Next Wednesday, 47 parks across Toronto will emit an orange glow as local residents bid a final farewell to their jack-o’-lanterns with community Pumpkin Parades. 

The first pumpkin parade was organized in Sorauren Park in 2004.The parades have since become a Toronto tradition and are now hosted in parks across the city from Birchcrest Park in Scarborough to Centennial Park in Etobicoke. This year’s event includes 13 more parks than last year and the idea has spread to other cities including Montreal, New York and towns in the United Kingdom. 

“I’m delighted to see more communities across the city participating in this tradition,” said Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon (Ward 32 Beaches-East York), Chair of the Parks and Environment Committee. “I encourage all Torontonians to come out and take part in this magical experience.” 

The pumpkin parades are organized by community organizations, Business Improvement Areas and City councillors. Park bookings are provided by Parks, Forestry and Recreation for free and the City’s Solid Waste Management division provides disposal bins to the organizers to make cleanup of the pumpkins quick and easy after the event. This measure ensures pumpkins are picked up and taken to the City’s organics processing facility to be broken down and returned to park lands and gardens as compost. This year the City has partnered with Park People to provide posters and social media templates to assist community organizations with promotions.

“We’re proud to work with local community organizations to support these kinds of events,” said Janie Romoff, General Manager,  Parks, Forestry and Recreation. “Toronto’s parks are our common grounds, and this made-in-Toronto tradition is a wonderful way to connect with neighbours and participate in the life of the City.” 

A map of all 47 pumpkin parades, including hours and links for more information is available at http://www.pumpkinparades.ca.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.