A low-key alternative to Montreal's largest Christmas parade is Montreal's (arguably) second largest Christmas parade, the Plaza St. Hubert's Défilé de Noël (French for "christmas parade"). Renamed Défilé des rêves (French for "parade of dreams") in recent years, it's a lesser known annual event held the final weekend of November, usually a week after the popular downtown Santa Claus parade. Consisting mostly of a series of antique firetrucks with Christmas-related elves and fairy types running around entertaining the kids, it's safe to say that even though the floats are more modest than what's typical of the downtown Santa event, this parade can be more interesting for kids because 1) it's less crowded, and as a result, 2) the parade characters are more likely to interact with the children.
Défilé de Noël in 2013: November 29, 2013
Plaza St. Hubert's Défilé de Noël is scheduled to run on Friday, November 29 as of 7 p.m. starting at the corner of Bellechasse and St. Hubert, ending at the corner of Jean-Talon and St. Hubert by around 8:30 p.m. View a map of the parade route.