniversary as the coordinator of the Weston Parade, and it’s been a joy.

On a larger scale, on Sunday, Nov 25th at 2.00 p.m., when the parade rolls down Weston Rd from Church Street to Dennison Ave, this great community tradition will be celebrating its 40th anniversary! And this is truly a testament to the indomitable spirit that is Weston as well the parade’s ability to adapt.

At least half of the high school kids who now wear costumes and carry banners in the parade come from homes where Christmas is not celebrated, but they and their parents still love them to be part of the event and they do it because they also love Weston.

Another way in which the parade has adapted is by keeping up with current trends. This year in addition to the marching bands and 40 community floats, the 501 Star Wars Troopers will be part of the event, as will characters from Paw Patrol and Peppa Pig, both very popular kid’s shows. To add theatrical flair to the parade, the Sunny Tang Lion Dancers will be displaying their amazing artistry.

Weston may be small, but our Weston Parade is MIGHTY. For more information on the parade, please visit our website at: www.westonvillagebia.com or email us at: admin@westonvillagebia.com. We still need volunteers!

Upcoming events

Weston’s Santa Claus Parade will be Sunday, November 25 at 2 p.m.–and it’s sure to be great. This is the 40th anniversary of the best little Santa Claus parade in Toronto.

The BIA hopes you will volunteer or participate.

Santa on a float
Photo from the BIA

Frontlines will also be hosting their second annual holiday brunch. Tickets are between $10 and $25.

Santa alights

It was a perfect day for the best Santa Claus parade in Toronto. Thousands of people lined Weston Road, and as the honoured guest passed, your correspondent could have sworn his Christmas magic conjured just a few flakes of snow to set the season’s spirit.

 

Upcoming events

Lots to do this week!

Frances Nunziata will be having a meeting on crime in the neighbourhood at  in the gymnasium of Weston Memorial Junior PS (200 John St), at 7 pm on Wednesday, November 22.


UrbanArts is hosting a Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy meeting on Saturday, November 25.


The 38th annual Weston Santa Claus Parade will be on Sunday, November 26. It’s the cutest Santa Claus Parade in the city. You have to go.



The Frontlines annual holiday brunch will be just before the parade. Tickets are $20 per person, or $30 for an adult and one child, which gets you on the float, should you wish to be.


And last, but certainly not least, UrbanArts’ annual Winter Expo will be Friday, December 8 at 6 pm. It promises to be lots of fun.

Santa Claus Parade

The leaves are green and on the trees, but the BIA is looking forward to Christmas. They have announced the date of the best little Santa Claus parade in Toronto. Santa Claus

The Weston Santa Claus Parade will be Sunday, November 26 at 2:00 , snow or shine. The BIA is always grateful for volunteers to help with marshalling and parading. You can also bring food to donate to WAES, our local foodbank.

Weston Silver Band wins big in U.S.

On March 11, the Weston Silver Band competed in the annual North American Brass Band Championships and were judged to be best of ten bands in the First Section (think divisions) winning a gold medal. WSB was the only Canadian entry out of 33 other bands. In 2013 the band placed top in the Second Section; the first Canadian band to do so.

The Band celebrates its win.
Weston Silver Band at the North American Brass Band Championships, held in Fort Wayne, Indiana on March 11, 2017.

The Weston Silver Band has an interesting history. Before immigrating to Canada, George Sainsbury, started a band in the U.K which survives to this day. Once he arrived in our neck of the woods, he formed what began as the Weston Boy’s Band in 1921 and has flourished ever since, keeping its Weston links by performing annually in the Weston Santa Claus Parade. Although at the present time there are no members who live in Weston, the band is very proud of its roots in the Weston community and keeps extensive archives of its history. Practices are still held locally every week at the Salvation Army’s York Community Church on 1100 Weston Road in Mount Dennis. The band began to draw musicians from further and further afield from Weston beginning in the late 1970s.

For their upcoming performances, click here.

Band Manager Theresa MacDonald kindly sent me some archival photos of WSB that illustrate its proud Weston heritage.

George Sainsbury and his wife.
The original Weston Boys Band in 1921 at the C.N.E.
Weston Boys Band 1924- Music Director George Sainsbury, Taken at Dr. Irwin’s Estate on Little Ave, in Weston.

Theresa tells me that when the band played in Gravenhurst last year, George Sainsbury’s grandson approached them with a music case belonging to the founder. This treasured item is now stored with the many trophies and other memorabilia gathered over the years.

The original music case belonging to George Sainsbury.
Weston Silver Band 1951 – Music Director Horace Sainsbury, Little Park, Weston.
Weston Silver Band 1960 – Music Director Wallace Mason -C.N.E Winners Class I All Brass, Best Performance, Highest Marks of All Bands, Gold Medal Cornet Solo – Jim Alexander, Gold Medal Euphonium – Ken Martin
** The band has all these shields and trophies in their archives, as well as uniforms etc.