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. The 32nd edition of Christmas Lights Across Canada will take place from Dec. 7, 2016 to Jan. 7, 2017.
- 400,000 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.
- There is an evening sound and light show that will be projected onto Parliament Hill’s Centre Block. This 13-minute show will run each night from 5:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. until Dec. 25. New this year: Confederation Park will be illuminated in red and white to mark Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017.
- The switch is flipped at an official illumination ceremony open to the public that includes carols, on-site performances and fireworks. The ceremony will take place on Dec. 7 on Parliament Hill at 7:00 p.m.
- The program was launched in 1985 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.