When was the last time you took a little trip down to Ontario Place? You may be surprised by what you see at Toronto’s western waterfront attraction. You may have heard that the iconic Cinesphere IMAX theatre reopened after an extensive renovation, but the real attraction at Ontario Place is outside. It’s Winter at Ontario Place and it is truly a winter wonderland.
The park is open daily from 5am until midnight and admission is free! That gives you plenty of time to explore and play. You’ll want to bundle up, it gets even chillier by the lake, but even on warmer days you won’t have to worry about ice conditions at the skating rink. The outdoor rink is made from a synthetic polymer! If it’s been a while since you laced up the blades, don’t worry — skate sharpening and skate rentals are available. As the sun begins to set you can warm up with a hot chocolate as you sit and sip by the bonfires and enjoy the crackle of the wood and smell of the smoke. You don’t have to worry about getting lost in the dark — on the contrary! From now until March 18th you can take in the magic of The Winter Light Exhibition.
Winter Light Exhibition
The Winter Light Exhibition is a great way to lighten up the dark days of winter. There are a dozen illuminated art exhibits from twenty local artists. Stroll around at your own pace and take them all in. Let the fairy lights on the trees show you the way. Here’s what you can expect to see:
The reflective exterior of the Expanded Horizon exhibit by Polymetis, is best appreciated at sunset, allowing light and shadow to work their magic. Inside the exhibit you’ll discover a infinity room of light and mirrors.
Bridge of Imagination
Bridge of Imagination by Phil Sutherland and Reanna Niceforo, transforms architecture into an art piece. The bridge acts as a canvas for light as flowing, large-scale images are projected onto it that are visible from afar.
You literally can’t miss Elevated Wavelengths by Jeff Howard and Codrin Talaba. The colourful lasers connecting the illuminated trees can be seen from almost any vantage point.
Reactor by Ryan Longo makes it way to Ontario by way of Burning Man — one of many stops on the North American tour for the artist. The gnarled metal tree twists and turns and reflects in a way that feels oddly human.
Future Light Mural
Kizmet’s Future Light Mural by Kizmet Gabriel can be seen clearly from Lakeshore Boulevard. It can be appreciated anytime, but only fully realized at night, as the reactive paint changes colour and transforms the images you see by day.
It may be counterintuitive, but the sun is actually closer to earth in winter. It’s just that the Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the sun, which is why we have winter. The curved acrylic threads of Winter Fields, by Tonya Hart, represent the magnetic field of the sun.
Shine and Shimmer
Shine and Shimmer by LeuWebb Projects is a waterfall of light flowing from the park’s fake mountain. The shimmering light reflected by the skating rink is like a beautiful ghost of the long-gone log ride that once occupied the park.
Shard by Nuff & Nupanap is a solitary, individual, illuminated crystal shard. Won’t you come and keep it company? Maybe you’ll make a connection and create a unique moment that will never be repeated.
The Crunch of Snow Underfoot
The refracted light fluctuating in the sky off recycled plastic bottles suspended between birch trees provides the perfect spot for a moment of personal reflection on the traces we leave behind us on this path. Crunch of Snow Underfoot by Andrew Maize and Joshua Collins is not to be missed.
The shape of Lumos by Matt DesLauriers, Steven Mengin, Jean-Michel Gariepy is inspired by traditional warming huts. How will you feel when this triangular light sculpture reacts to your approach by changing colour and glowing red?
The signature silos on site at Ontario Place get their own miniaturized mimic with Icicle Silo by Chris Foster. A silo’s reason for being was to store grain for the winter. This hollow silo houses crystalline icicles of light instead, and seems to store winter, itself.
Winter Lights by Catherine Curran is an exhibit inspired by the winter light reflecting within the ancient rock caves of Ontario. In this beautiful piece, beams of light filter down into the depths, reflecting and refracting. A weathered tree stump within seems to yearn for the light above.
Make your way to Ontario Place this winter and step into the light. You won’t regret going but you might regret missing it!
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