Glebe Spree, Christmas Market and Help Santa Toy Parade highlight holidays in the Glebe

November 11, 2019 | by glebeadmin


Santa Clause is coming to the Glebe, and he’s bringing with him a flurry of fun filled activities to get you into the holiday spirit – from the ever-popular Glebe Spree contest and a festive parade to a European-style Christmas market that promises to deliver a magical holiday experience like never before. Read on to discover fun for the whole family this holiday season.

The excitement kicks off Nov. 15 with the launch of Glebe Spree, which features over $18,000 worth of prizes up for grabs again this year – including the coveted $10,000 grand prize Glebe shopping spree, five weekly cash prizes of $1,000 and scores of daily giveaways. Just ask Marg Vice, last year’s grand prize winner, who said the entire year was filled with the magic of Christmas for her, her friends and her family with their many exciting shopping sprees.

“We went on a mad spree for six hours,” laughed Vice, adding that they made stops at Pure Gelato, Running Room, Sporting Life, and the Unrefined Olive. “We went all down the street; it was just wonderful. We just made it a day and had lunch and carried on all day.”

Part of what made spending the winnings so fun was where she spent it. Vice has been shopping locally in the Glebe for more than 40 years and was excited to ramp it up even more with her winnings. She was back at all the shops, restaurants and service providers she’s been loyal to all these years – only this time, she could really splurge while sharing the excitement with her friends and family.

“It is really a special community,” says Vice, adding that there’s an elevated level of service from the Glebe’s local businesses that you can’t get anywhere else. “I can totally understand why people from around the city come and shop in the Glebe. It’s that small-town feeling, and everyone is so pleasant. It’s just a joy.”

Glebe Spree runs Nov. 15 to Dec. 31. For your chance to win, pick up a Glebe Spree Passport at any participating business and start shopping. For every $15 spent, you will receive a sticker for your passport. Once you’ve collected $150 worth of stickers, drop off your completed ballot at any participating business. Draws are held each Wednesday for the weekly $1,000 cash prize draw, so be sure to get your ballots in early for even more chances to win. Plus, each time you shop at your favourite merchants, you have the chance to instantly win a $100 gift card on any given day! For a list of participating businesses and full rules and regulations, visit

If Glebe Spree isn’t enough to get you pouring the eggnog early, then perhaps a visit from Santa will. Holiday cheer will float all throughout the Glebe Nov. 16 during the Help Santa Toy Parade, where a spectacle of holiday-themed floats and costumed entertainers will roll through the neighbourhood from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Expect dazzling wintery scenes, decadently dressed-up vehicles and charming Christmas characters during this fun family outing along Bank Street. The annual parade by the Ottawa Professional Fire Fighters’ Association has been a beloved annual tradition since 1969. Attendees are encouraged to donate new toys or a financial contribution to help support families in need during the holiday season. The parade commences at Ottawa City Hall before travelling down Bank Street to Lansdowne Park.


And new this year, the new Ottawa Christmas Market at Lansdowne Park will capture the magic of the holiday season all month long leading up to Christmas. The fourth-annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony – which has quickly become a cherished neighbourhood tradition – will kick things off Nov. 29 and mark the opening of Ottawa’s first European-style Christmas market. Filled with eats, treats and carolling beats during weekends in December, the Ottawa Christmas Market will be an essential part of the holiday experience and a must-visit destination for families. It will boast everything you’d expect from similar events in big cities across the globe. The new Casino Lac-Leamy Plaza at Lansdowne – formerly known as Aberdeen Square – will be populated with 16 retailer cabins brimming with tasty holiday favourites, hot beverages and artisan Christmas gifts for those impossible-to-buy-for relatives. The entire plaza will be illuminated with stunning light installations while attendees take in live entertainment, carolling, outdoor Christmas movies and of course, visits with Santa.

“Everyone is invited to experience the sights, sounds, scents and tastes of Ottawa’s first authentic European Christmas Market,” said Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group President and CEO Mark Goudie. “It’ll be a festival of lights with music, local artisans with unique Christmas gift ideas and all kinds of holiday treats.”

The Ottawa Christmas Market runs Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays through December until Dec. 22. Visit for more information.

A visit to the Glebe this holiday season is a must, with Christmas lights brightening up Bank Street, festive holiday decor lining the neighbourhood and an endless variety of shops and restaurants for all your shopping needs. Don’t forget that shopping on Tuesdays during Glebe Spree will get you double the stamps, as will shopping during the Christmas Chaos weekend Dec. 7-8!

So grab your Glebe Spree Passport, don your tackiest Christmas sweater and bring the family down to the Glebe for another magical holiday season.