Best Places in Canada for Trick or Treating

Toronto is now officially the best place for trick-or-treating, according to urban theorist Richard Florida. Florida is director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto.

Florida and his number crunchers put Canadian cities to the Trick-or-Treat Index test, using the same criteria he’s used to rate U.S. cities.

“Remember, we are doing this in the fun-filled spirit of the holidays,” said Florida. “Of course there will be great neighborhoods for trick-or-treating in all of these great metros, but we thought we would put some numbers to the test.”

The test criteria were: number of kids, average income (“the haul is likely to be better where people have more money”), walkability (density, adults who walk to work) and percentage of artists, designers “and other cultural creatives.”

So, without further ado, here are the results. Windsor made the list!

The Trick or Treat Index for Canada’s biggest cities:

  1. Toronto
  2. (tie) Ottawa–Gatineau and Guelph
  3. Victoria
  4. Vancouver
  5. Kitchener
  6. Calgary
  7. Oshawa
  8. Montreal
  9. Hamilton
  10. Edmonton
  11. Halifax
  12. Barrie
  13. London
  15. Regina
  16. Winnipeg
  17. Kingston
  18. Saskatoon
  19. 19-20. (tie) Quebec, Peterborough

Source: The

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Halloween At The Office

Remember that even if you dress up outside of work, pictures of you in your costume may make it back to some of your coworkers.

Here are some tips to help guide you:

  • Ask yourself if you’re likely to offend someone with your costume. If yes, choose something more neutral.
  • Consider your audience. A costume that fits in well at a friend’s party may be a tad much for the office.
  • Avoid costumes negatively portraying any religion. Additionally, don’t give anyone a hard time for not dressing up for Halloween as it may be against his or her religion to do so.
  • Avoid costumes that are too revealing. Stay away from the Playboy bunny outfit, regardless of how cute the bunny ears are!
  • Avoid costumes that enforce offensive stereotypes. Yes, we can all agree that Fat Albert was a hilarious television show. However, it is offensive for a skinny person to dress up as an overweight person and use it as a punch line.
  • Avoid costumes that portray political figures. Everyone has different political views and these types of costumes can be problematic.
  • Don’t wear “blackface.” We’re astounded that this point still needs to be made, but people, including celebrities, continue to violate this rule.
  • Avoid wearing super scary costumes to work. Believe it or not, some people might truly be afraid.
  • Finally, if you’re an employer that is considering having an office Halloween party, remember that the policies set forth in the employee handbook apply every day. You must continue to apply these policies consistently and Halloween is not an excuse for bad behavior.

Source: Employment Blog

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20 Ways To Confuse Trick-Or-Treaters

We didn’t write these, but some would be interesting to try.

  • Give away something other than candy. (Toothpicks, golf balls, bags of sand, etc.)
  • Wait behind the door until some people come. When they get near the door, jump out, wearing a costume, and holding a bag, and yell, “Trick or Treat!” Look at them, scratch your head, and act confused.
  • Fill a briefcase with marbles and crackers. Write on it, “Top Secret” in big letters. When trick-or-treaters come, look around suspiciously, say, “It’s about time you got here,” give them the briefcase, and quickly shut the door.
  • Get about 30 people to wait in your living room. When trick-or-treaters come to the door, say, “Come in.” When they do, have everyone yell, “Surprise!!!” Act like it’s a surprise party.
  • Get everyone who comes to the door to come in and see if they can figure out what’s wrong with your dishwasher. Insist that it makes an unnatural “whirring” sound.
  • After you give them candy, hand the trick-or-treaters a bill.
  • Open the door dressed as a giant fish. Immediately collapse, and don’t move or say anything until the trick-or-treaters go away.
  • When you answer the door, hold up one candybar, throw it out into the street, and yell, “Crawl for it!”
  • When you answer the door, look at the trick-or-treaters, act shocked and scared, and start screaming your head off. Slam the door and run around the house, screaming until they go away.
  • Insist that the trick-or-treaters each do ten push-ups before you give them any candy.
  • Hand out menus to the trick-or-treaters and let them order their candy. Keep asking if anyone wants to see the wine list.
  • Get a catapult. Sit on your porch and catapult pumpkins at anyone who comes within 50 yards of your house.
  • When people come to the door, jump out a nearby window, crashing through the glass, and run as far away from your house as you can.
  • Answer the door dressed as a pilgrim. Stare at the trick-or-treaters for a moment, pretend to be confused, and start flipping through a calendar.
  • Instead of candy, give away colored eggs. If anyone protests, explain that the eggs are the only thing you had left over from Easter.
  • Answer the door dressed as a dentist. Angrily give the trick-or-treaters a two-hour lecture on tooth decay.
  • Answer the door with a mouthful of M&M’s and several half-eaten candy bars in your hands. Act surprised, and close the door. Open it again in a few seconds, and insist that you don’t have any candy.
  • Hand out cigarettes and bottles of asprin.
  • Put a crown on a pumpkin and put the pumpkin on a throne on your porch. Insist that all of the trick-or-treaters bow before the pumpkin.
  • Dress up like a bunny rabbit. Yell and curse from the moment you open the door, and angrily throw the candy at the trick-or-treaters. Slam the door when you’re finished.

