Edit: If you’re here looking for the 2016 Toy Run information, You can find it here!
Ahhh! Christmas! I know, I know. Stores are just getting their Hallowe’en decorations out, how DARE I mention Christmas?! But before you throw your Pumpkin Latte at me, hear me out.
The Vancouver Motorcycle Toy Run, now in its 36th year, is an annual parade of, well, motorcycles all riding to raise donations of gifts and money for the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau. Arguably the largest of its kind, the Toy Run sees participation in the range 3000-5000 people. That’s between 2000-4000 motorcycles!
Starting at Coquitlam Centre at 9:30am and ending at the PNE in Vancouver around noon, it takes roughly a half hour from first bike to last, requires more than 35 manned barricades and needs more than 80 volunteers to run smoothly. Here in Burnaby, the City of Burnaby generously donates all policing and engineering allowing for a smooth ride and lower event overhead for this amazing cause.
The Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau has been around since 1930 and their mission is simple: “To assist low income families at Christmas and act as warehouse to other area Christmas bureaus”. They dedicate themselves to helping as many children and families as possible experience the joy of Christmas. And they need YOUR help!
On Sunday, October 5th, donations of unwrapped toys and/or cash can be made at a variety of different locations – either at Coquitlam Centre by 9:30 am, at the PNE between 10am and 12:30pm, or at any of the volunteer manned barricades along the parade route. Another drop off location is Trev Deeley Motorcycles. They are located at 1875 Boundary Rd in Vancouver and are huge supporters of the Vancouver Motorcycle Toy Run and host an annual party afterwards which is open to the public.
Join the Toy Run:
Have a bike and want to join in? All they ask is that you please bring a donation, and show up ready to ride at Coquitlam Centre.
Live near the parade route? Come watch! It truly is a spectacle to see the constant flow of motorcycles of every make and model, and as if the sight wasn’t enough to delight the littles, many participants throw treats as well!
Some things to keep in mind when donating:
Would you buy it for your own kids or loved ones? If not, maybe choose something with larger appeal.
The hardest gift category to fill is pre-teens/teens. We all love to shop for wee ones…the stuff is adorbs and theres plenty of selection. But please consider purchasing gift cards, styling tools,personal care products etc for the older youth. They may not believe in Santa Claus, but they deserve some Christmas magic too!
Again, please do not wrap donations.
It goes without saying that a parade of this magnitude will have an effect on traffic. Please pay attention to detour signs, traffic enforcement and of course motorcyclists. Or, grab a lawn chair, pull up some sidewalk and enjoy that latte you didn’t throw.