holiday lights toronto

10 dazzling holiday lighting ceremonies in Toronto

Holiday lighting ceremonies in Toronto include massive Christmas trees and gorgeous illuminated boardwalks. There's a ceremonies happening all over the city, and Santa will show up at most of them (he's a busy guy!). Many feature live entertainment, refreshments and all-around jolly, festive vibes.

Here are 10 holiday lighting ceremonies in and around Toronto to get you in the festive spirit.

12 Trees of Christmas (Nov. 17, Gardiner Museum)
Ths annual event at Toronto's ceramics museum asks designers and artists to reimagine Christmas trees both aesthetically and conceptually. You can see them all inside the museum starting on November 18 (the lighting is on the 17th at 6 p.m.), along with a 40-foot tree located in the front plaza.

Illuminite (Nov. 19, Yonge-Dundas Square)
This intersection is already pretty bright, but the Illuminate events is about to make it even brighter with this holiday spectacle starting at 5:30 p.m. Take in a show from Toronto's Ride the Tiger, followed by a tree lighting ceremony and performance from the St. Michael's Choir.

Cavalcade of Lights (Nov. 19, Yonge Street, Rosedale)
This neighbourhood gets its very own Cavalcade of Lights starting at 2 p.m. with live music, food, drinks, horse and carriage rides, a special drinks lounge and an appearance from the jolly guy in the red suit.

Holiday Magic (Nov. 19, Yorkville Village)
Special guest Shawn Desman and Heist invade Yorkville from 5 to 6:30 p.m. to help unveil the Christmas light spectacular at Cumberland and Bellair Streets. Expect a big stage and warm drinks for a $2 donation. Otherwise, this lighting ceremony is totally free.

Light up the Square (Nov. 19, Mississauga Celebration Square)
The Holiday Street Market starts at noon, but the real fun begins at 5 p.m. with the lighting of the square. Expect performances from the Culture Dance Pak, Stella Rio and music from DJ Adverb who'll help build up to the official Christmas tree lighting ceremony with Mayor Crombie.

Winter Festival of Lights (Nov. 19-Jan. 31, Niagara Falls)
The Winter Festival of Lights runs throughout the entire holiday season, but it all kicks off at the opening ceremonies on November 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. Head to the Falls to see the whole extravaganza come to life and let your Christmas spirit soar.

Light up The Beach (Nov. 25, Leuty Ave.)
The Beaches boardwalk will be illuminated by 80,000 bulbs, imagine that. If you want to watch the magic happen, arrive on the boardwalk at the foot of Leuty Avenue at, or before, 7 p.m. Santa will also be there with a bunch of special guests.

Festival of Lights (Nov. 25, Main Street Markham)
This festival of lights invites folks to check out the newly renovated Main Street to enjoy a free horse and buggy ride and to watch some jugglers, fire artists and stilt-walking elves. There will also be live entertainment, strolling carollers, a visit from Santa and the tree lighting ceremony followed by fireworks at 8 p.m.

Cavalcade of Lights (Nov. 26, Nathan Phillips Square)
If you thought fireworks were impressive, head to City Hall to see a bunch of lights illuminate the sky and the downtown core. It's a fun, annual tradition with a tree lighting, live shows, and okay fine, fireworks as well. There's also a skating party with music under a sheet of twinkling lights.

Christmas tree lighting (Dec. 2, Scarborough Civic Centre)
Scarborough's biggest tree lighting event happens from 7 to 9 p.m., with free refreshments, ice skating, choir performances, an appearance from Santa and a massive tree lighting moment with Councillor Chin Lee thrown in somewhere. Dress warm, bring your own camera and watch the skies light up.

Did I miss a lighting event you're excited about? Let us know in the comments.

Photo by Sue Holland via the blogTO Flickr pool.

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