It’s nearly St. Patrick’s Day!

In Toronto, people celebrate the holiday on March 17th all day long with drinks, music, gatherings and of course, green outfits. Like most holidays, there’s a history and story behind the special day. Not only are we going to dive into the story behind Saint Patrick’s Day, but also its history in Toronto.

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How did Saint Patrick’s Day come to be?

Before we dive into Toronto’s Saint Patrick’s Day history, we have to look at where it all began.

According to the Almanac, “The significance of March 17th is that it’s said to be the date of St. Patrick’s death in the late 5th century (circa A.D. 493).”

Saint Patrick himself is said to have been the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland.

Did you know that The symbol of St. Patrick is a three-leaf shamrock, not a four-leaf clover? The Almanac also states that “Long before the shamrock became associated with St. Patrick’s Day, the four-leaf clover was regarded by ancient Celts as a charm against evil spirits.”

Saint Patrick’s Day in Toronto

Saint Patrick’s Day may be widely celebrated in Toronto these days, with events including an annual parade, but it wasn’t always that way.

In fact, Toronto’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade was cancelled at one point – for 110 years!

According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, “St. Patrick’s Day parades were banned in Toronto in 1878 after previous parades sparked violence between Catholics and Protestants. Toronto did not hold a parade again until 1988.”

The parade is back in the city in full swing now though, with the 2024 rendition planned for Sunday, March 17th at noon, starting at the corner of Bloor & St. George.

Enjoy your Saint Patrick’s Day, Toronto!