December 23 2013 by Bryson Forbes
I recently came across a great article from CNN that ranked the twelve best Christmas trees around the world. I have to admit there were some really outstanding trees including one made entirely from Lego in Malaysia, another made from recycled bottles in London and last but not least a tree made with more than 8,000 macaroons in North Carolina! All were definitely worthy of the list, but I was shocked and if I'm honest, a little disappointed not to see any from The Great White North. Baffling since the top five real Christmas trees according to the National Christmas Tree Association (yes there is one) are all found in abundance in Canada. For the record they are the Balsam fir, Douglas fir, Fraser fir, noble fir and Scotch pine.
Just like Best Western, Christmas spirit is everywhere in Canada and I love seeing both, so here's my list of the top five Christmas displays you can find in Canada:
#1 is Niagara Falls and The Winter Festival of Lights
One hundred and twenty-five animated lighting displays and 300 million tree and ground lights turn the five-kilometer route along Niagara Parkway into a winter wonderland. But don't forget the twenty-one light projectors that illuminate the Horseshoe Falls in all colours of the rainbow.
#2 are found in Ottawa with "Christmas Lights Across Canada"
The official illumination ceremony is held early December at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario. The end of the ceremony is marked by the "flick of the switch," when over 300,000 shimmering lights brighten Parliament Hill, as well as other notable landmarks along Confederation Boulevard.
# 3 in Toronto with "The Cavalcade of Lights"
This month-long Christmas extravaganza kicks off in Nathan Phillips Square with the lighting of the city's official Christmas tree, followed by the illumination of various light displays in the downtown core. The ceremony concludes with live musical performances and a fireworks display, which are also held every Saturday during the festival.
#4 is Halifax with "The Chronicle Herald Parade of Lights"
This parade is held on an evening in late November and features lights, music and live entertainment. Over 100,000 people gather to watch this anticipated holiday event every year and are never disappointed by the festive floats, holiday carolers, majorettes, marching bands and of course a guest appearance by Santa Claus and his elves.
#5 in Vancouver's Stanley Park for "The Bright Nights"
Looking for a "Griswald" type tree? This is your spot with massive trees throughout the park and although visitors may walk, the best way to appreciate the enchanting displays is aboard the Stanley Park Miniature Train. Kids will also enjoy a trip to the Children's Farmyard where they can see a number of farm animals, including sheep, pigs, goats and more. Special nights throughout the festival offer performances by local choirs and bands in the plaza.
These are only a few across Canada! Where is your favourite place to soak up the Holiday Spirit?