News / Toronto

It's Santas vs. snowmen on rival Toronto streets

Okay, it's not really a competition but tell that to the rogue penguins and dinosaur holding a present.

It seems that a resident of Inglewood Drive in Toronto's Moore Park neighbourhood decided that she wanted a cheerful 14' (4.27m) self-inflating Santa on the lawn. A few neighbours liked the Santa and got them for their lawns too. Soon the local Canadian Tire was out of stock. Then someone from Canadian Tire's marketing department heard of the problem, and soon Santa (Canadian Tire) showed up on Inglewood with another twenty or so blow-up Santas.

torstar news service

It seems that a resident of Inglewood Drive in Toronto's Moore Park neighbourhood decided that she wanted a cheerful 14' (4.27m) self-inflating Santa on the lawn. A few neighbours liked the Santa and got them for their lawns too. Soon the local Canadian Tire was out of stock. Then someone from Canadian Tire's marketing department heard of the problem, and soon Santa (Canadian Tire) showed up on Inglewood with another twenty or so blow-up Santas.

Moore Park is blowing up.

The midtown Toronto neighbourhood has become the site of a friendly, festive battle between Santas and snowmen as local residents show their Christmas spirit.

Dozens of inflatable Santas have been waving in the wind along Inglewood Dr. for the past three years, but this year residents of Rose Park Dr. are in on the action.

Susie Fabapathy said her son saw the “Kringlewood” Santas and decided Rose Park Dr. should have a mascot of its own.

“We should do snowmen on our street and make it ‘Snow Park Drive,’ ” he suggested.

Inflatable snowmen lining the Mount Pleasant and St Clair Ave area.

torstar news service

Inflatable snowmen lining the Mount Pleasant and St Clair Ave area.

Fabapathy said she fell in love with the idea and invited neighbours to join in.

So far, around 20 snowmen have popped up along the street despite the warm weather, but Fabapathy noted reports that the two streets are having a seasonal showdown might be a little inflated.

“We didn’t start it for a competition,” she said. “It’s truly just for fun.”

That sense of fun seems to be spreading. The no man’s land between the two streets in peppered with inflatable’s of all sorts. There are rogue Santas and snowmen as well as penguins and even a dinosaur holding a present.

Over on Inglewood, Kathryn McClean said her street isn’t afraid of a little competition. In fact, they welcome other streets to show of their Christmas cheer.

“It’s okay if other neighbourhoods or streets copy, because it’s not about that,” she said. “It’s about everyone gathering around and celebrating.”

Inflatable snowmen lining the Mount Pleasant and St Clair Ave area.

torstar news service

Inflatable snowmen lining the Mount Pleasant and St Clair Ave area.

Shortly after McClean and her husband moved to the street almost two years ago, the Santas went up and she said she just had to have one.

“My husband had to go all the way to Etobicoke, but I said ‘Don’t come home without it.’ ”

After a few years out in the elements many of the Santas and even a few snowmen are sporting battle wounds that have been taped up.

“Last year there was a huge storm and when I came out in the morning it looked like a massacre because they all blew over,” said McClean.

60-plus inflatable Santa's lining Inglewood Drive in the Mount Pleasant and St Clair Ave area.

torstar news service

60-plus inflatable Santa's lining Inglewood Drive in the Mount Pleasant and St Clair Ave area.

The big, bobbing blow-ups don’t come cheap.

The snowmen go for about $70 and Santas cost a chilly $220, but both streets have initiatives to match the cost of their Christmas-kistch with donations to charity proving when it comes to the true meaning of Christmas residents aren’t just blowing hot air. 

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