Annual Zombie March

Toronto, Canada

Experience

What would you do if you saw a zombie march outside your house while sitting down for lunch? Now what would you do if you saw 1000’s of zombies marching by? Chances are it’s already too late to escape. The city’s been over-run! Do you take your slim chances and make a dash out the back door in hopes for a miraculous escape in a soon to be stolen neighbour’s vehicle?* Do you grab your nearest kitchen utensil and go all Freddy Krueger on their undead butts?* Or do you lose all hope in the future of humanity and pull the proverbial plug before risk of infection?*

What if the solution simply involved a couple ripped clothes, some black and white make up, and a bit of good old Monday morning moans, and doing a little ‘zombie march’ of your own?!

Luckily for you, the next time you’re visiting Toronto in the later half of October, the latter option is actually your BEST (and hopefully ONLY) choice. Often creeping up in around the third weekend of October, hordes of zombie clad civilians practice what may be the safest chance of survival during a real Zombie Apocalypse… as long as the zombies don’t smell your fresh, uneaten braaaaaaains!

One of the first zombie walks was held in October 2003, in Toronto, Ontario, with 6 participants. What started as a group of friends banding together in what was most likely a protest to the living, has now become an international celebration of the undead! I have heard of a zombie march happening in several major cities around the world now, with heaviest concentrations in North America (possibly due to the anticipation of the empending Halloween celebration later in the month). One of the largest hordes has got to be the Toronto horde, which is now in the 1000’s of participants. Though still a rapidly growing event in terms of popularity, it still seems to be off the beaten path of the majority of locals (and international visitors) to the city each year!

It is rare to see creativity amongst adults and children alike in such numbers, and to such pain staking degrees of detail and effort! You will see Zombie parents pushing their zombie children around in wheel barrels. A missing patient’s limbs being munched on by sexy zombie nurses. Undead pets promenading amongst their brain-dead owners. Sotre owners dishing out brain shaped cupcakes, or having zombie glam photo-shoots on their in store runways. Moaning, feet dragging, (fake) blood splattering, ghoul upon undead zombified ghoul.. the streets become overrun for a few short midday hours! Toronto’s zombie march is full on, it’s interactive, and best of all.. it’s FREE!

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SEE – Photos & Videos

My horde during the Toronto Zombie March
My horde during the Toronto Zombie March
Canada National Pride: a lesser known zombie trait **Photo Credit: Yurii Kuzmin**
Canada National Pride: a lesser known zombie trait **Photo Credit: Yurii Kuzmin**
Dazed zombies at Toronto Zombie March **Photo Credit: Hamish Goonetilleke**
Dazed zombies **Photo Credit: Hamish Goonetilleke**
Cute zombie in Toronto **Photo Credit: Hamish Goonetilleke**
Cute zombie **Photo Credit: Hamish Goonetilleke**
When Zombies Attack Toronto **Photo Credit: Yurii Kuzmin**
When Zombies Attack **Photo Credit: Yurii Kuzmin**
Zipper face!! at Zombie March Toronto **Photo Credit: Hamish Goonetilleke**
Zipper face!! **Photo Credit: Hamish Goonetilleke**
Fun for the whole family in Toronto! **Photo Credit: Hamish Goonetilleke**
Fun for the whole family in Toronto! **Photo Credit: Hamish Goonetilleke**
Blood: A glassful a day, keeps zombie nurses away, at Zombie March Toronto **Photo Credit: Yurii Kuzmin**
Blood: A glassful a day, keeps zombie nurses away **Photo Credit: Yurii Kuzmin**
Watch your back at Zombie March Toronto **Photo Credit: Yurii Kuzmin**
Watch your back **Photo Credit: Yurii Kuzmin**
Zombie March Toronto Photo Credit: Yurii Kuzmin
Zombie March Toronto **Photo Credit: Yurii Kuzmin**
Apocalypse Now at Zombie March Toronto **Photo Credit: Yurii Kuzmin**
Apocalypse Now at Zombie March Toronto **Photo Credit: Yurii Kuzmin**
The Toronto Zombie March founders on their wedding day! **Photo Credit: Hamish Goonetilleke**
The Toronto Zombie March founders on their wedding day! **Photo Credit: Hamish Goonetilleke**
Yours truly – The transvestite zombie! at Zombie March Toronto **Photo Credit: Hamish Goonetilleke**
Yours truly – The transvestite zombie! **Photo Credit: Hamish Goonetilleke**

Photo credits shared with Hamish Goonetilleke and Yurii Kuzmin. Many thanks for your contributions!!

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GO – Getting There

The event has shifted position for it’s starting point, as the event grows and grows in size. At the time of publication, it’s starting point was centrally located at Toronto’s very own City Hall (Nathan Phillips Square)!! Way to go Toronto, for supporting such a zany event! From here, you will wander through many of central Toronto’s neighbourhoods – it’s a great way to explore a (very) different side of the city!

Zombie March Toronto – Bring on the Apocalypse — Map
Zombie March Toronto – Bring on the Apocalypse — Map

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Do – Activities & Attractions

Coming Soon!

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Stay – Accommodation

Looking for a place where to stay in Toronto? There are lots of options depending on your budget and what experience you are looking for. The most popular area is the Entertainment District and also check  out for Downtown Yonge, Chinatown, and Yorkville.

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Eat – Restaurants

Coming Soon!

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Time – Seasonality & Schedules

Generally this event happens the weekend before Halloween (October 31st, annually). If you want to participate, or even just bare witness to this frightfully fun event, make sure you check out the meeting times, and the zombie march route for the year (as the numbers grow, so does the zombie march path needed!) on the Toronto Zombie Walk website. There’s plenty of pre and post zombie-parties and events that week too! Be forewarned – even zombies have a ‘code of conduct’ they need to abide by to keep this event running, so please play nice when in search of your delicious braaaaains.

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Safety – Possible risks

Please Note: Travel inherently comes with an element of risk (just like crossing the road does). You are putting yourself in elements that are unfamiliar and foreign to your usual lifestyle and with that, become more susceptible to fall victim those who try to play off those unfamiliar to their local scams. There are also potential dangers in the environments to which you may not be accustomed to.

Please take extra care in travelling, ensure that you have adequate medical insurance (accidents seem to happen when you least expect them), and have let a trusted colleague, family member or friend know your whereabouts and activities.

Where Sidewalks End travel advises you to travel at your own risk, and to be extra aware of your surroundings (without letting it spoiling your time).

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Pay – How much does it cost?

The cost of the main event is FREE! That’s right – all this zombie madness for absolutely nothing (aside from what you might spend on fake blood, and some used clothes and makeup). There are some fundraising events which happen prior to the zombie march itself, which are often worth checking out, and the cost of these events may vary. If you’re only interested in the march of the undead, however, no harm done. The more zombies (and living onlookers) the merrier!

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Responsible Travel – Best Practices

Coming Soon!

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Reality Check – Be Aware

Is this even real? Of course it is.. and it’s a growing phenomenon! This is a completely harmless, peaceful event, if you can stomach a little fake blood and brains, that is. Children, pets, grandmas, everyone’s invited to partake or even just witness the slow crawling movement. There is a strict code of conduct, and that is entirely based on respect. The respect that should be given to all those in attendance. For this, I think it’s a fantastic event, and have no warnings to give, other than you should prepare to have a great day!

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JOIN US! WSE Travel Packages

This sounds like quite the adventure, right? We thought so too! Though we realize it can be pretty intimidating to get out there into the world on your own, especially when travelling to some of these off the beaten path locations. We love it when our readers give it a shot and try it for themselves! In fact, please leave us feedback if you do!! If trying something ‘this’ adventurous on your own is just a bit outside of your comfort zone, WSE Travel is here to help!

Follow this link for our ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Tours – packages that are highly personalized and tailored at your request.

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Have you ever been part of a zombie march? If so, what city were you in when it happened? What was the most exciting or challenging part about the march? Would you recommend it to friends?

Don’t miss out on Tasty Tours while you’re in Toronto, one of my favourite food tours ever!

Please feel free to share your stories and thoughts in the comment section below!

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WSE Travel - Zombie March crew
My hoard during the Toronto Zombie March

8 Responses

  1. Pingback: ONOIR - Dining in the dark | Tony Esteves, Inspirational Facilitator
  2. Hi, I’m an old proofreader … & found a spelling mistake. A ‘hoard’ is a pile of stuff that someone has collected to hide away. That can make the person a ‘hoarder.’

    A big group of people is a ‘horde.’ ‘Hordes’ of people in the street are dressed like zombies. Etc.

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