It’s officially the season of good tidings and cheer. It’s a time to let go of negative vibes and look towards the future in a positive light. We know that this final stretch won’t be filled with holiday gatherings and that traditional visit with Santa at the mall but we know that there are some very creative ways to still get in the spirit of the holidays. The Polar Drive, located at Pearson Airport, is a multi-level festival light experience that reminds us that the holidays are here and still can be filled with wonder and awe.
The vision for this beautiful drive-through experience was created by The Concierge Club and Impact XM, two of Toronto’s top experiential event agencies. Monica Gomez, President and Founder of The Concierge Club and the creative force behind Polar Drive, tells us the idea came to her five weeks prior to this week’s opening and they’ve been working all hours with design teams to make this vision come true. With COVID19 the event companies have been at a standstill with projects either being cancelled or postponed. The world-class event teams would normally be active throughout the year with corporate clients, luxury brands and celebrities (ahem, the Biebers). Lucky for us, we get to experience this calibre of gorgeousness.
“We knew we wanted to do something but we didn’t first know at what capacity,” said Gomez. “We knew whatever it was, it was going to be for families. I have kids and I started thinking about what we can do with them over the holidays. Santa visits in malls aren’t happening this year so we thought about how we can still make that happen. But the whole concept was also built around how families can see Santa and be covid safe.”
She tells us that the team felt really fortunate in creating the experience in this space. Since it was closed in April, they were able to secure and lease the vast space from Pearson which is normally full this time of year with air travellers. “They were really excited about the concept and the whole idea of bringing the magic of the season to people.” From designing how the experience would come to life and even staffing, Gomez tells us everything had to be within government guidelines for everyone to enjoy.
The greeter at the entrance mentioned that we could turn on the recommended Polar Drive radio station (90.9 FM) to add to the experience as we drove through the holiday-themed worlds and dazzling 300 ft long magical light tunnels complete with theatrical staging.
While in the safety of your own vehicle and at the steady pace of 5 km/per hour, visitors can drive through the open-air parkade. The snow-lined pathway looks very realistic even on a relatively decent 10C day. It turns out that they sourced the same type of artificial snow that is often found on movie sets so it will be able to look like fresh snow no matter the temperature Toronto experiences.
Polar Drive offers a different experience around every corner. The LED Magical Winter Wonderland is lined with snowy white trees, reindeer sculptures, and icicles and it’s gorgeous. After driving through the sparkly Crystal Cave you’ll encounter a traditional setting filled with iconic nutcracker soldiers, dazzling Christmas trees, and Santa himself at a cozy setting. Yes, you can take photos (6 ft apart) and Santa will remain outside of your car. The grand finale hosts a Golden Holiday World that is filled with twinkling lights that brighten up the night reminding us to keep our hopes up for the brighter days to come.
In addition to offering this experience to the public, The Concierge Club has partnered with Tree Canada to support the organization’s carbon compensation program which helps plant mass seedlings nationally.
Go slow and steady. Take it all in with music and all. It will be tempting to try and sneak a photo or two outside of your vehicle but please don’t. FYI Santa’s helpers are situated throughout the drive to kindly remind you to stay in your vehicle if you get too caught up in the moment. So, passengers get your devices ready for photos and to record videos (and maybe photoshop yourself in later) because it is all too beautiful and you’ll want to keep your eyes on all the lights anyway!
Our time in the Polar Drive was a feast for the eyes and good for the soul. It even made us forget about COVID19 for a much welcomed moment.
Polar Drive is located at 6145 Viscount Road. It will be open from November 27, 2020 to January 3, 2021.
It will take about 30 minutes to enjoy the entire drive-through experience.
All pricing is cost per vehicle (i.e. 1 vehicle = 1 ticket)
- General Admission (Monday-Thursday) $55
- General Admission (Friday-Sunday) $65
Tickets and more information available at www.polar-drive.com