Toronto’s Greeks Line the Streets for ‘Oxi’ Day Parade

oxo day parade 2016 torontoGreek-Canadians united in celebration with diaspora across the globe over last weekend as Greeks lined the streets for Oxi Day parades.

Toronto hosted its annual Oxi day parade on October 30, in which some 30 different community groups participated. Churches from the Greater Toronto Area marched in the parade as well as Greek student associations from Ryerson, U of T and York.

The celebrations started at Donlands Avenue and continued along the Danforth until Chester Avenue, ending with a wreath-laying ceremony.

There were rain clouds looming above and the air was chilly, but nothing could stand in the way of Greeks celebrating this proud day in history. The annual Oxi Day parade commemorates Greece’s former military general and Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas saying “Oxi” which means “no” to an ultimatum by Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini to allow Italian forces to occupy strategic locations in Greece or be forced to enter into WWII on October 28, 1940.

Children dressed up in traditional clothing and waved the Greek flag high in the air as the parade ended with a wreath-laying ceremony at Alexander the Great parkette as participants and onlookers sang the Greek and Canadian anthems.

“The Greek Community of Toronto Oxi Day parade commemorates and celebrates the Greek Resistance during the Axis occupation in the Second World War, and has brought together Greeks from all of Toronto and of all ages,” Kali Petropoulos, one of the organizers of the parade told insidetoronto.com.

“The yearly participation in the Oxi Day parade honors both the Greeks back home in Greece, and the immigrants in Canada who once fought together for Greece’s freedom. We continue to honor this tradition and consider it a privilege to march year after year along the Danforth, and wave both our blue and white, and red and white flags.”