Toronto Light Festival

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The Toronto Festival of Lights or Toronto Light Festivals provides a visual journey as well as playful adventure all through the walking highways of The Distillery District, in Toronto Canada. During the dark, cold days of the winter season, The Festival of Lights in Toronto provides guests and visitors a critical reason to bundle up, get outside, and commemorate the season, life, and creativity in this big beautiful city.

Now the Lights of Festival annually exhibits light artists from local and international. Artworks are curated to educate, inspire warm hearts, or simply bring a smile to every guest and visitors’ face.

Toronto Light Festival
Festival highlights

About the festival

New this year, the venue has added daytime experiences through providing culture, arts, as well as fun-centric activities during the day on weekends, which takes account of art produced by a number of leading mural artists in Toronto, a heated outdoor bar offering hot drinks from Thursday to Saturday as well as weekend brunch provided on the EL Catrin yard.

The Festival of Lights in Toronto is ideal for everyone, especially families, couples, and groups of friends. The best thing about this is that you can attend this festival without spending any amount.

Festival Dates

The Toronto Festivals of Lights is considered one of the most visited and most sought after festivals in Toronto and Canada. This fantastic festival runs from January to March and is open daily beginning at sundown ( it depends on the weather).

It also makes for some fantastic and instagrammable posts and pictures, so make sure to bring your camera and see that it is fully charged, not to miss the amazing and beautiful spot.

The dates for the next event are yet to be announced by the organizers, so it’s best to stay tuned for the latest updates.

Where and how to get there?

The Toronto Festivals of Lights is considered one of the most visited and most sought after festivals in Toronto and Canada. This fantastic festival runs from January to March and is open daily beginning at sundown ( it depends on the weather). It also makes for some fantastic and instagrammable posts and pictures, so make sure to bring your camera and see that it is fully charged, not to miss the amazing and beautiful spot.

About Distillery District

Opened in 2003, The Distillery Historic District today is considered one of Canada’s most visited places, and one good reason is the festival of lights held here annually. It is easy to reach this place. You can follow the tips below.

  • From the Bloor Line Subway: Take the subway to Castle Frank station. Connect to Bus 65A Parliament. Ride a bus to Parliament and exit at Front Street, and stroll one block south to Mill Street.
  • King Streetcar: You can take 504 King East Streetcar, then exit at Distillery Loop, cross Cherry St at the Mill St. intersection and go through Tank House Lane.
  • Union Station: You can walk seven minutes North on Bay St. to King St., board the 504 King East Streetcar and then ride into Distillery Loop. Then cross Cherry St at the Mill Street junction and go into Tank House Lane.
  • On Foot: If you are coming from Union Station, you can walk straight to Distillery District for 20 minutes along Esplanade.
  • Go Transit: Take Go Transit route to Union Station and then take a connecting ride to Fort York Esplanade 121 Bus route to Cherry Street or Mill Street.
  • Parking Information: At this place, parking lots are accessible from Cherry Street and Parliament with a nominal parking charge.

East

From Don Valley Parkway to Richmond street exit, West part of Richmond to Parliament and sound of Parliament to Front Street and then East onto Front Street and South onto Trinity Street.

From Kingston Road to Eastern Avenue, go onto Front Street, the western part of Front to Parliament, and then South on Parliament, South onto Trinity Street, and East onto Front Street.

North

427 South to QEW: QEW East to Gardiner Expressway go to Jarvis Street then exit and then North on Jarvis Street to Front Street and east on Front Street to Parliament Street and then the southern portion of Parliament and eastern part of Front Street and South onto Street Trinity.

West

From QEW to Gardiner Expressway, you can take Jarvis Street exit and then North on Jarvis Street to Front Street and East on Front to Trinity Street and South onto Trinity Street.

Place Accessibility

This is a very accessible place and offers mobility accessible parking,  ramp access to washrooms, restaurants, shops with kid changing facilities, as well as wheelchair-accessible stalls. Visitors and guests are reminded that the streets inside this place are made of cobblestone and are in various locations rough, and which the fame of the Toronto Light Festival gives way to huge crowds during peak times (weekends).

If you’re in Canada, you can also check out these amazing lights festivals:

Burlington Festival of Light

Zoo Lights Winnipeg

Festival Hours

The Toronto Festivals of Lights is open from Sunday to Wednesday sundown up to nine in the evening. From Thursday to Saturday, the festival is open from sundown to 10 in the evening. So, it is highly advisable to go to the place before sundown in order to make the best out of the view and have more time to gather and discover the place.

How much it Cost to Visit the Fest?

The best thing about this festival is that it is free of admission. All you need to pay is for your fare, food, and snacks. Other than that, you can visit the place and join the festivals of light without spending any amount.

Weather and what to wear?

From January to March, Toronto experiences the brunt of its winter season. Temperatures can range from lows of around -6°C (21°F) to highs of 3°C (37°F), accompanied often by snowfall and icy conditions. Wind chills can make it feel even colder, so dressing appropriately is crucial.

