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WinterFest returns to Canada's Wonderland in Vaughan for 3rd season

Visitors can enjoy a showcase of lights, ice skating, live shows and more
Nov. 24, 2022
Brian Capitao

Canada’s Wonderland is celebrating the holiday season again this year with WinterFest.

Open to the public Nov. 18 to Dec. 31, WinterFest is in its third year.

Debuting in 2019, the program shut down temporarily due to COVID-19, but reopened last year.

“We’re excited to have it back. We have more than a dozen live shows, we’ve got ice-skating on snowflake lake in front of the mountain, five million lights throughout the park; the decor is incredible and larger than life,” said Grace Peacock, director of communications at Canada’s Wonderland.

There are seven themed areas around the park that patrons can enjoy: the North Pole, Elf Village, Tinsel Town, International Street, Charlie Brown’s Christmas Town, Candy Cane Lane, and Frontier Canada.

Patrons will be treated to a showcase of lights.

“The tree lighting ceremony happens every night at 5:30,” Peacock told the Vaughan Citizen. “It’s the big kickoff to the night because we light our two giant 50-foot-tall Christmas trees and they have thousands of colourful LED lights. So it’s quite the spectacle to see.”

In addition to the colourful light show, patrons can enjoy live theatrical shows.

A returning favourite is “Tinker’s Toy Factory” inside the Canterbury Theatre. It’s a combination of songs, dance, and acrobatics, according to Julie Skene, one of the area managers, who oversees the live shows.

“We have some cirque elements; there’s a company we work with called Les productions O-Val. They are based out of Quebec. We work with them and co-produce all of our different cirque shows at the park,” said Skene. “We had an existing show that’s used at other parks and kind of added in some additional cirque elements because we feel it really goes with the magic of Christmas.”

It's a family friendly show with Santa’s elves getting up to some hijinks, said Peacock.

Not only is there entertainment, but also food celebrating Canada’s frontier history. The Lazy Bear Lodge restaurant, which seats 500 people, is new to the park.

“It’s a rustic chalet type venue made with timber frames and has all sorts of Canadian creatures in different places,” said Peacock. “The menu is very reflective of Canada and the hearty fare that you might have if you were on an adventure in the frontier.”