drive thru lights toronto

Toronto's drive-thru holiday light trails are shutting down earlier than planned

Toronto's drive-thru holiday light trails were supposed to be the socially distanced activity that could save Christmas, but with new province-wide lockdown restrictions all of them are required to shut down after Dec. 25.

Canadian Tire's Christmas Trail put out the news that all reservations from Dec. 23 have been cancelled and refunded on their website.

Polar Drive near Toronto's Pearson International Airport also announced they'd no longer be able to operate after Dec. 25, saying anyone with a ticket for Dec. 26 or later will be eligible for an exchange, and that they're experiencing a high volume of emails and direct messages.

Meanwhile, Canada's first drive-thru escape game has been innovating at Square One, but they'll be refunding tickets for dates after Dec. 25. They're also considering adding more shows on Christmas Day.

Event Co-Producer for Vaughan's Holiday Nights of Lights Andrew Gidaro says they "are currently engaged in productive talks with government about reversing this closure and allowing all the Ontario drive-thru events to continue bringing joy to people in this difficult time."

"This news has come as a shock to us, as our events are all completely contactless, and COVID-safe. Guests never leave their vehicle and tickets are scanned through their closed car window, way finding signs direct them where to go and how to proceed," Gidaro told blogTO.

"The government encouraged entrepreneurs and people in the Tourism sector to pivot to this event model, specifically through the Recovery Tourism Grant, which was created to give funding to drive-thru and drive-in type events. These type of events were allowed to operate in the government's COVID framework released back on Nov. 20 even when operating in areas that were put in the Grey Lockdown zone."

Bingemans Gift of Lights in Kitchener announced on their website: "Our hope is to be able to continue to operate however, if this is not the case all ticket purchasers will be fully refunded for ticket purchases for December 26th onwards."

Glow Niagara posted a Dec. 21 update on the situation, saying: "As a touchless experience, we're still investigating what the provincial closures may mean for Glow as of Dec 26th. We will keep you informed by email and social media, as soon as we have a definite way forward."

The post continues: "In the meantime, our doors are open and we encourage you to travel to Glow ONLY with people inside your isolation bubble. Let's have a safe holiday season."

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