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Other Names For Halloween

October 31st or Halloween is known by many different names. Here are a few of them.

  • All Hallows
  • All Hallows Eve
  • All-Hallows-Even
  • All Hallowtide
  • Beggars’ Night
  • Celtic New Year
  • Day of the Dead
  • Devils Day
  • Hallowe’en
  • Hallowmas
  • Hallowstide
  • Mischief Night
  • November Eve
  • Samhain
  • The Feast of the Dead
  • Third Harvest
  • Witches’ New Year’s Eve

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Halloween Phobias

While we all enjoy pocking fun at the Halloween scaredy cats, let us not forget that some people actually do have “Halloween Phobias”.

Almost everyone has irrational fears. But for some, these fears are so severe that they cause tremendous anxiety and interfere with normal day-to-day life.

If you have a phobia, you probably realize that your fear is unreasonable, yet you still can’t control your feelings. Just thinking about the thing you fear may make you anxious. And when you’re actually exposed to your phobia, the terror is automatic and overwhelming. The experience is so nerve-wracking that you may go to great lengths to avoid it – inconveniencing yourself or even changing your lifestyle.

You can overcome phobias and fears with the right treatment and self-help strategies. So don’t wait to seek help.

If you are suffering with what we call a “Halloween Phobia”, get help. Contact your local CMHA.

Windsor-Essex County Branch
1400 Windsor Ave.
Windsor, ON N8X 3L9
Phone: 519 – 255 7440
Fax: 519 – 255 7817


Here is a short list of documented “Halloween Phobias”:


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Favourite Treats


  • Four-in-ten (41%) adults admit that they sneak sweets from their own candy bowl.
  • On Halloween night, the majority (52%) of those providing treats to costumed kiddies will be passing out chocolate, while three in ten will drop hard candy or lollipops into the sacks.
  • 62% of adults will be handing out candy because “it’s a personal favorite” or it’s a household tradition (55%)
  • 43% of grown-up celebrants cite costumes as one of the most indispensable parts of the holiday.
  • About 26% of households will include full-size candy (chocolate and non-chocolate) in their Halloween activities.
  • 90% of parents admit to sneaking goodies from their kids’ Halloween trick-or-treat bags.
  • Parents favorite treats to sneak from their kids’ trick-or-treat bags are snack-size chocolate bars (70 percent sneak these), candy-coated chocolate pieces (40 percent), caramels (37 percent) and gum (26 percent).
  • Parents least favorite goodie to take from their kids’ trick-or-treat bags is licorice (18 percent).


  • 30% of kids report that they SORT their candy first when returning home with trick-or-treat loot, others:
    • Savor it (20%)
    • Share it (16%)
    • Stash it (14%)
    • Swap it (7%)
  • Kids say they prefer homes that give: anything made with chocolate (68%) followed by lollipops (9%), gummy candy (7%) and bubble gum or chewing gum (7%)
  • More than 93% of children go trick-or-treating each year.
  • Kids tell us that their favorite treats to receive when trick-or-treating are candy and gum. Eighty-four percent of kids said candy and gum are their favorites over other options like baked goods or small toys.


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Top Costumes Over The Years

Halloween did not become a holiday in America until the 19th century. North American almanacs of the late 18th and early 19th centuries make no mention of Halloween in their lists of holidays. The commercialization of Halloween in America did not begin until the 20th century, beginning perhaps with Halloween postcards, which were most popular between 1905 and 1915, and featured hundreds of different designs.

There is little documentation of masking or costuming on Halloween in America, or elsewhere, before 1900. Mass-produced Halloween costumes did not appear in stores until the 1930s, and trick-or-treating became a fixture of the holiday in the 1950s, although commercially made masks were available earlier.

