TORONTO -- The City of Toronto has kicked off the start of the holiday season as its Cavalcade of Lights display got underway Saturday at Nathan Phillips Square.

The event was marked by the first lighting of the City’s 58-foot Christmas tree at 5:15 p.m. as well as a DJ skating party, and live entertainment.

Guests experienced tunnels made from thousands of energy-efficient bulbs or glowing ice sculptures in an enchanted forest all while beams of light animated City Hall.

Performances at this year’s event included one by Montreal-based Le Patin Libre, featuring national ice-skating champions and world bronze medalists Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier. A Bollywood dance by Kanushree Jain and a lantern installation by Muse Arts was also featured.

Nathan Phillips Square is home to one of 38 locations open to skaters looking to get some ice time in the city as of today, weather permitting. The remaining 13 outdoor rinks will open on Dec. 4.

There are some road closures in effect as a result of Saturday’s event, including:

  • Bay St. from Dundas St. to Queen St. W.
  • James St. from Queen St. to Albert St.
  • Albert St. from James St. to Bay St.
  • Elizabeth St. from Foster Pl. to Hagerman St.
  • Hagerman St. from Elizabeth St. to Bay St.

The event was developed with guidance from Toronto Public health. As such, the city recommended that guests keep a two metre distance from people they don’t live with as much as possible.

“Provincial regulations require mask wearing at outdoor events when physical distancing is not possible. If you are sick or have cold or flu-like symptoms, please stay at home and seek testing,” the city said in a news release.

The month-long event runs until January 2.