Toronto Light Festival Keeps the Distillery District Warm for Winter

The inaugural Toronto Light Festival officially launched on January 27th at the Distillery District in downtown Toronto and runs until March 12th. The event features 21 light-based installations by both local and international artists that are located both inside and outside of the Distillery’s buildings.

Toronto Light Festival
Run Beyond – Angelo Bonello – Italy

The Creator and Executive Director of the event, Michael Rosenblatt, hosted members of the media prior to its opening to introduce the project, as well as some of its partners.

The Toronto Light Festival is done in partnership with the Amsterdam Light Festival that wrapped up on January 21st. The team from that event were also at the press event, having arrived only 2 hours earlier on a flight from the Netherlands.

The idea behind the event is to not only showcase local and international artists, but to provide entertainment and inspiration to locals by pulling them out of their winter hibernation during the cold months and onto the streets to enjoy the sights.

Toronto Light Festival
Love Lock Benches – Mathew Rosenblatt – Canada
Toronto Light Festival
The Uniting Lightstar – Venividimultiplex – The Netherlands

Light Festival Works

Run Beyond by Turin-born artist Angelo Bonello is an installation that represents the “Jump” we all have to take in lives. What he called the “Jump to Freedom” The word freedom is not given meaning in this context and the creator wants the audience to decide what freedom means to them.

“To me this work is about the power of imagination, a power so strong that it makes individuals conquer their fears and limitations and cause them to open up to other cultures, new friendships and unknown worlds.” –

Love Lock Benches by local artist and light festival creator Mathew Rosenblatt builds on the success of the Love Locks in Toronto by creating the Love Lock Benches. Using recycled locks that were cut away from the Love Lock installation that has been at the distillery for years, the Lock Lock Benches are located next to El Catrin and shine light from their insides creating a magical display for all to see. The solid locals are meant to symbolize the bonds of love and community; whereas the light escaping represents the untrappable energy of pure love.

The Uniting Lightstar by Dutch design company VeniVidiMultiplex, whose members consist of Joost van Bergen, Dirk Schlebusch and Onne Walsmit, is a dodecahedron, consisting of twelve pentagonal surfaces. Light string is connecting multiple points to create patterns as they illuminate and go dark. It is meant to demonstrate a characteristic of friendships, specifically the human capacity to boost friendships, helping them grow.

Toronto Light Festival
Angels of Freedom – OGE Group – Israel

Angels of Freedom by architectural firm OGE Group in Israel allows you to photograph yourself as an angel in front of their brightly lit set of wings and halo. If you post a picture of yourself with the wings, post it to social media with #MillStLights along with a good deed you promise to perform, Mill Street Brewery will donate $1 to the Daily Bread Food Bank.



For more information on the Toronto Light Festival, please visit their website.



About Joel Levy 2551 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography