Every year, Ontario joins each provincial & territorial legislature across Canada along with Parliament Hill in an illumination ceremony at each of the parliament buildings. Each legislature is decorated with seasonal lights creating a symbolic tie – a ribbon of Lights Across Canada, reflecting a national spirit of goodwill and unity.
Lights Across Canada has become an annual tradition marking the beginning of the holiday season at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. The Speaker hosts the illumination ceremony, inviting all children in attendance at the event to join him in turning on the lights. Each year, the ceremony features a performance by a youth or adult choir, highlighting their musical talents as they sing seasonal songs. Representatives from all parties are invited to bring holiday greetings on behalf of their caucus. Following the performance there are holiday cookies and eggnog in the historic east wing of the Legislative Building.
Throughout the month of December the Ontario Legislative Building is lit up from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m.
Made possible thanks to the participation of member countries of the Consular Corps Association of Toronto, the Friendship Tree is decorated with ornaments representative of nations from around the world. The tree was officially illuminated at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario by Speaker Steve Peters during the annual Lights Across Canada Ceremony, December 6, 2010.
Prepared in a spirit of togetherness by the international community in Toronto, and reflective of Ontario’s own diverse population, the Friendship Tree projects a spirit of unity and peace for the holiday season and the hope that it will inspire harmony and understanding to all for the New Year ahead.