Missing the twinkling holiday lights? Having a case of the January sads? Fear not! Ontario’s becoming a hotbed for light festivals, and they’re pretty darn amazing. Here’s four you really need to see this year.
Niagara Falls, Ontario
November 18 – January 31
This year will mark the 35th anniversary of the Festival of Lights and it promises to be the biggest year yet! As a major winter destination, this experience receives over one million visitors each season.
Take a drive down the 8km-long route that boasts over 25 light installations through Niagara Parks, Dufferin Islands and surrounding landscapes. Installations include classics like Niagara’s iconic Zimmerman Fountain and the lighting of Skylon Tower as well as impressive large-scale displays of Canadian wildlife like Moose, Bison and Polar Bears, Inukshuk in Dufferin Islands and the world�s largest Canadian-American Flag.
In addition to its displays, the Winter Festival of Lights also has several events taking place including Laser light shows, Weekly fireworks presented by Fallsview Casino, The Fallsview Sound & Light Show, Nightly Falls illumination and special activations during the Niagara Falls Icewine Festival, January 26-27.
Making it a road trip? Add Elements on the Falls to the itinerary for a taste of Niagara.
Distillery Historic District, Toronto, Ontario
January 19 – March 4
Be sure to check out the light installations of every size and type at #TOlightfest created within Toronto’s historic Distillery District by innovative artists near and far.
The Toronto Light Festival aims to “create a positive, magical urban world that people of all ages and backgrounds will enjoy and look forward to”. Grab your toque, a warm cup of mulled wine and kick those winter blahs.
Making it a road trip? Try out a student-curated 3- or 4-course meal at The Chef’s House before night falls.
Fort Henry National Historic Site, Kingston, Ontario
December 1 – February 19
Walk in a winter wonderland that is Lumina Borealis at the historic Fort Henry destination to reignite your winter spirit! It is an interactive walking tour where only guests with warm hearts will be able to unveil the secret beauty of the winter season.
Making it a road trip? Indulge in a burger stacked sky-high at Harper’s Burger Bar.
Ontario Place, Toronto, Ontario
December 8 – March 18
Before the sun goes down, enjoy the skating rink Ontario Place has to offer (rentals are available!). From sunset to midnight, the West Island of Ontario Place is home to the Winter Light Exhibition – 12 illuminated exhibits by 20 local artists. The Exhibition takes visitors on a tour through the winter landscape while taking in some truly impressive pieces of art. Cap off your night with a hot chocolate gathered around the bonfire.
Making it a road trip? Enjoy a seasonally-inspired menu at Le SA�lect Bistro.
For more information about events and experiences offered at Niagara Parks, visit their brand new website here.
Looking for more art, more shows, more delicious experiences in Toronto? Visit Tourism Toronto to see what’s happening in Toronto.
And last but not least, those of you venturing to the Kingston area need check out The Great Waterway for ideas, itineraries and more!