Cavalcade of LightsSkating under the festooned freedom arches during Cavalcade of Lights, Toronto's annual kick off to the holiday season.

Glittering lights, music and fireworks
Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Cavalcade of Lights at Nathan Phillips Square is an annual holiday tradition featuring the lighting of Toronto’s official Christmas Tree, live musical performances by some of Canada’s top performers, a spectacular fireworks show and skating parties on the iconic outdoor rink. All free!

Nathan Phillips Square is located at 100 Queen Street West at Bay Street.

The focal point of the annual Cavalcade of Lights celebration is the lighting of Toronto's official Christmas tree. For 2016, the tree was a white spruce selected a year in advance from the Bancroft, Ontario area. Approximately 18-metres (60-feet) tall and featuring close to 700 individual ornaments and 3,810 metres of energy efficient lights (525,000 lights), the 2016 tree lit up Nathan Phillips Square through to New Year's Eve.

Toronto's Official Christmas Tree

Interesting facts about Toronto's Official Christmas tree

  • The tree arrives on a flatbed truck and is lifted into place with cranes.
  • It takes a crew of eight people three to four hours to put the tree into place.
  • The tree needs three days to settle before it can be decorated.
  • It takes two weeks to decorate and string lights on the tree.
  • Large machinery, including a cherry picker, is used to assist the decorating crew in placing each ornament onto the tree.
  • Unlike an indoor tree, Toronto's Christmas tree does not need watering.
  • Usually the tree is 15 to 18 metres tall (55 to 65 feet).
  • The tree remains on display throughout the holiday season and is then recycled.

Cavalcade of Lights is presented by Great Gulf