Lighten Up: Waterfront’s Spectacle of Lights Review

The Santa Claus parades have come and gone, Christmas trees have been lit, but December has just started. Now I know the holiday season is when your wallet starts feeling light, so you’re on the lookout for something free and festive. The Spectacle of Lights on Toronto’s waterfront consists of four free light installations along the waterfront.

If you’re heading to the waterfront from Union Station, just walk south on Bay Street and at the corner of Bay and Queen’s Quay is the spiral tree. All online descriptions state that it’s at the Westin Hotel, but more specifically, it’s in front of the Westin Hotel Conference Centre sign on the north-east corner of the intersection. When I saw it, it was very underwhelming as it hadn’t been lit up and had taken me a while to locate it.

The other light installations were much easier to spot. If you continue east along Queens Quay, ten minutes away is the Tall Ship on the Harbourfront Centre Amsterdam Bridge. This one is hard to miss. The large blue ship with four yellow sails, all made of lights, of course, is clearly visible from the street, and looks great in photos from that angle. Walk onto the bridge to get a closer shot of the lights in this display.

Six minutes east of the Tall Ship is the modest display at the Fire Hall (Toronto Fire & Marine Station 334). A few snowflakes are running down the side of the building, with a fire truck on the next wall. These are cute, but there’s not much more to say.

Another six-minute walk gets you to the Toronto Music Garden. This is what makes the Spectacle of Lights worth it. (If you only have time to check out one light installation, this is the one I recommend!) It is right by the street, with the canopy covered in lights, and music note frames hanging from it. There are also four light harps set up on two light posts. This display is definitely the most romantic of the four, and could be very worthwhile to check out for a winter date night.

Although the Spectacle of Lights isn’t necessarily something show-stopping as a whole, it is a free event that runs every night until January 1st. If you’re out for an evening stroll, it’s worth choosing the waterfront and seeing these light displays as you walk along the street. There’s a number of restaurants along Queen’s Quay where these lights are set up, and it could make for a great outing to grab some dinner and then check out the lights. Other beautifully lit places in Toronto include the Distillery District Christmas Market and, for a price of admission, Casa Loma’s Winter Wonderland.

Photo courtesy of Georg Nietsch

Monika is the Marketing Director/Social Media for On the Danforth, summer issue. When she isn’t buried in a book, she spends most her time checking out various events in Toronto and turning her life into article pitches. You can check out her twitter hereYou can check out her twitter here.

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