Winter Lights at Ontario Place
Winter’s shorter days and colder weather definitely force me to work harder on not slowly slipping into a frozen lethargy. So why not try exploring Toronto a bit? I knew about the Aurora Winter Festival, but to be honest I’m a bit broke after the holidays and want to do something more… free? So, (among other reasons) I decided to try out the event next door to the Winter Festival and explore the Lights Exhibitions at Ontario Place.
It was not as packed as the more “touristy” and heavily advertised Winter Festival, but the aura definitely shouted winter holidays with trees strung with lights in a Christmas fashion in nearly every corner, as well as a festively lit skating rink to top it off. However, it was a relief that there were not too many people and, more importantly, barely any stores selling overpriced food and knick-knacks.
Most of the area was reserved for art pieces, making for a great, nightly stroll. They were mostly centred around manipulating or directing light in the dark through structures to create various effects and symbolisms. The most intriguing one for me was Christine Dewancker’s “The Faraway Nearby.” It is essentially a spread of illuminated crystal towers of varying heights (reminiscent of Superman’s icy Arctic fortress) along the lake, where from specific angles, you can see the towers line up to bring faraway backgrounds in closer view. Moreover, the backdrop on the lake facing west was beautiful—distant buildings in Mississauga and Etobicoke glittered with bright, tiny lights against the empty, cold sky. It was definitely a place I would want to just sit in for hours on end (if not for the harsh realities of winter and human body temperature).
The relative solitude and tranquility, as well as the emotional warmth brought about by the teeming lights throughout the winter night, made me more appreciative of the now-beyond social media. It’s moments like these that give you a sense of just being. It takes you away from your reality beyond the moment, not having to work towards some goal or against some difficulty in life, but just to accept and appreciate the beauty of where you are.