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A Sprawling Winter Light Exhibit is Coming to Toronto’s Waterfront

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While the province remains under stay-at-home orders, downtown dwellers itching to get outside for some much-needed fresh air can check out a sprawling new outdoor light display along Toronto’s waterfront.

Starting this Friday, two new outdoor light exhibits will open to the public as part of Harbourfront Centre and The Waterfront BIA’s outdoor winter celebration of arts & culture: Site Alive | Winter Edition, which will transform the 10-acre waterfront campus into a unique, immersive world of sensory experience.

The launch of the exhibits couldn’t come at a better time as the provincial government is still encouraging residents to get outside and exercise — while adhering to the required restricted limit of five people, of course.

READ: Does Toronto’s First Major Commercial Lease Signed During COVID Signal a Return to Downtown?

The light exhibits come amid the second wave of COVID-19, which has urged increased restrictions across the province, leaving many Torontonians looking for safe ways to get outdoors, get active, and explore the city.

According to the event programmers, Site Alive | Winter Edition was designed to showcase an immersive world of sights, sounds, and ideas, while also allowing visitors the chance to combat the effects the lockdown could have on mental health in addition to the drain of shorter, darker winter days.

Programming is curated to be a safe, family-friendly experience, with lots of open space for guests to spread out and enjoy the great outdoors responsibly throughout the colder season.

However, in light of the recent stay-at-home order issued by the Government of Ontario, Harbourfront Centre security staff will be on-site to ensure health and safety protocols are followed, in accordance with the advice and guidelines of Toronto Public Health.

Site Alive

Photo taken by Jordan Laboucane/Waterfront BIA, Site Alive

The two new exhibits launching on Friday include Festival of Cool and Northern Ontario Diaries, which run from January 15 through February 7.

Festival of Cool: 

Guests can expect to be transported to Northern Ontario through a transformative installation involving audio, light, and technology, brought to life by creators Rob Jensen, Warren Trezevant, and Creos.

Known from the popular US-based Burning Man festival, Festival of Cool features ‘Sonic Runway’ a striking corridor of lights, more than 100 metres long, that brings sound waves to life, creating a rainbow bridge to a brighter tomorrow. The ‘Iceberg’ feature will turn a monumental sculpture into a living instrument, creating a journey from glacial calving, to open water migration, to eventual melting.

Northern Ontario Diaries:

This discovery-based audio experience allows audiences to explore the waterfront area while listening to stories told by artists about regions and communities from the Canadian Shield. Visitors will be able to become immersed in northern life and have the opportunity to enjoy pit-stops along the way while exploring everything that Site Alive has to offer.

“We’re very pleased to support opportunities to visit this winter that are distanced and spread out,” says Tim Kocur, Executive Director of the Waterfront BIA.

“We’ve been fortunate that the people of Toronto have continued to come down here as a way to get outside this year, and we hope you’ll find something new to see and do each month when you’re here.”

Just remember while residents are permitted to go outside, the province is under a stay-at-home order. If you decide to venture out, make sure to maintain the six-foot physical distancing guidelines and wear a mask.

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