I grew up in Ottawa's east end, and now I'm raising my own family here. Every year, for as long as I can recall, there has been a Santa Claus Parade in Orleans. It's a yearly tradition for many families. Yet I'm a bit sad to say that I waited until last year to actually experience it for the first time! Even though the parade wasn't a part of my childhood, it will definitely become a tradition for my kids.
Santa's Parade of Lights takes place on Saturday November 28th at 6:00pm, along St. Joseph Blvd, from Youville Dr to Prestone Dr. There are lots of great places to stand and watch the parade. However, with small children who get impatient quickly (like mine,) I would recommend standing somewhere closer to Youville Drive (at the start of the parade). That way you'll get to see Santa fairly quickly and then can head off for hot chocolate or to put the kids to bed. We waited closer to Place D'Orleans, and missed Santa all together since Joel got tired of waiting and wanted to go home. I would recommend going early and getting a good spot along the route because it fills up fast! Especially with young children, it can get hard to see.
We also didn't think to bring a toy or a cash donation collected by the Firefighters along the parade route, but many families did.
The boys sat on their dads' shoulders for a better view. We all loved seeing the floats decorated with lights, and ooh and aah'd as each one drove by.