Saturday, November 23, 2019


Press Release

Cavalcade of Lights festivities at Nathan Phillips Square
kicking off Toronto's holiday season on November 30

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

TORONTO, ON - The Cavalcade of Lights presented by Great Gulf on Saturday, November 30, will mark the official start of the holiday season in Toronto. The event, starting at 7 p.m. at Nathan Phillips Square, will kick off a multi-week celebration of city-wide holiday events and activities. 

An annual event for the past 53 years, the Cavalcade of Lights will include the first lighting of Toronto's 16-metre tall Christmas tree, live music, skating and fireworks. The event will illuminate Nathan Phillips Square under the glitter of more than 525,000 energy-efficient lights and 500 ornaments, sponsored by Toronto Hydro. 

"Cavalcade of Lights is a 53-year Toronto tradition that brings families together to celebrate the start of the holiday season. This spectacular event includes a great lineup of performances, dazzling fireworks and the lighting of Toronto's official Christmas tree. I invite everyone to come and join the festivities." - Mayor John Tory 

Other details/features

• a pre-show skating party, sponsored by Tim Hortons, with award-winning, Canadian hip-hop icon DJ Mel Boogie at 6:30 p.m.

• Toronto's original guerrilla-folk party-punk phenomenon, Lemon Bucket Orkestra, on the mainstage, sponsored by Great Gulf

• Nunavut’s radiant young electropop artist, Riit

Les Oiseaux (The Birds) by les Chasseurs de rêves making magic with lifelike large wooden bird puppets manipulated by stilt-walking knights

The Queen by Creations in Vivo, an eccentric journey of discovery, freedom and magical movements

• fireworks display from the towers of Toronto City Hall at 9:30 p.m., sponsored by the Toronto Real Estate Board 

The City of Toronto is committed to creating an accessible event. Accessible viewing areas and an ASL interpreter will be onsite for all to enjoy this special evening. The complete event schedule is available at

Nathan Phillips Square (Photo courtesy of City of Toronto / Facebook)

Other City-sponsored holiday activities:

Beginning of skating season 

For the quintessential winter activity, the City encourages people to grab their skates and get out on the ice with family and friends at one of Toronto's 54 outdoor artificial ice rinks. The skating season starts on November 30. More information (including hours) is available at

Winter Warm-Up on King Street 

Each Saturday (noon to 3 p.m.) from November 23 until December 21, the public can enjoy live music, fun activities, a cozy warming station and more at rotating public parklets along the King Street corridor in the City's Winter Warm-Up series. The series begins on November 23 (noon to 6 p.m.) at David Pecaut Square parklet with free street curling, collective art making, musical performances, South Asian dance showcase and interactive music-making. More information is available at

The skating season starts on November 30 (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

History museums across Toronto 

This year, the holiday gaiety continues at the Toronto's history museums with more than 55 family-friendly events and activities sure to bring out the spirit of the season. Activities focus on food, musical experiences, tours, workshops and more

The public can participate in hands-on workshops to make holiday season crackers, cards, wreaths, centrepieces or gingerbread houses. The history museums' holiday programming will also feature a musical adaption of A Christmas Carol, a meet-and-greet with Father Christmas and a Dickens-inspired Christmas feast. The public can explore the Christmas traditions of the past in candlelight or lantern tours at the City's museums, which will be beautifully decorated for the season. 

The full program lineup, as well as details for the events highlighted above, are available at Details are also provided in a Backgrounder under the heading City Events at

"This year, our Toronto history museums are taking residents into the past for family-friendly Yuletide traditions, fun holiday activities and exciting events. I encourage you to take part in their holiday programming to experience the vibrancy of our city's past, present and future at our history museums." 

- Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Councillor Ward 21 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee 

Downtown Toronto (Photo courtesy of Unsplash) Click to enlarge


Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at, on Instagram at or on Facebook at

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