alderwood light up the night for santa

People in Toronto will line streets with paper bag lanterns on Christmas Eve

It's not just bell ringing that will take place in Toronto on Christmas Eve — one of the city's neighbourhoods also hopes to light the way for Santa Claus with a beautiful display of luminaries.

The Alderwood Light Up The Night For Santa will start at 4:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Residents are invited to fill a paper bag with sand or kitty litter and place a flameless candle in the bag. The luminary bags are set out at the end of driveways creating streets lined with lights.

"Join the community of Alderwood to line the streets with paper bag luminaries tonight starting at sundown and then go out for a walk with the family to enjoy the magic," the Facebook page reads.

The idea for the event comes from Alderwood resident Kaitlynn Furse who grew up near the small community of Maitland, which has held a luminary festival on Christmas Eve for about 30 years.

She decided to try the same thing in Alderwood in 2018 and people participated, but she hopes it will be bigger and more special this year.

"This year is a perfect time because everyone is going to be home," Furse told blogTO.

Most people won't be travelling out of town or attending parties as the pandemic still looms.

In Maitland, people drive to see the luminaries every year as there are more than 1,500 lights illuminating the streets. Furse recalls driving there with her family every year in an annual Christmas Eve tradition.

Although it is part of Toronto, Alderwood has a small town feel, she said.

"I thought if there is anywhere in Toronto this could happen, it would be here," she said.

In addition to posting the event on Facebook, a flyer, designed by a resident, has gone around the community. Furse said she is excited to see how many people participate.

The event comes as people are looking for ways to celebrate the holidays while keeping a safe distance.

On the same evening, a Christmas Eve Parade, not connected to the luminary event, is planned. The parade will see cars decked out in lights driving through the neighbourhood at 7:30 p.m.

Lead photo by

Oculistico Tomo


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