All photos by Andre Gagne.

The first holiday party of the season rolled through downtown Ottawa today with thousands lining up to see that jolly old man in the big, red suit. The help Santa Toy Parade, now in it’s 47th year,has been the annual kickstart to the holidays ever since it was launched in 1969 by the Ottawa Professional Fire Fighters’ Association.  Since then, local firefighters have walked the parade route collecting toys and other donations for those less fortunate in the city.

Kids sipped hot chocolate in little red wagons smiling chocolaty smiles and parents decked themselves out in elf hats and reindeer antlers all sharing in that early Christmas fun as the bands and floats passed by. Santa, of course, brought the widest eyes to the wee ones who waved and cheered.

Ottawa Life Magazine was on hand to capture some of the holiday cheer!