News Release
November 24, 2021

Cavalcade of Lights kicks off Saturday, November 27, with a month-long display of enhanced lighting installations and décor for audiences to enjoy until Sunday, January 2. An annual tradition for 55 years, Cavalcade of Lights marks the official start of the holiday season in Toronto. This year’s reimagined program will not include a fireworks display or stage concert.

Cavalcade of Lights at Nathan Phillips Square remains a family-oriented experience. On November 27, the official lighting of Toronto’s 17.67-metre (58-foot) Christmas tree will take place. New holiday lighting installations will be revealed, along with special programming, including skating presentations, site activations and live performances that will be ongoing from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The public can watch the first lighting of Toronto’s Christmas tree online on Saturday, November 27 here

Taking inspiration from light festivals and cultural celebrations around the world, Cavalcade of Lights will include elements from a variety of traditions for its new, enhanced lighting installations. As part of this year’s month-long celebration, the public can also explore tunnels made from thousands of energy-efficient bulbs, discover glowing ice sculptures in an enchanted forest (weather dependent) and a luminous lantern garden.

Along with the official tree lighting, Cavalcade of Lights kicks off with a special opening day and evening of pop-up performances around the Square and on the ice including:

  • Ice-skating performances by Toronto’s Trinity Synchronized skating team, Montreal-based Le Patin Libre, national ice-skating champions and world bronze medalists Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier
  • Aerial and acrobatic performances by Duo Christa and Erick
  • Klezmer-inspired musical performances by Beyond the Pale
  • PassioN’Strings flamenco performances with Carmen Romero Company and Jonathan Garabedian (violin)
  • Bollywood dance by Kanushree Jain
  • Lantern installation by Muse Arts

Cavalcade of Lights is being designed with guidance from Toronto Public Health to provide a safe environment for participants. Participants should keep two metres distance from people they don’t live with as much as possible, and provincial regulations require mask wearing at outdoor events when physical distancing is not possible. If you are sick or have cold or flu-like symptoms, please stay at home and seek testing.

ShowLoveTO Urban Game

To help bring Cavalcade of Lights across the city this year, a ShowLoveTO Urban Game and neighbourhood activities are planned.

Discover holiday lights and activities in neighbourhoods across the city with the ShowLoveTO Urban Game. Presented by the City and powered by Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA), the ShowLoveTO Urban Game encourages players to use their mobile devices to find 25 illuminated, six-foot, three-dimensional heart installations located throughout the city, while solving clues for a chance to win great prizes.

This family-friendly game can be played from November 27 to Sunday, December 19 and offers an opportunity to explore the city and support local businesses. Learn how to play here

Toronto neighbourhood activities

This year, local Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) across the city are participating in Cavalcade of Lights to continue to bring the magic of the holiday season to other neighbourhoods. The public can experience cultural seasonal events and animated lighting displays, supporting local shops and restaurants.

The City is thankful for the support from official lighting sponsor, Toronto Hydro, and for funding provided in part by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario and the Government of Ontario.

Complete event details are available here


“Cavalcade of Lights is a 55-year Toronto tradition that brings families together to celebrate the start of the holiday season. This year’s Cavalcade of Lights will be a month-long celebration of lights that people are welcome to come to see in Nathan Phillips Square starting Saturday and at any point during the holiday season. I encourage the public to try the new ShowLoveTO Urban Game to explore the city and support local businesses.”

– Mayor John Tory

“Thanks to the partnership of TABIA and local BIAs, Cavalcade of Lights programming is expanding beyond Nathan Phillips Square to neighbourhoods across the city. I urge you to join in the fun. Get out and explore Toronto’s vibrant communities this holiday season and while you are there, support your local businesses.”
– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Media contact: Media Relations,