The Toronto Light Festival is a brand new festival to hit the Distillery District. Not only is the festival completely new to Toronto, but light art itself is a fairly new artistic medium. Light art is the creative manipulation of light and shadow to create various sculptures or sculpture-like forms. This, along with the fact that festival was completely free, was enough to influence me to leave my house. So, I put on my big girl pants (I wore thermal leggings underneath my jeans) and decided to take on the winter cold this weekend.

The installation pictured is Our House by Tom Dekyvere. This was a beautiful array of green laser light right at the entrance to the festival. The installation is meant to represent the connection between nature and technology.
The view as you walk along the district. You can see tumbling men in the installation Run Beyond by Angelo Benello on top of one of the buildings. Overall, the ambience was very hazy, warm and peaceful.
Digital Origami Tigers, originally created by LAVA to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
Tiger #2 was positioned on top of a building – hey, friend!

There were some installations that stood out to me. The first, was an installation by Matthew Rosenblatt. I’m a sucker for anything mildly romantic and was immediately drawn to this – as were many couples who took pictures standing in the centre of the lock adorned heart.


You don’t have to travel to Paris! This installation was beautifully light up and spells out the word “Love” with the help of the locks attached to its frame. There was a booth right beside the installation that had locks to put onto the installation. There were also sharpies available to decorate the locks with your and your significant others’ initials.

The second installation that stood out to me was a rather simple one – a series of coloured circles.

Bands of Friendship by Vikas Patil and Santos Gujar.
The message of the piece changes depending on the position that you look at it. From the side, the bands are separate and symbolize the individuality of friendship. However, when one stands at the front of the installation, the rings blend together infinitely, displaying the dependency and intricacy of friendship.

Near the end of my visit, I stopped by one of the most popular areas to snap a picture. Angels of Freedom by the OGE group was an installation that featured multiple angel wings with halos that you could stop and pose in front of. The lights in the wings also pulsated and changed colour, so it was nice enough to stand and watch other people pick their poses and wing colours for pictures.

Cold, but excited! Many groups were huddled around trying to get that one Instagram perfect shot. I am not one for pictures, so I just stood awkwardly and told my boyfriend to hurry up and take the picture.

Overall, this was a really nice experience. The festival had something for everyone and a lot of the installations were interactive and allowed for some great photo opportunities. It’s great that Toronto has a festival that gets people out of the house and appreciating artwork, which is something I think we seldom take time to do.

The event was exciting and interesting and the neon definitely warms up a dark winter night. I hope that the Distillery District brings out similar light festivals during the spring and summer months. That way, you can spend more time enjoying the art rather than trying to regain feeling in your hands and feet.


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