To comfortably enjoy the Toronto Light Festival, we recommend layering up with thermal undergarments, a warm sweater, and a heavy winter coat. Don’t forget essentials like insulated gloves, a scarf, and a knit hat to cover your ears. Waterproof, insulated boots are also a good idea to keep your feet warm and dry. Finally, consider pocket warmers for that extra touch of coziness as you walk around enjoying the light displays.

Dressing in layers will not only keep you warm but also allow you to adjust your clothing as needed, ensuring a pleasant experience at the Toronto Light Festival.

Where to Sleep

If you plan to go to Toronto to witness and experience festivals of lights, there are lots of hotel accommodation to choose from. Here are the three highly recommended hotels:

Omni King Edward Hotel: This is considered one of the luxury hotels in Toronto, developed in 1903 and re-imagined for the twenty-first century. The vibrancy and old-world charm of the city start the time you step outside onto King Street in the middle of the downtown. The prime location in the entertainment, financial, and shopping districts offers you convenient access to Distillery District.

Fairmont Royal: This is one of the best hotels in Toronto, in which accommodations are armed with the newest amenities to make your stay memorable and comfortable, which include high-speed internet access and entertainment features.

Hotel Ocho: If you are looking for a cheap accommodation during your stay in Toronto for the festivals, then this is the best choice. It offers state of the art amenities that will make your stay worth the while.

Where and What to Eat in Toronto

There are lots of restaurants near Distillery District that offers amazing and mouthwatering foods such as:

Mill Street Brew Pub: After witnessing the festivals of lights, why not refresh yourself with a shot of cold beer at this restaurant. This is a must-visit place for a pub food lover. Here you can order burgers and pizzas.

Cluny: This French bistro is a perfect place to try Parisian cuisine that sits in the heart of the city. Salt cold donuts, French onion soups are offered here. There is also a wide choice of seafood entrees here.

Boku Sushi: This is a perfect place for sashimi, torched style beef and cheesecake as well as black sesame ice cream.

More Things To Do In The Area

1. CN Tower

Location: 290 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3L9, Canada

Description: Dominating the Toronto skyline, the CN Tower is one of the most iconic landmarks in Canada. It stands at a height of 553.3 meters and offers breathtaking views of the city.

Activities:

  • Take an elevator ride to the observation deck to get a panoramic view of the city.
  • Experience the thrill of the EdgeWalk, where you’re tethered to an overhead rail system and walk around the outer edge of the tower.
  • Enjoy a fine dining experience at the revolving 360 Restaurant, which offers an evolving view as you eat.

2. Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)

Location: 100 Queen’s Park, Toronto, ON M5S 2C6, Canada

Description: One of the largest museums in North America, the ROM offers a wide range of exhibits, from natural history and world cultures to art collections.

Activities:

  • Explore a vast array of exhibits, including those dedicated to dinosaurs, ancient civilizations, and Canadian history.
  • Participate in interactive displays and educational programs for a hands-on experience.
  • Attend special events, lectures, and temporary exhibitions that the museum frequently hosts.

3. Toronto Islands

Location: Accessible by ferry from Jack Layton Ferry Terminal at the foot of Bay Street

Description: The Toronto Islands offer a peaceful escape from downtown Toronto. Comprising several small islands, the area is known for its beaches, picnic areas, and bike rentals.

Activities:

  • Enjoy kayaking, paddleboarding, or canoeing on the calm waters.
  • Take a bike or a quadricycle rental to explore the islands.
  • Have a picnic at one of the many designated picnic areas, or take a swim at one of the beaches.

FAQ

1. Where can I park my car during the Toronto Light Festival?

Parking is available in multiple locations near the festival area, including both street parking and public parking garages. However, spaces are limited and tend to fill up quickly. We recommend using public transportation if possible.


2. Is smoking allowed at the festival?

Smoking is not permitted in the immediate vicinity of the light installations to ensure the comfort and safety of all attendees. Designated smoking areas can be found away from the festival grounds.


3. Can I bring my pet to the festival?

While we love furry friends, pets are not allowed within the festival area, primarily for their safety and the comfort of other attendees. Service animals are, of course, exempt from this rule.


4. What are the festival hours?

The Toronto Light Festival generally runs from early evening to late at night. Specific hours can vary by date, so please check the official website for the most current information.


5. Is the event wheelchair accessible?

Yes, the festival is wheelchair accessible. Most of the installations are located in areas that can be easily accessed by those using wheelchairs or other mobility aids.


6. How much does it cost to attend the festival?

The Toronto Light Festival is a free event open to the public. However, some special installations or activities within the festival may have a separate admission fee.


7. Can I take photos of the light installations?

Photography is encouraged! We invite attendees to capture the beauty of the festival but ask that tripods be avoided in crowded areas to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment.


8. Are there food and drink vendors at the festival?

Yes, there are a variety of food and drink vendors located near the festival grounds, offering everything from hot beverages to keep you warm to gourmet food options.

Sources:

https://torontolightfest.com

https://destinationtoronto.com/events/annual-festivals-and-events/the-toronto-light-festival/

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