Report on: Toronto Zombie Walk 2012

Due to my strong personal convictions, I wish to stress that this article in no way endorses a belief in the occult.

The dead rose and amid the Halloween season, a few thousand zombie fans and horror enthusiasts pulled themselves out of the ground and donned their best novelty apparel and horrific body make up to shuffle through the city craving brains and posing for photos. For one afternoon on Saturday 20th, The Walking Dead became real, they numbered in the thousands, and they infested the city as one, moving from Queen Street to Dundas Street and working their way back to Toronto’s City Hall.

Every variety of zombie was represented: musical zombies, superhero zombies, Lego zombies… A lot of people used their leftover costumes from conventions with a bit of added guts and gore. Of course, there were enough people with just basic raggedy clothes and face paint going around chewing brains, too. Many attendees also brought kids of all ages to join in the march. Thankfully, none of the children were scared by the undead masses; they know it’s just as much a big game as trick or treating.

For images of Zombe Walk 2012, check TdotComic’s facebook gallery so that you can tag yourself and friends.

The opening ceremonies now feature vendors providing goods to enhance the zombie experience. After a few designated hours to give people time to arrive and set up, the regiment of undead began their pre-planned parade through the streets of the city. The new route went through Toronto’s downtown core, recently occupied by Nuit Blanche. Subway stations dotted the corners of the pathway for any zombie arriving late to the scene. There was also a team of roughly 30 Toronto police officers keeping the group corralled.

When the drooling herd of undead came to march parallel to the Eaton Centre, it passed by hundreds of eager spectators waiting with cameras. And you can only imagine how confusing the experience was to Toronto residents who didn’t expect thousands of upright corpses dragging themselves down Yonge street moaning for blood. The procession was not without a few distractions, and I’m sure a few zombies abandoned the walk to check out the Wii U demonstration at Yonge-Dundas Square. In the final leg of the march, the zombies passed a protest of Canada’s international policy regarding Syria, but there was no conflict between the groups.

   

Shortly after the mass arrived at city hall, the rain turned from a few cooling drops into a bit of a downpour. The crowd quickly dispersed to either return to their graves or find one of the follow-up events, which included movie screenings, pub nights, and all the best kinds of entertainment for zombies breaking character.

The zombie is an icon of modern culture with thousands of comic books and movies revolving around the theme. The continued growth of the zombie walk indicates that, despite the recent emergence of sparkly vampires, zombies are sticking around, not going the way of the furby. The Zombie Walk is free, and a landmark of the pre-Christmas season.

For other similar upcoming events in the Greater Toronto Area, check the TdotComics Calendar. If you know of any event that’s unlisted, please let us know.

-Michael Ryan October 25th 2012

It would have been nice if one person recognized the zombie character I was dressed as, but it would have also been nice if my outfit wasn’t crap-crap again.

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