Ottawa Tourism

Christmas Lights Across Canada

December 3, 2014 – January 7, 2015

Ottawa sparkles and shines during the Christmas season with Christmas Lights Across Canada. From early December to early January, thousands of colourful lights illuminate the National Capital Region’s winter landscape. The radiant event, which began nearly three decades ago, became such a hit that cities across Canada now participate in what’s become a national tradition.

Fast Facts

  • 300,000 dazzling Christmas lights glow throughout downtown Ottawa.
  • Parliament Hill is a must-see stop on any tour of the lights, with tens of thousands of bulbs lighting its historic buildings.
  • The switch is flipped at an official illumination ceremony open to the public that includes carols and on-site performances.
  • The program was launched in1985 as a way to liven up the darkest of winter days.
  • The program extends from the Capital to all provincial and territorial capitals in the country.
  • Many visitors schedule holiday shopping trips to Ottawa in time to see the lights.