Typical Halloween costumes have traditionally been monsters such as vampires, ghosts, witches, and devils. In recent years, it has become common for costumes to be based on themes other than traditional horror, such as dressing up as a character from a TV show or movie, or choosing a recognizable face from the public sphere, such as a politician.

After reviewing many surveys and articles, here are what appear to be the most popular Halloween costume categories.

  • Classic Ghoul – These would include your generic ghosts, goblins, devils, skeletons and angels
  • Classic Horror Movie Characters – Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolfman and the Mummy. Popular subjects are whatever is hot in the movies today.
  • Star Wars Characters – Star wars has served five decades of trick or treaters. (Yoda, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker and Obi Wan Kenobi. Darth Vader and Boba Fett. Chewbacca, C3P0 and R2D2)
  • Superheros – Comic book superheroes from Wonder Woman to Might Mouse are always a popular site.
  • Pajama costumes for babies – Some of the most popluar being pumpkins, ladybugs, butterflies and pea-in-the-pod one piece outfits.
  • Real Life Heros – Firefighters, police officers, doctors, nurses, astronauts, soldiers and teachers.
  • The Pirate – The Pirate is a classic and one of the simplest outfits to create.
  • The Princess – As long as there are little girls who have fun dressing up, variations of princesses, fairies, Barbies, ballerinas, butterflies, queens, and goddesses will be seen every Halloween.
  • The Witch – The Witch has traditionally been an ugly, warty green faced hag. Now, being a witch on Halloween can even be glamourous. Popular witches today are Harry Potter’s Hermione Granger and powerful elven sorceresses, Galadriel from Lord of the Rings.
  • The Cowboy – The fictional cowboy costume was made popular during the decades of John Wayne westerns and Technicolor film. Today we have have Woody from Disney Pixar.
  • Animal Costume – Kids and adults like to don some fur, scales or fins. Nnimal costumes can be as simple as a set of ears and some face paint.

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“Trick or Treat” Started In Canada?

“Trick-or-treating” or “Guising” is a custom for children on Halloween. Children proceed in costume from house to house, asking for treats such as confectionery, or sometimes money, with the question, “Trick or treat?” The “trick” is an idle threat to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given.

In North America, trick-or-treating is now one of the main traditions of Halloween and it has become socially expected that if one lives in a neighborhood with children one should purchase treats in preparation for trick-or-treaters.

But when did trick or treating begin, and where?

The earliest known reference to ritual begging on Halloween in English speaking North America occured in 1911, when a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario reported that it was normal for the smaller children to go street “guising” on Halloween between 6:00 and 7:00 P.M., visiting shops and neighbours to be rewarded with nuts and candies for their rhymes and songs.

The earliest known use in print of the term “trick or treat” appears in 1927, from Blackie, Alberta, Canada:

“Hallowe’en provided an opportunity for real strenuous fun. No real damage was done except to the temper of some who had to hunt for wagon wheels, gates, wagons, barrels, etc., much of which decorated the front street. The youthful tormentors were at back door and front demanding edible plunder by the word “trick or treat” to which the inmates gladly responded and sent the robbers away rejoicing.”

Trick-or-treating does not seem to have become a widespread practice until the 1930s, with the first U.S. appearances of the term in 1934, and the first use in a national publication occurring in 1939. Trick-or-treating spread from the western United States eastward, although it was stalled by sugar rationing that began in April 1942 during World War II and did not end until June 1947.

Early national attention to trick-or-treating was given in October 1947 issues of the children’s magazines Jack and Jill and Children’s Activities, and by Halloween episodes of the network radio programs The Baby Snooks Show in 1946 and The Jack Benny Show and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet in 1948. The custom had become firmly established in popular culture by 1952, when Walt Disney portrayed it in the cartoon Trick or Treat and Ozzie and Harriet were besieged by trick-or-treaters on an episode of their television show.

Source: New World Encyclopedia

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University of Windsor


Here is a very interesting story from Pete, one of our website visitors:


“Though I never heard of the haunting at Laurier Hall, the tunnels beneath it are actually the engineering tunnels. Back in 1994 I was part of a movie that was filmed in the tunnels so I got to roam through them all which connect to all the buildings and dorms. They can’t be accessed easily from the buildings or dorms unless you have the key (or whatever) or you had permission for us.


