Toronto’s annual tree lighting ceremony, the Cavalcade of Lights kicks off this weekend, starting the beginning of the holiday season. The beloved event returns with its exciting display of lights that illuminate the night sky, live performances, and even a fire show at Nathan Phillips Square.

Every year, the Cavalcade of Lights takes over Nathan Phillips Square with a dazzling array of holiday lights and offerings. According to the city, the square will be set aglow with 300,000 energy-efficient twinkling lights, interactive displays, and festive décor around the beloved public skating rink.

On November 25, everyone is welcome to join the opening night celebration and enjoy the musical performances, ice skating, and more. Expect an evening of festive activities, including a list of entertainment from multiple cultural backgrounds.

The evening will also include the lighting of the city’s official Christmas tree. This year’s tree is a 55-foot, majestic white spruce tree that was grown in Baldwin, Ontario.

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According to the city, its installation will take about eight hours and will need three days of settling before it’s decorated with over 500 ornaments. “After the holiday season, the tree will be recycled into mulch for tree planting in the spring,” shares the city.

The event begins at 3 PM and runs until 11 PM with the ceremonial countdown to the lighting of the Christmas tree starting around 6:30 PM.

Throughout the day, there will be a number of performances to enjoy.

Some of them include an ice-skating showcase featuring two-time Canadian Champion and Olympian, Madeline Schizas; holiday favourites and traditional Portuguese songs by Banda do Senhor Santo Cristo of Toronto; R&B, soul, and jazz musical performances by Zaki Ibrahim; Lanterns of Peace and Love hand-crafted by artisans from Zigong, China; fire dancers by the Hoop You trio and more

According to Destination Toronto, the city has been announcing the “arrival of the holiday season” with the Cavalcade of Lights since 1967.

It’s an adored event that gathers hundreds to the square during the holiday season.

And not to worry, if you can’t make the ceremony, you can still stop by for some ice skating, lighting displays, and more until January 7.

Cavalcade of Lights – Tree lighting ceremony

When: November 25th, 2023 from 3 PM to 11 PM
Where: Nathan Phillips Square