It seems like they’ve only just put the Christmas decorations away but the Distillery District is back at it again with another event. Toronto Light Festival is a visually stunning outdoor art light show taking place from January 19 to March 4, 2018.
The second annual Light Fest has 28 unique exhibits (and two sneaky ones hidden away at the Fairmont Royal York). Some notable installations (aka. My favourites) were Gummy Bear Pyramid by Dicapria, (it’s pretty self-explanatory, it’s a pyramid made out of colourful gummy bears lit from the inside), Birds Fly Around With You by Masamichi Shimada (You’re in the middle of a ring of lit up birds! Pretty magical) and the spooky Guardians of Time by Manfred Kielnhofer (spooky ghost like figures standing silent near the Mill St Beer Hall).
I went on a Saturday night, and it was pretty calm compared to what I had been used to while visiting the Christmas Market. Tons of families wandered the grounds with their children oohing and aahing at a metallic fire breathing dragon (That’s one way to warm up during the cold winter nights) and posing for pictures in front of a giant lit up peace sign. Those without kids, like me, were able to grab a drink at Mill St’s back patio by the glow of ghosts and giant atoms, or take a romantic pic with your significant other underneath the famous (and now) lit up heart on Parliament. I think there is fun to be had by people from all walks of life at this event.
Bonus : all the shops and restaurants are still open (Hello heated patio at El Catrin!) so you can really make a night out of it (date night or otherwise!) and I really enjoy how these newer winter events bring people out of their homes and into the chilly night – it really does bring a little life back into the Distillery. I live nearby and was used to it being sort of a ghost town during the winter months and now I have the option to stroll through some really great art exhibits on any given night while walking my pooch! Great perk.
Is it worth the trek? Absolutely. I had a lot of fun and got some great pictures and did I mention this event is FREE!? What’s free anymore in Toronto? Seriously.
Looking for some places to check out in the Distillery while you’re there?
Cluny – French bistro
El Catrin – Mexican food
Mill Street’s menu is pretty kid friendly ! – Pub food
Browse interesting shops like:
City of Angels (my personal fave, I never walk out without a purchase)
Crimson and Clover
Black Bird Vintage Finds
You’ll definitely find ways to keep you busy for a few hours during this exhibit; it runs from Sundown till 9pm Sunday to Wednesday and Sundown till 10pm Thursday to Saturday. Just wait for the sun to set and walk into the light!
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Hey! I'm Sarah! A 30 something living in downtown Toronto with a great guy and an OK dog. I love seeing what my city has to offer and try to hit up as many fun events or attractions as I can! I haven't slept since 2004.