Where to Meet Santa in the Greater Toronto Area

We all know that Christmas is less than two months away. While we are all trying to find the perfect gifts for our family and friends (some ideas are in my previous posts), Santa is even busier collecting all of the wish lists and posing for pictures before the big day arrives. To help you all out, I've put together a list of the shopping malls where Santa will be available for photo opportunities in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Visit their websites for the most up-to-date information.

  • Square One Shopping Centre
  • Yorkdale Shopping Centre
  • Toronto Eaton Centre
  • Bayview Village
  • Markville Shopping Centre
  • Upper Canada Mall
  • The Promenade Shopping Centre
  • Sherway Gardens
  • Bramalea City Centre
  • Pickering Town Centre
  • Burlington Mall
  • Erin Mills Town Centre
  • Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre
  • Oakville Place

Extra-special Mall Events

Burlington Mall – November 13th, 10AM

A unique event will be held at the Burlington Mall where Santa will arrive on November 13th via helicopter at 10am. The first 1000 kids to greet him will receive a free gift. There will be entertainment and hot chocolate. Photos and video with Santa will be free!

Square One Shopping Mall – November 18th, 7PM

There will an opening ceremony on November 18th at 7PM with singing, dancing and entertainment. Local choirs and host Sheila Clark will be there. The highlight of the Square One ceremony is always the amazing light show. The toy donation box is usually located very close to where Santa hangs out at Square One. Every year, when I take the kids to visit Santa, I have them choose an unused toy to donate. It’s a wonderful way to teach them about giving during the Christmas season.

Oakville Place – November 21st, 8:30AM

Oakville Place will be having breakfast with Santa on November 21st at 8:30AM. Kids eat free and a nice feature here is that Santa greets them as they eat breakfast. Two-dollar donations are accepted towards the Sleeping Children Around the World, a charity that provides beds and shelter for kids in third world countries. Visiting with Santa can be a very exciting and somewhat intimidating experience for children. Here are some of my tips for seeing the big guy in shopping malls.

Parent Tips

  • Try to visit Santa during less crowded times such as working hours or late in the day (after 6PM).
  • When taking an infant, make sure to pack some snacks and a bottle of milk for the time in a line-up.
  • If the baby is dressed up, make sure it is a comfortable outfit that will not make him or her too hot while waiting in line.
  • If this is the first time you are taking your child, prepare them by telling them what will happen. Warning them that you will put them on Santa’s lap is a must!
  • If you are going with yourself and at least one other adult, then a tag-team approach works well. Let one adult stand in line and the other adult can take the children for a walk to see all of the decorations in the mall. Take walkie-talkie’s or cell-phones to communicate when you are closer to Santa.
  • Have your child draw pictures or write up a wish list for Santa. Sometimes kids forget to tell Santa what they want or are simply too shy and are upset afterwards. If they have their own list they can give it to Santa.

I hope you enjoy meeting Santa. Try using your pictures for Christmas cards or gifts. See my post, "Making Christmas Gifts with Pictures".

My next article will be on the Santa Claus parades in the GTA. Another great venue for seeing the big guy!


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