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A giant pig is destined to go on one of the floats in the Santa Claus Parade.

The Parade Warehouse, which appears in the episode "Night in Question", houses the floats that are used in the annual Santa Claus Parade, which has been an institution in Toronto for over a hundred years.

"Night in Question"Edit

The episode "Night in Question" opens with Nick Knight being wheeled into the Emergency Room. When his partner, Tracy Vetter is questioned about her partner's injury, she explains that she received a message from an ostensible informant who claimed to know the identity of a serial killer dubbed the "Yorkville Ripper". In order to get the information, she had to meet the informant in person at the Parade Warehouse. She did not, of course, go alone: she took her partner with her. But they were ambushed as they made their way through the dark building; and Nick was shot.
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A uniformed cop confronts Nick when he returns to the Parade Warehouse.

Unfortunately, Tracy got only a glimpse of the shooter and cannot identify him from mug shots. Nick survives his injury, but has amnesia.

As Nick's memory gradually begins to return, he goes to the Parade Warehouse to see if this can jog his mind into recalling the face of the man who shot him. He is spotted and stopped by a uniformed police officer, who is sympathetic once she realizes that he is the one who had been shot there. And seeing the warehouse does indeed start Nick remembering the shooting.

Behind the ScenesEdit

History of the ParadeEdit

The first Santa Claus Parade in Toronto was on Saturday, 2 December 1905. It was a publicity stunt for the T. Eaton Company, who owned a chain of department stores, with its head offices in Toronto. Santa arrived at the railway station, and was escorted to Massey Hall by the Eatons. As similar parades were held in following years, a general route became established that started midtown and headed south to the Eaton's department store at the intersection of Queen and Yonge Streets.

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Toy soldiers are destined to decorate a float in the parade.

At first, various means of transporting Santa were used; but it quickly became tradition for the parade to end with Santa in a sleigh pulled by reindeer. In 1917, he was preceded by seven floats bearing nursery rhyme characters. By the fifties, the parade typically involved a couple of thousand people, either marching or on the floats; and there were ten or more large floats with twice that number of smaller ones. At six miles long, the Eaton's Santa Claus Parade was the largest in North America. And almost all of the people participating were volunteers, many of them high school and college students.

In 1982, Eatons announced that it was going to stop funding the parade. Immediately, local businesses stepped in to sponsor floats. Executives today pay $1000 each for the privilege of dressing up as clowns, walking in the parade, and entertaining children along the route.

Making the FloatsEdit

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Cartoon and nursery figures are rendered as giant figures to show up on the floats.

Preparation for the parade takes months. Planning starts shortly after the parade is over, sketching out ideas for floats for the following year. Building starts in February or March, and continues right up until November, when the parade is held. Although most floats only take a few weeks to make, the more elaborate ones can take up to two months.

The floats are made of plywood, wallboard and papier-mâché, shaped and mounted on frameworks of metal, chicken wire and wood. Floats average about forty feet in length, but the maximum height is usually about fifteen feet in order to clear overhead wires along the route. Many of the floats are animated, with things things like revolving turntables, prancing animals, and figures with heads that turn. Some of this is done by clockwork; but a lot is worked by the people who ride the floats in the parade.

It is the warehouse where the floats are being constructed and stored that appears in Night in Question.

See alsoEdit

  • Santa Claus Parade - The official website: click on the picture, and then on the merry-go-round horses for information about the parade, including archival photos and film.
  • The Santa Claus Parade Turns 100 - Archives of Ontario: history, behind the scenes, and info on making the floats.
  • [1] - includes photos of the warehouse.

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