I however, did used to live in Huron Hall and that one had a lot of fun activity. The woman in white in my old room (who years following others saw her in there), cold spots, pots moving around, and other fun stuff. I did a lot of research on it and before it was an old hotel and before that a lumber mill, in all the articles I looked at dating back to the start of the property (lots of time at the library researching old Windsor Star newspapers), I never did find any evidence of anyone ever dying there (even though the legend was a prostitute was murdered there at the time it was a hotel). Anyways, too bad old Huron Hall isn’t still there, there was strange things happening (usually on the 2nd floor where the L bend was). Think my room was 218, but also lived in 220 which had things moving around, but 218 was the most active room (others said 225 was also very active)…”


Thanks Pete!

Halloween Facebook Status Updates

Here are a variety of Halloween Status Updates you can use for your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

  • She’s got a couple of nice pumpkins on her porch.
  • Trick or Treat! Give me something good to eat. Give me candy. Give me cake. Give me something sweet to take.
  • on the 31st of October, beware of strangers bearing strange tools like chainsaws, staple guns, hedge trimmers, electric carving knives, and band saws.
  • is hoping that this Halloween, I don’t end up with a bag full of restraining orders again.
  • do others also ask for high fibre candy on Halloween, or am I just getting old?
  • is wondering if Lady Gaga dresses up as a normal person for Halloween?
  • Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.
  • Halloween is huge in my house and we really get into the “spirits” of things.
  • Hold on, man. We don’t go anywhere with “scary,” “spooky,” “haunted,” or “forbidden” in the title.
  • Eat, drink and be scary.
  • forgot to buy candy for the kids this Halloween but will offer them a bite of his sandwich.
  • hopes nobody else dresses up as Justus von Liebig, Father of biochemistry who recorded minerals in plant ash and proposed the law of minimum.
  • wants to remind you this Halloween, that as a general rule, don’t solve riddles that open portals to Hell.
  • This Halloween, I’ll be handing out those little tiny candy bars. I think they’re called bite-me sized.
  • Why don’t skeletons ever go out on the town? Because they don’t have any body to go out with…
  • I don’t have a Halloween costume, but I pretty much figured if I decide to go out I can wear something slutty and have people guess.
  • What do blondes and Jack-O-Lanterns have in common? Both have blank expressions and are hollow inside.
  • I’ll bet living in a nudist colony takes all the fun out of Halloween.
  • IF you hear scraping at the window, don’t worry its only a branch. The zombies use them to reach the windows.
  • If ZOMBIES attack I am so tripping YOU! If VAMPIRES attack trip ME and save yourself! ; )
  • Zombies are looking for brains to eat. Don’t worry you’re safe.
  • Why do I love Halloween? You get to scare the crap out of little kids, without getting in trouble!
  • Is off the pumpkin patch to wait for the great pumpkin! HAPPY HaLLowEEn!
  • Halloween, you’re never to old to have a little fun. To dress up and go crazy :] But most importantly you will NEVER be to old to get FREE candy!
  • Brooms back from the Shop, and Ready For Take Off!
  • will be handing out pre-packaged condiments from a wide assortment of fast food establishments for Halloween this year. Trick or treat.
  • By all means, you walk ahead of me so that when the monster jumps out of the bushes I can push you into it and make a break for it.
  • A pinata is NOT a good idea for a Halloween costume.
  • If ZOMBIES attack I am so tripping YOU! If VAMPIRES attack trip ME and save yourself! ; )
  • is bored, I think I might dress up as the Grim Reaper and go wave at the people in the nursing home. Who wants to come??
  • On a dark night, the doorbell rings. Outside is a scary group of clowns, gypsies & other strange creatures. It must be Halloween! The family reunion was in July
  • Halloween is coming so I think I will answer my phone with,”County morgue, we collect them, you select them. Halloween special 2 for 1.”
  • Halloween…the only time when u can actually walk out of Ur house looking like a zombie 🙂
  • …in the spirit of “going green” I will be using all natural spider webs for Halloween decorations this year. Your welcome!
  • The best part about Halloween is that people think the screams coming from our house are “part of the fun.”
  • Going trick or treating on the highway dressed up in a deer costume is NOT a good idea.
  • I’m ready for apple picking, pumpkins, Bonn fires, hoodies, crunchy leaves and Halloween!
  • ” HALLOWEEN “.. the one day I get to dress up and embarrass my kids.. legally.
  • I love you dearly but if you fall down in the cemetery and something grabs you, your on your own
  • Halloween: The one time of year your parents allow you to go out in the dark of night, dressed like a weirdo, and receive candy from strangers.
  • I’m not cleaning this week. I’m going to tell everyone the cobwebs and dust are part of the Halloween decorations!
  • Hip Hip Hooray! Halloween is near!! It’s not the ghoulies, ghosties or monsters I fear, it’s the 10 lbs of goodies that will go to my rear!!
  • I know its horrible to ask but.. could i borrow your face for Halloween?

