Skip to content

'Toy Drive Train' to collect donations throughout city on Dec. 5

Organized by The Guelph Games and friends
Letter to Santa pexels pic

When organizers of The Guelph Games first learned the Santa Claus parade was cancelled for a second year in a row, they began thinking of ways to help get children’s letters to the jolly ol’ elf himself.

From there, the idea snowballed into what’s been dubbed a “Toy Drive Train” that will be making its way throughout the city on Dec. 5, with numerous stops to collect letters, as well as new toys (fully packaged and not wrapped), non-perishable food and cash donations for the Salvation Army, Hope House and neighbourhood community groups.

“It kind of took off,” said Helen Stoumbos, noting the effort now includes various “friends” that have joined in the effort. “It’s just a way for us to do something for the community.

“It became a bigger undertaking than we initially thought but I think it’s going to be great.”

Between 12:30 and 4:30 p.m. that day, six or more decorated vehicles, including one carrying Santa, will make their way around the city drawing attention to the various donation collection stops. 

At each site, the Salvation Army band is set to perform. Stops are expected to last about 15 minutes each.

Toy donations are needed for a full range of children, not just the younger ones, noted Mike S. Jean. 

“Tweens and older kids sometimes get left out,” he said.

Several city-related mascots are set to take part, Stoumbos noted, listing Guelph Storm, Guelph Nighthawks, University of Guelph and The Guelph Games.

Financial donations will be matched by Scotiabank up to $3,000, she added.

This is the second year in a row the Santa Claus parade, organized by the Downtown Guelph Business Association, has been cancelled. As it did last year, the association will partner with Rotary Club of Guelph to have Santa appear at the annual Sparkles in the Park event at Riverside Park.

Sparkles in the Park runs Dec. 16 to 31, though Santa will only be present on select days that have not yet been announced.


12:30 p.m.

Stone Road Mall – Near Beertown and ToysRus

435 Stone Rd. W.


1 p.m. 

Kortright Hills Public School

23 Ptarmigan Dr, Guelph, ON N1C 1B5 


1:30 p.m. 

Salvation Army Loft Library

1320 Gordon St.


2 p.m. 

Sacred Heart Church


2:30 p.m. 

Ken Danby Public School

525 Grange Rd.


3 p.m. 

Waverley Drive Public School

140 Waverley Dr.


3:30 p.m. 

Shelldale Family Gateway and EarlyON Centre

20 Shelldale Crescent


4 p.m. 

Exhibition Park

Exhibition Road Guelph


4:30 p.m. 

Beertown Public House Guelph

433 Stone Rd. W. Unit 8