Vancouver’s Best Holiday Light Displays? You make the call!


Maybe it’s because it gets dark so early in December and we need something to brighten things up.  Maybe it’s because the holidays are such serious business around here.  Or maybe Canadian Tire just had a really great special on Christmas lights.

Whatever the reason, there’s no shortage of incredible holiday light displays sparkling in Vancouver these days.  Among the perennial heavy hitters, you’ve got Bright Nights in Stanley Park, two million brilliantly colored lights hung along the park’s miniature train line.  Then there’s the Festival of Light in VanDusen Botanical Garden, another 1.4 million lights twinkling on the lavishly manicured grounds of the park.

Let’s not forget Canyon Lights, the brilliant strands of white lights strung along Vancouver’s iconic Capilano Suspension Bridge.  Plus, the Carol Ships – a whole fleet of brightly decorated boats that steams out for evening cruises along the coastline.

And then there are the quirkier displays – like the Christmas tree at the Vancouver Aquarium that gets switched on by the electric eel.

I’m interested in knowing what your favourite holiday light display in Vancouver is.   Which lights raise your spirits and really get you in the holiday mood? It could be one of the big displays or maybe just the house in your neighborhood with those really cool pulsating icicles.  Please share your favourites by leaving a comment below.

I’ll start things off by mentioning one of my favourites, the Lights of Hope display at St. Paul’s Hospital (on Burrard and Helmcken Streets).  Not only is the display stunning, it’s also for a good cause.   Here’s a video of the ceremonial lighting at St. Paul’s:

The front of the hospital has been covered with a wall of decorations that’s six-stories high in some places.  10 kilometers of light strands were used in the massive project – enough to light up the entire length of the seawall.

From the peak of the hospital, 20-meter strands of icy blue lights cascade down to the ground in a shimmering veil.  In the center of the display, more then 130, meter-wide, rainbow-coloured stars shine into the night.   Meanwhile, multi-coloured lights and even bigger stars adorn the facade of the hospital nearer to Helmcken Street.

The Lights of Hope display is set up as a fundraiser for the hospital.  This year St. Paul’s hopes to collect more than $1.95 million, much of that from small donations from everyday people who come by, see the lights and want to contribute to a good cause.  If you’re interested, you can even donate online.

So where are your favourite holiday lights?

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