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You Know You’re A Hauntaholic When…

This is a very old list – but still holds true.

  • You’re pestered all year by kids who want to know what the theme for THIS year is.
  • You find yourself thinking that one corpse is more attractive than another.
  • You get more excited over a fog machine than a dirty movie.
  • You have more help at your haunt than necessary for an old-fashioned barn raising.
  • You have more than ten sound effect CD’s.
  • You have names for the skeletons in your closet.
  • You play spooky music all year round.
  • You spend more on one Halloween than on your spouse’s anniversary.
  • You spend more on one Halloween than on your entire wedding.
  • You spend more on one Halloween than on your spouse for the entire history of your marriage.
  • You try to make your dog look like a hellhound every Halloween.
  • Your neighbors avert their eyes and avoid you a full month before Halloween.
  • Your shed, basement, and attic contain nothing but Halloween props.
  • The only candelabra you own is in a spider web motif.
  • There is a monster under your bed, because your attic/basement/shed are full.
  • Your electric bill higher in October than in December.
  • The family dog ignores masked individuals breaking into your house.
  • You see haunt possibilities with every road kill you cause…I mean, see.
  • Instead of giving your child a cat or dog did you give them a gargoyle to play with.
  • When your neighbors are asked about Halloween, they roll their eyes and point at your house.
  • The guy at the paint counter at the hardware store sees you coming, and starts stacking gallon cans of flat black on the counter.
  • You go to “Goth Night” at a local club armed with a pocketful of “volunteer recruitment” flyers.
  • You can’t watch a horror movie without jotting down ideas every two minutes.
  • You’re nervous about taking rolls of film in to be developed, for fear the police might show up at your house looking for the corpses that the developer clued them in to. 
  • You have a room in your house reserved for special props/projects, and won’t allow anyone in there because it’ll “spoil the Halloween surprise!”
  • You scare other family members or neighbors on a regular basis, often without meaning to.
  • Your ideal pet would be a black cat, a tarantula, a snake, a bat, or a rat.
  • People refuse to walk into your house at night.
  • People refuse to walk into your house in broad daylight.
  • You have a customized license plate that has something to do with Halloween.
  • You start setting up your yard haunt in August…
  • You still aren’t finished on Halloween, but it’ll do… gotta start earlier next year…
  • You cannot throw ANYTHING away that could even CONCEIVABLY be used to scare someone…even if you don’t know how yet.
  • You judge homes by how well a haunt could be set up in them.
  • The boys in the white coats are afraid to come in your yard.
  • Your children turn their bedroom into a giant spider web, by stringing yarn everywhere and pretend to attack when you get tangled in it.
  • Your 4 year old announces to the class that they want to be a Vampire when they grow up.
  • Your toddler’s first word is “REDRUM.” 
  • The kids hiss at each other and make claws with their hands when they fight.
  • It’s not uncommon to see “Barbie” hanging in a noose in your daughters room.
  • Your teenager wants their “own” coffin.
  • “Addams Family” books are the most commonly read children’s books laying around.
  • You still think your kids are well adjusted.

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10 Signs You’re Too Old For Halloween

We don’t think you’re ever too old, but these are kinda cute…


10. You get winded from knocking on the door.
09.  You have to have another kid chew the candy for you.
08. You ask for high fiber candy only.
07. When someone drops a candy bar in your bag, you lose your balance and fall over.
06. People say, “Great Keith Richards mask!” and you’re not wearing a mask.
05. When the door opens you yell, “Trick or…” and can’t remember the rest.
04.  By the end of the night, you have a bag full of restraining orders.
03. You have to carefully choose a costume that won’t dislodge your hairpiece.
02. You’re the only Power Ranger in the neighborhood with a walker.


And the number 1 sign you’re too old for Halloween…

01. You avoid going to houses where your ex-wives live.

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Top 10 Houses to Avoid on Halloween

Here’s an oldie but goodie!

10. Any house that seems to be imploding into a hole in the ground.

9. Any house made of food.

8. Any house that has ornamental lawn hyenas.

7. Any house whose only entrance goes to the basement.

6. Any house where high-tension power lines seem to stop.

5. Any house that keeps growling, “Get out”

4. Any house where the furniture seems to be walking around the living room.

3. Any house that looks like a giant, pulsating orb floating 3 feet above the ground.

2. Any house with a yard full of statues of people in odd running poses.


And the number 1 house to avoid…

1. Any house that wasn’t there a couple of seconds ago.

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