Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Holiday: Canadian Pacific Holiday Train 2010
The CN Tower was also decorated in holiday colors in the background as the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train arrived for its performance in Toronto, Ontario on 29-November-2010
TORONTO, ONTARIO - Toward the beginning of the holiday season, communities across the northern United States and southern Canada receive a special visit. The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train rolls along its home rails, stopping in communities large and small to introduce Santa Claus, provide some musical entertainment, and raise money for local food banks.
The smoke cleared after the stage door opened for the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train's performance in Toronto, Ontario on 29-November-2010
For the third straight year, the Toronto performance of the train took place at the West Toronto Yard in The Junction neighborhood. The train was again decorated along its entire length with Light Emitting Diodes of shifting holiday scenes, with an emphasis on this "Canadian" train (a second train mostly visits communities in the United States) on packages and sleds, along with the famous four boxcars writing out "Canadian Pacific Holiday Train" in large lettering.
The locomotive of the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train was decorated with packages and bells as seen at West Toronto Yard in Toronto, Ontario on 29-November-2010
The main entertainment this year came from The Odds. They opened their performance with their most popular hit, "Someone Who's Cool," so it was instantly clear what band was playing. I found their performance especially amusing this year, as they intentionally mixed up Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman and otherwise tweaked holiday traditions. At one point, they brought a Canadian Pacific employee on-stage to play the harmonica with them, which was a nice way to connect with the audience, heavy on railroad employees.
The Canadian Pacific's Scott Nelson played the Harmonica with The Odds during the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train's performance in Toronto, Ontario on 29-November-2010
Of course, the main purpose of the train was raise money for local food banks. In Toronto, that means the Daily Bread Food Bank, and executive director Gail Nyberg was on hand to collect an oversized check from Canadian Pacific. Outgoing city councilperson Bill Saundercook was also part of the presentation in what may prove his last public appearance as an elected official; he talked about continuing the event next year as if he were not leaving office.
City councillor Bill Saundercook and Daily Bread Food Bank executive director Gail Nyberg held an oversized check from the Canadian Pacific on 29-November-2010
For the first time in recent years, the Holiday Train did not have to rush off for another performance in Vaughn, Ontario, the same night; the train instead backed up to overnight at Toronto Yard in the Agincourt neighborhood. Still, the performance was only about a half hour, and that actually felt way too short to me, though it's tough to complain about free, quality entertainment.
The rear of the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train was quiet as the train sat in Toronto, Ontario on 29-November-2010
The Holiday Train continues west, stopping for more performances every day, until it finishes in Port Moody, British Columbia on 17-December-2010. See the Canadian Pacific web site for schedule information.