Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Holiday: Canadian Pacific Holiday Train

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train parked at Lambton Yard in Toronto, Ontario for a performance on 1-December-2009

TORONTO, ONTARIO - The annual visit of the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train took place in the Junction neighbourhood of Toronto today. The train rolled in to the Lambton Yard site exactly on time for a half-hour performance at 18:30, with a noticeably larger crowd than last year, which was the first year at the present location.

The stage door opened on the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train to start the performance on 1-December-2009

The Canadian Pacific folks know how to put on a good show. The stage for show is the side of a boxcar, and it dramatically opens with a plume of smoke. Santa Claus emerges to start singing the opening act. After the dignitaries speak, in this case local councilperson Bill Saundercook and representatives of the Daily Bread Food Bank and "Trick or Eat" campaigns, the rest of the musical performances begin.

"The Odds" performed during the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train stop in Toronto, Ontario on 1-December-2009

The headline act this year was "The Odds," a band usually described as an "alternative" group with roots dating back to the 1970's. While their style is fun and engaging--quite similar to BNL--I have always found it odd that rock-based groups have taken an increasing role in the Holiday Train performances, which are fundamentally family events. Rock is truly mainstream.

One of the boxcars with new decorations was noted on the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train at its stop in Toronto, Ontario on 1-December-2009

Always an impressive sight, the Holiday Train had mostly new decorations this year, a style described as "whimsical" by some and "child-like" by others. It certainly was an impressive sight as it pulled in for the event, a fundraiser for the Daily Bread food bank in Toronto. Each of the Holiday Train's stops supports local food banks; over the past decade, the train has led to the donation of more than two million pounds of food and $4 million to local groups.

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train pulled out of West Toronto, Ontario on 1-December-2009

The performance could only be a half-hour as the train needed to continue to its next stop at Vaughn, Ontario. The Holiday Train has several dozen more stops as it continues its journey west to Port Moody, British Columbia. For a schedule, see the Holiday Train web site.

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