What to bring to the Toronto Caribbean Carnival
H20: Drink plenty of water and stay in the shade to avoid heat stroke. Check the weather forecast for updates.
SUN BLOCK: Use generously. Follow the recommended dosage.
A HAT OR VISOR: Proper headgear will also help stave off heat stroke and protect your eyes and head.
SHADES: UV rays are harmful to your eyes. Be sure to wear sunglasses with UV protection.
A CAMERA: You won’t want to miss a moment. Capture all the breath taking Toronto Carnival costumes.
A WHISTLE AND FLAG: Whistle along to the beat and wave your flag in the air. A rag also comes in handy for soaking up sweat after all that whistling and waving.
AN UMBRELLA: Rain or shine, this is going to come in handy.
FOLD UP CHAIRS OR A BLANKET: There isn’t much seating along Lakeshore Boulevard and you WILL get fatigued at some point. Especially if like most people you were out partying till six in the morning.
COMFORTABLE SHOES: Be ready for a day of walking, dancing, jumping and more walking. Save the heels for the clubs.rd
YOUR APPETITE: Outside of the Caribbean, Toronto is the best place on earth to enjoy authentic island cuisine. There are literally dozens of vendors who can satisfy your craving for roti or jerk chicken.
TRAVEL PACK: You should bring a small bag to hold money and valuables, extra tissue in case portable toilets are out and any other essentials you may need.
BUDDY SYSTEM: The crowd there can be overwhelming and cell phone reception tends to be dismal on the parade route. Make sure to keep close contact with friends and set up meeting places if you get split up. It’s not uncommon to arrive with someone only to not see him or her until well after the parade! If you’re traveling with children then make sure they know where to go if they get lost. Or better yet, have them tethered to you at all times!
FUN FACTS about the Toronto Caribbean Carnival
• It takes 4-5 hours for a mas band to travel the entire parade route
• Parade Route is 3.5 kilometers
• Average travel rate of a mas band = 1km/hour
• Approximately 20,000 people will play mas in costume for 2016
• There are 9 mas bands
• Largest band: Saldenah (4000 people)
• 4 bottles of water consumed per person; on a hot day, more
• 16 feathered plumes go into one headpiece
• 20 yards of fabric makes approx 8 costumes
• A “costume” is worn by the masquerader; no assistance required
• Once a costume needs the assistance of wheels for it to be carried, it becomes a “float”
• On average, there are 7-8 sections per band: King, Queen, Male Individual and Female Individual sections portrayed by adults PLUS King, Queen, Male Individual and Female Individual sections portrayed by children from the Junior Carnival (Kiddies Carnival).