light up the beach Toronto

Toronto neighbourhood might not get Christmas this year

It's not yet Halloween, but already one neighbourhood in Toronto is feeling the presence of the Grinch. 

The trees that line the Beaches boardwalk, set ablaze with Christmas lights each year, may darken this holiday season as the clasp of the city tightens on the much loved tradition.  

The seasonal spectacle known as Light Up the Beach has been the effort of local realtor Rick DeClute for the last few years. 

But now, according to The Toronto Star, the annual tradition may end as the city has increased the cost so much that DeClute says he likely won't be able to afford it.

The city claims that since DeClute owns a business, the practise constitutes "commercial sponsorship" and increased the yearly fee to put up the lights from $3,500 to $4,200 plus tax, including a $10,000 deposit, and a $100 a day penalty each day the lights remain after March 1.

Officials say that the display creates "pressures on the park," but many residents were quick to point out on social media that this rings of a bureaucratic crackdown on anything that threatens to bring joy to the city. 

There's still some time for DeClute and the city to come to terms on a deal, but given how long it takes to install the lights, it'd have to happen soon to preserve the tradition. 

Lead photo by

A Great Capture


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