Beautiful Lights on a Dark Winter’s Night : The Toronto Light Festival in The Distillery District (2018)

toronto light fest sign the distillery district at night

On Thursday night, I added a new event to my "try to see this every year" list!

It's The Toronto Light Festival, held for the second time in The Distillery District. After seeing photos of it (too late) last year, I made sure to get over to experience it this year, and Nick came with me.

With 20 or so large scale light-driven sculptures created by artists from around the world, set up in the dark cobblestone lane-ways amoungst some of Toronto's oldest buildings, it was quite stunning to see. The festival runs until March 4th, so there's still time for you to see it, if you haven't yet, and if you're planning ahead for next year, it's usually on from mid January until the end of February. It is free.

Here's a little look at some of the 2018 installations. Some pieces are static but most of them appear to be in motion, with colour changes and light sequences. Some are interactive, reacting to your proximity.

We took the streetcar over, along King Street West, which dropped us off at the easternmost entrance to The Distillery District.

toronto distillery district at night for the festival of light

at the distillery district light fest toronto

the zoa by martin taylor the distillery district light festival toronto

↑ The Zoa by Martin Taylor, United States ↑

light installation the distillery district toronto

↑ Solar Sail by Davis McCarty, United States. This was originally designed for The Lakes of Fire Showcase and floated out in Lake Michigan. ↑

solar sail by davis mccarty at distillery district light show toronto

me 2


We had dinner while there, and although there are a number of restaurants in the district that sound good, we decided to go to a place we'd been before, Mill Street Brew Pub Restaurant.

me restaurant

nick in restaurant

salmon brown rice bowl at mill street restaurant distillery district toronto

↑ My Salmon on Brown Rice, with bok choy, pineapple, peppers and cashews, was delicious. ↑

chicken schnitzel at mill street brewery restaurant distillery district toronto

↑ Nick had Chicken Schnitzel which came with sauteed red cabbage, potatoes, a baked pear and grilled lemon. It was good too, even if the crust on the chicken was a bit overdone. ↑

Back outside ...

moonburn by stichting barstow at toronto light festival distillery district

↑ Moonburn by Stichting Barstow, Netherlands ↑

toronto distillery district at night during light fest moonburn installation by Stichting Barstow

light festival toronto distillery district

↑ Talking Heads by Vikton Vicsek, Hungary. There were two of these huge heads that appeared to be talking to one another. ↑

Talking Heads by Viktor Vicsek Toronto Light Fest Distillery District

love sign at night toronto distillery distict

↑ The "Love Locks" Sculpture is a permanent installation, where visitors are invited to add their own lock, however, if I'm correct, the light around the heart were added for the festival. ↑

Perspective by Studio Rosenblatt toronto light fest distillery district

↑ By Mathew Rosenblatt, Canada. It's hard to tell in this photo but the letters are suspended between two buildings. ↑

toronto light festival distillery district

toronto distillery district at night light fest

Birds Fly Around with You by Masamichi Shimada at toronto ligh festival the distillery district

↑ Birds Fly Around with You by Masamichi Shimada, Japan, is one of the interactive pieces, with the birds appearing to fly around you when you enter the centre of the circle. ↑

toronto distillery district during the light festival 2018

↑ Some of the gorgeous historic buildings were bathed in colour changing flood lights. (I'm not sure if this was done for the festival, as I've never been here at night. It was eerily beautiful, either way. ↑

in distillery district toronto for light festival

symbolic peace by mathew rosenblatt at distillery district toronto light fest

↑ Symbolic Peace by Mathew Rosenblatt, Canada ↑

barrel wash house sign historic distillery district toronto

black light tunnel


↑ This heart is also a permanent piece in the district, however the lights were added for the event. There was a short lineup of people getting a shot like this, so we joined in! ↑

gate into distillery district during light festival

↑ The westernmost gates into The Distillery District. From here we walked north to King Street and caught the streetcar home. ↑

I hope you're having a good week so far, and thank you for checking out my site,
xo loulou

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