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 more than three decades ago, became such a hit that cities across Canada now participate in what’s become a national tradition. The 34th edition of Christmas Lights Across Canada will take place from December 5, 2018 to January 7, 2019.
- Hundreds of thousands of dazzling holiday 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.
- Also from December 5, 2018 to January 7, 2019, a winter lightscapes multimedia show is projected onto Parliament Hill’s Centre Block. Inspired by Canada’s nature, climate and culture, this 13-minute fairy tale runs nightly in a loop, from 5:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
- The switch is flipped at an official illumination ceremony open to the public that includes carols, on-site performances and a pyrotechnic show. The ceremony will take place on Wednesday, December 5 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.