The city's annual celebration of all things Irish got an early start Sunday as the 29th annual St. Patrick's Day parade marched through the downtown core. 

Of course, St. Patrick's Day isn't until Thursday, but that did not deter throngs of Irish and wannabe Irish from descending on the downtown as the procession got underway at noon. 

By midday, Twitter and other social media, like much of Yonge Street, were awash with green clothes and orange hair. 


Spectators lined Queen Street West near city hall as the St. Patrick's Day parade made its way through the downtown core. (Grant Linton/CBC)


Children were definitely having a blast at the annual St. Patrick's Day parade. (Grant Linton/CBC)


A marching band regaled parade-goers. (Grant Linton/CBC)

Mayor John Tory was among the notables in the crowd, his Irish credentials boosted by no less than Ray Bassett, Ireland's ambassador to Canada, Bahamas and Jamaica — seen in the photo below. 

Bassett, oddly, appears to be the only person within sight who's not wearing green. 


Road closures

The parade also causes significant traffic and transit disruptions. TTC service on Queen Street West will be affected, and the police have provided this list of road closures: 

8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.: 

  • St. George Street from Bloor Street West to College Street.
  • Devonshire Place from Bloor Street West to Hoskin Avenue.

10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.: 

  • Hoskin Avenue from St. George Street to Queen's Park Crescent West. 
  • Harbord Stree, from St. George Street to Huron Street.

11:35 a.m. to 3 p.m.: 

  • Bloor Street from Huron Street to Avenue Road and Queen's Park Crescent.

11:55 a.m. to 3 p.m.: 

  • Bloor Street from Avenue Road and Queen's Park Crescent to Yonge Street.
  • Yonge Street from Bloor Street to Queen Street.
  • Queen Street West from Yonge Street to University Avenue.

12 p.m. to 3 p.m.: 

  • Bay Street from Queen Street West to Dundas Street West.
  • Elizabeth Street from Dundas Street West to Hagerman Street.
  • Hagerman Street from Elizabeth Street to Bay Street.

 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.: 

  • University Avenue from Queen Street West to Dundas Street West.
  • Armoury Street from University Avenue to Chestnut Street.
  • Centre Avenue from Dundas Street West to Armoury Street.

The parade runs along Bloor Street West, down Yonge and across Queen Street West to University Avenue. (Toronto St. Patrick's Day Parade)