Just when you thought it was safe to drive in downtown Toronto again, the Shriners  come to town. Over 10,000 Shriners are in Toronto this week for their annual convention. As part of their convention, they hold a parade with elaborate floats and miniature vehicles.This year with the Shriner convention in Toronto, they will be having their parade on University Avenue.

The parade, scheduled to start around 1 p.m. at Queen’s Park, will cause the shut down of University Avenue in both directions from College Street all the way down to Front Street. The closures are expected to begin early this morning and remain closed until 7 p.m.

The Shriners are mostly known for their funny fez hats, miniature cars and a well known circus. They do a great deal of fund raising for children’s hospitals specializing in burn care and orthopedics.

As I was heading to my Toronto office space, I could already see a bunch vehicles and trailers with Shriner logos and even a truck that was shaped like train locomotive that were heading for Queen’s Park to get into the parade. When I arrived at the parking lot outside my office space Toronto, there were a number of people with fez hats also parking in the lot. I started to wonder if my downtown office space was also going to be invaded by Shriners,  but quickly realized that they were parking there so they could pick up their cars after the parade.

Shriners raises funds for children’s hospitals across North America specializing in orthopedic and burn care, spinal cord rehabilitation and cleft lip and palate treatment. One of those locations is in Montreal.