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NORAD North Bay ready to track Santa

It all started in 1955 when a local media advertisement directed children to call Santa direct
20171204 norad santa 2016
Captain Jim Mercereau observes a Santa Tracking simulation at the NORAD facility in North Bay today. Photo by Lindsay Sarazin.

NORAD is celebrating the 62nd Anniversary of tracking Santa’s yuletide journey and it all happens in North Bay.

The NORAD Tracks Santa website, which launched Dec. 1, features Santa’s North Pole Village and includes a holiday countdown, games, activities, and more. The website is available in eight languages.

Canadian Fighters greet Santa near the East Coast of Canada.  Like any other NORAD assignment, there is protocol on Christmas eve, and the fighter pilots must confirm visually that Santa is in Canadian airspace.  

See: NORAD prepares for Santa Tracking

Official NORAD Tracks Santa apps are also available in the Apple and Google Play stores, so parents and children can countdown the days until Santa’s launch on their smart phones and tablets! Tracking opportunities are also offered through social media on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

Starting at 2:01 a.m. EST on Dec. 24, website visitors can watch Santa make preparations for his flight.

NORAD’s "Santa Cams" will stream videos on the website as Santa makes his way to various locations.

Then, at 6 a.m. EST, trackers worldwide can speak with a live phone operator to inquire as to Santa’s whereabouts by dialing the toll-free number 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) or by sending an email to

In 61 years the special journey monitored by NORAD has gained in popularity. 

It all started in 1955 when a local media advertisement directed children to call Santa direct – only the number was misprinted. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone rang through to the Crew Commander on duty at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center. Thus began the tradition, which NORAD carried on since it was created in 1958.