toronto zoo light exhibit

Toronto Zoo wants $5 million city loan for an after hours light exhibit

The Toronto Zoo is asking the city for a $5 million loan in order to pay for an after-hours light exhibit that it hopes will attract more visitors to the park. 

City Council will meet next week to decide whether or not to approve a loan to bring Lumina Experience—a "multimedia night walk" created by Montreal-based company Moment Factory Inc.—to the zoo in December 2019. 

Moment Factory has previously created eight nature-filled, nighttime exhibits around Quebec, in Whistler, and in nearby Kingston. 

It's also done an exhibition overseas, including in Japan and another at the Singapore Zoo called Rainforest Lumina.

It's hard to tell how all those interactive illuminations will look in the context of the Toronto Zoo, but a storyline will have guests time traveling to the future to learn how to “enact positive change and improve how we share the earth with other creatures."

"The Lumina experience ties in with the Zoo experience of touching hearts of the guests by creating magical moments that inspire guests to make positive change to help the environment," says the Toronto Zoo's proposal

It'll be a ticketed event, and groups of visitors will be able go on timed tours, which will last between 45 and 60 minutes. 

The Toronto Zoo has been assessing bids for a "seasonal outdoor lighting experience" from production companies since October, and awarded the contract to Moment Factory Inc. last month to arrange the production, installation, and staging of Lumina. 

If City Council does end up approving the Zoo's $5 million line of credit, the project is forecasted to return around $1.1 million over three years. 

Attendance to the Toronto Zoo has been suffering since labour disruptions in 2017 coupled with the departure of the beloved pandas-on-loan and bad weather conditions last year. 

Though plans for its Orangutan Outdoor Exhibit have cost money and time, attractions like a possible magnetic train, North America's first poop energy plant, plans for zip-lining, and now Lumina might make for a more promising 2019. 

Lead photo by

Island Lumina


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