These physically distanced holiday light shows will help you get in the festive spirit this season
Holiday lights are looking like one of the safest ways to get out and get festive in Toronto this season. With stricter lockdown measures looming and limited gathering sizes already in place, COVID-19 has thrown off everyone’s plans.
But there are still a few ways to get in the festive spirit while staying physically distanced. Holiday and Christmas lights, some with drive-through options, are the perfect way to enjoy some holiday cheer during the pandemic.
Here’s where you can catch holiday lights in and around Toronto.
Courtesy of Bloor-Yorkville BIA
When: Starting November 21
The Bloor-Yorkville BIA is brightening up the upscale Toronto shopping district with holiday lights, including the permanent installation of “urban campfire” benches along Bloor West. The 60 benches resemble campfires and light up when in use, and can be programmed with different lighting schemes to fit each holiday season.
When: November 25-December 24
Where: CF Sherway Gardens
Cost: Free (reserve your spot here)
This drive-through experience is immersive and kid-friendly. Guided by an elf on a mission to power Santa’s sleigh, the trip takes you through seven stops, including an enchanted forest and Santa’s workshop. The final stop gives participants the opportunity to take a physically distanced photo with Santa. Registration is currently full, but CF Sherway Gardens recommends checking the website frequently in case of any cancellations.
When: December 3-January 3
Where: Casa Loma
The iconic Toronto castle is offering a self-guided walking tour of the grounds, which are adorned with holiday lights. The tour includes outdoor lighting displays in the gardens and in the tunnels, along with decorations and towering Christmas trees for the ideal photo-op. In order to comply with COVID-19 protocol, face masks are required and guest screening and physical distancing will be enforced.
When: Thursday-Saturday, starting November 27
Where: Kortright Centre for Conservation
This outdoor holiday-themed light show and walking tour of Kortright Centre’s forest includes lit-up trees, friendly elves and your favourite Christmas characters. The entire tour lasts two hours, so dress for the weather. Each group will be paired with a guide for the entirety of the journey, and groups will not exceed 25 people to limit contact for health and safety purposes.
When: November 27-January 3
Where: Toronto Pearson International Airport
Billed as Canada’s first multi-level drive-through holiday experience, this tour will take you through six different levels, each decorated as part of a different holiday-themed environment. Enjoy an immersive LED light tunnel, a winter wonderland and even a glimpse at Santa – all from the safety of your car. The trip will take about 30 minutes, and will be open regardless of weather conditions.
When: Fridays to Sundays from November 27 to December 20
Where: Bluffer’s Park Beach parking lot
This drive-through experience involves a one-kilometre path, decorated for a few customized stops, including an enchanted forest and Santa’s house. The journey leads you along the base of the Scarborough Bluffs and ends with a stop outside Santa’s house for a photo opportunity, a distanced meet-and-greet with Santa and the chance to leave a letter for Santa in his mailbox.
Holiday Nights of Lights
When: November 20-January 7
Where: Revel Park, 80 Interchange Way, Vaughan
Offering a unique spin on holiday-themed light shows, this immersive drive-through experience is a half-hour, 2.25-kilometre display that features more than one million LED lights synchronized to holiday music that you can play from your vehicle. Cost depends on the number of people in your car, so make sure you plan ahead.
When: November 20-January 7
Where: Angus Glen Golf Club, Markham
This drive-through journey involves over a million lights spread across a 1.5- kilometre route. Displays include animated and static light shows, a light tunnel, starburst firework lights and even music shows. The entire trip takes about 25 minutes , and no stopping is allowed so have your camera at the ready. Proceeds from ticket sales will go towards SickKids Hospital and Toronto Animal Shelter.
When: November 18-December 20
Where: 1000 Murray Ross Parkway, near Black Creek Pioneer Village
This multi-sensory, immersive trail involves all the sights and sounds of Christmas from the safety of your vehicle. You’ll see elves playing in the snow, an advent calendar with a twist, and thousands of lights. By the end of the 1.5-kilometre trail, guests have the opportunity to take a physically distanced photo with Santa. All proceeds from ticket sales go towards Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities.