Toronto’s Distillery District is all lit up

A look at four exhibits that are part of the Toronto Light Festival, on until March 3

This neon sign announces the Toronto Light Festival in the Distillery District. More than two dozen art installations will light up the cobblestone streets every night through March 3. Allison Palmer/Toronto Observer

The third Toronto Light Festival is under way in the Distillery District, lighting up the cobblestone streets with unique sculptures covered with lights that were crafted by artists worldwide.

The festival’s launch last Friday was frosty and dark, but people crowded in all the same to get a glimpse of more than two dozen Instagram-friendly art exhibits.

The light festival’s goal is to bring creativity to the city during our cold, long and dark winter days. The Distillery will turn on the lights at sundown every day until March 3.

Here’s a look at four of the exhibits lighting up Toronto’s winter nights.

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Russian artist Sofya Batsova is studying architecture in London at the University of Westminster, according to her bio on the festival’s website. Last September, she posted her most “challenging and ambitious” project yet to Instagram — a giant piece made of bent wood that made its debut at Burning Man.

Here’s a photo of the same piece on display in the Distillery District. The light festival’s organizers describe it as “a visual representation of the relationship between machines and humans.”


Electric Dandelions

Creator Abram Santa Cruz is the lead artist of Liquid PXL, an American group that creates fun and interactive art projects. Cruz is a photographer, graphic designer, and painter.

The three electric flowers, each standing more than eight metres high, can be found at the east end of Tank House Lane.


Long view polar bear

American artist Don Kennell started his career in Houston and quickly became a part of the city’s folk art community. He’s the creative mind behind the Long View Polar Bear, a piece  made up of salvaged car parts and recycled materials that stands more than 10 metres high on Trinity Street.

In a post made on Kennell’s Instagram two weeks before the festival’s launch, the polar bear is seen taken apart and leaving Las Vegas, where it was previously on display.


Images are projected onto the polar bear at night.

According to his festival bio, Kennell’s goal with this piece is “to make animals visible and to bring particular species into human consciousness.”

Here’s what it looks like at night.


Lit-up Love Locks

Matthew Rosenblatt, the festival’s creator and executive director, has added lights to the popular Love Locks that have been a fixture in the Distillery District since 2014.

Visitors can buy a lock and add it to the display to celebrate their love.

Here’s what the letters usually look like.


The letters take on a whole new personality when they’re lit up at night. They’re on Tank House Lane.

The Love Locks on Tank House Lane. (Allison Palmer/Toronto Observer)







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Posted: Jan 25 2019 12:10 pm
Filed under: Arts & Life