Saturday, September 19, 2009

Culture: My Local Parade

The Toronto Ukrainian Festival Parade started on Bloor Street West near Runnymede in Toronto, Ontario on 19-September-2009

TORONTO, ONTARIO - There are a lot of parades in the city of Toronto throughout the year, many of the larger ones covered on this blog. I have to take the subway to reach many of them, and sometimes streetcars or buses as well. However, the parade at the Toronto Ukrainian Festival which was held earlier today ran right down Bloor Street West through my local Bloor West Village neighbourhood, only a short walk away.

A band from the Ukrainian Youth Ensembles marched down the narrow parade route on Bloor Street West in Toronto, Ontario on 19-September-2009

While many of the major parades in Toronto march down wide streets like University (or even Bloor farther east), the Ukrainian Festival Parade had a much more intimate feel as the parade route used only the two westbound lanes of Bloor. A double-wide float would not have made it in this parade.

Member of Provincial Parliament Cheri Di Novo was joined by former Member of Parliament Peggy Nash in the Ukrainian Parade on 19-September-2009

Rather than seeing politicians that I did not recognize, local representatives that I knew well marched in this parade. City councilperson Bill Saundercook, Member of Provincial Parliament Cheri Di Novo, Member of Parliament Gerrard Kennedy, and even former Member of Parliament Peggy Nash were all noted walking down Bloor Street West.

The local Ukrainian Credit Union had a large contingent of blue and yellow-dressed individuals in the Ukrainian Festival Parade on 19-September-2009

The parade felt comfortable as well because of all the local business that I recognized. Of course, the local Ukrainian financial, cultural, and culinary institutions were marching, but so were decidedly non-Ukrainian business like western European bakeries and martial arts groups.

In a decidedly multi-cultural Canadian scene, a Ukrainian Karate group marched in the Ukrainian Parade on 19-September-2009

The martial arts groups provided the most decidedly multi-cultural moments of the parade. I can't ever recall seeing a Korean and Ukrainian flag together before, as was seen in front of a Tae Kwan Do group, and where else but Toronto (outside of the Ukraine, anyway) does one find a Ukrainian Karate group marching in a parade?

A Tae Kwan Do group performed live demonstrations all along the route of the Ukrainian Festival Parade in Toronto, Ontario on 19-September-2009

The Ukranian Festival continues on Sunday, 20-September-2009, accessible from the Jane and Runnymede stops on the Bloor-Danforth subway. More coverage of the Ukranian Festival, including the parade, will be featured in a future update to my photo site.

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