Undead Invasion! : The Toronto Zombie Walk

Anyone who know me knows that Autumn is my favourite season of the year. I love the fall colours, the smell of decaying leaves, the chill in the air, but most of all I love Halloween. While not technically a holiday, I still consider it one. Halloween only ranks behind Christmas as my favourite time of the year, and there are few better places to celebrate Halloween than the city of Toronto.

Toronto is a pretty happening city in its own right, but around the holidays, it really pulls out all the stops. Halloween is no exception. If you find yourself visiting Toronto in October, you won't want to miss the plethora of things to see and do. One of my favourite October events in the city is the Toronto Zombie Walk.

In case you couldn't tell from the name, the zombie walk is....well....a walk for zombies! It's a community run event that encourages people to come dressed up like zombies and then parade down the streets of Toronto, effectively turning the downtown core into an undead nightmare. It's completely free and everyone is welcome to attend as either a zombie or just a spectator.

Halloween

I had the opportunity to go one year, and it's truly a sight to behold. Thousands of zombies assembled at Trinity Bellwoods Park (the starting point of the walk). It would've been enough to just see people dressed up as zombies, but the zombie walk crowd is far too enthusiastic and creative to simply dress up as your run of the mill corpse. I saw Victorian zombies, steampunk zombies, medieval zombies, Disney princess zombies, and even a Lego zombie!

The parade kicks off with the traditional tossing of the severed head (fake of course). The zombies then march down the street. The crowd is so dedicated, they seldom break character. They moan and shamble and you even hear the occasional yell of "BRAAAINNS"! But as much fun as it is to watch the spectacle of an undead horde taking over downtown, you know the zombies are having an even better time taking part in the walk. So much so that you want to join in. One could say the atmosphere is "infectious" (excuse the pun)

Since I attended, the event has only grown bigger. In 2013 the walk drew in more than 10,000 participants! It has now become more than just a walk and also boasts a vendor's area, live entertainment including musical performances, parade floats, a marching band, and even a drum line.

If you're a local, you'll get a kick out of the zombie walk whether you participate in it or just watch. And if you're a tourist and are in Toronto in October, this is an event you won't want to miss (unless you have a zombie phobia of course). For outsiders who don't celebrate Halloween in their homeland, I would recommend the zombie walk even more. It's the perfect representation of the wonderfully demented holiday that is Halloween.

Check out the website for information on the Toronto Zombie Walk: http://torontozombiewalk.ca/