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Montreal's Gardens Of Light Show Feels Like Stepping Into A Fairytale (PHOTOS)

it's more spectacular than ever this year. 🏮✨

​A lit figure emerges from the lake in the Chinese Gardens.

A lit figure emerges from the lake in the Chinese Gardens.

A walk through the Montreal Botanical Garden is like stepping into a fantasy world: the paths are winding, the colours are vibrant and the illuminated decor is magical. The Gardens of Light show is more spectacular than ever this year with added interactive and storytelling elements to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

Visitors are greeted by a curious howling symphony emanating from a grove near the entrance. The Wolf’s Chorus installation features a series of glowing orbs that participants can speak, sing or bark into and hear what sound like witty comebacks from a pack of ghostly canines. The noise is punctuated with a colorful display of lights that extend to the tree tops, as the concert grows louder and more intense. Watching kids' amazement as they hear their voices echoed in wolf speak is just as entertaining as partaking in the installation yourself.

People stand in front of glowing orbs surrounded by illuminated trees.@davidwallyrawalia | Instagram

Nearby, the Japanese Pavilion features vivid projections of various elements from Nippon art and culture. A comforting glow illuminates the bonsai trees out front and the water cascades in the back. The whole point here is to relax and enjoy nature as the lights slowly fade from one color to another.

Projections on the façade of the Japanese Pavilion.@davidwallyrawalia | Instagram

In the First Nations Garden, a luminous arch emits a dense fog. As the light scatters, it creates a glowing aura around the structure and the effect is spectacular. The diffused lighting makes for an amazing selfie.

An archway emits fog.An archway emits fog.@davidwallyrawalia | Instagram

As you venture through the forest pathways, lights and sounds come from every direction turning the natural surroundings otherworldly. Magical murmurs give the impression that the trees are talking to each other, which makes the experience incredibly immersive.

Illuminated bird cages line a forest path.@davidwallyrawalia | Instagram

While the hundreds of traditional brightly colored lanterns are back, the Chinese Garden have a new twist. The "Lake of Dreams" features the largest and most impressive display centered around Pangu. According to Chinese legend, the mythical being is the creator of the universe.

This year's display adds an astounding multimedia retelling of the foundational myth complete with water projections, lasers and fog machines. It's an experience you'll want to have more than once since there's so much to take in.

@davidwallyrawalia | Instagram

If you're wondering when to venture out to the Gardens of Light, a mid-week or overcast night visit is highly recommended. Not only will you have more space to enjoy each installation but rain glistens on leaves and makes walkways reflective, which can add an ethereal glow to the entire experience.

Gardens of Light

When: September 2 to October 31

Where: Montreal Botanical Garden, 4101, rue Sherbrooke Est

Cost: $16.50/Montreal residents, $22/non-residents.


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