Walking into the Toronto Light Festival at the Distillery District, one would expect lively streets filled with people, and tons of lights. With extreme-weather alerts however, the festival has been a little dimmer than usual.
Not many people brave enough to face the cold winter weather for the #tolightfest tonight. #CJRL715 pic.twitter.com/55sMzJCWKG
— Anya (@_anya7) January 30, 2019
The weather not only impacts the festival’s turnout but business at nearby restaurants, as well.
“It would be better suited indoors, but the purpose of it is to increase tourism and foot traffic into the Distillery District,” said Lee Van de Moesdyk, who works at the Mill St. Beer Hall and Brewery.
The biggest challenge, said the festival’s producer, Emily Zajac, is the Canadian winter weather.
“When it comes to light art installations, there are often a lot of technical elements involved,” she said.
“Although everything is prepared for winter conditions, the operation of certain installations can be affected in extremely severe conditions.”
Some did decide to brave the winter storm, and there were some features that did stand out, such as the lights on the walls, outlining the buildings.
The Toronto Light Festival also gives people a reason to explore their creativity. Alex Russo, who travelled from Nobleton, Ont., about a 45-minute drive to Toronto, has been to the Light Festival once before and wanted to come again this year, to work on his photography skills.
“It was colder this year and the exhibits were different,” he said. “I braved the cold for me. I’m always looking for new things to capture, and a Light Festival is the perfect opportunity.”
The Toronto Light Festival will light up after the sun sets every day to March 3.