The premier edition of Illumi Cavalia, which claims to be the largest village of lights in the world, is coming to an end this week in Laval. The 50,600 square metre site, "a surface area equivalent to about thirty hockey rinks," according to a press release, is composed of eight illuminated universes and millions of lights, culminating in a holiday market with a Christmas tree equal in height to the Statue of Liberty (excluding its stand).

Before it closes, Illumi will have attracted over half a million visitors, hailing from locales as diverse as the "northern United States, Quebec, Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Mexico City, London, Paris, Brussels, and Milan," says another press release

Organizers also claim that "Illumi is currently the event whose photos and videos are the most shared on Facebook and Instagram."

"The famous Tunnel of Lights, located at the beginning of the Illumi route, was a hit with Millennials and many have hailed it as the most 'Insgrammable' magical space in Canada," the press release continues.

Of the eight sections of Illumi, "that of the Pôles à l’Infini, where penguins, whales, and igloos coexist in the middle of an infinite forest of stalagmites, is among the most appreciated by the public."

Montrealers who have put off their visit to the sprawling complex have only until Sunday, January 5 to experience Illumi.

But given the success of the inaugural edition, organizers are already promising a return in fall 2020.

The second edition will have "many surprises" and "several new features in the fantasy worlds."

MTL Blog writer Lena Slanisky, who got a first look at Illumi in November, highly recommended the experience.

"If you're not a kid but don't mind walking around in the wintertime, this experience is pretty one-of-a-kind. It can feel kind of busy in certain sections, but luckily, the traffic is managed with scheduled visit times set by your ticket purchase."

"With a free shuttle from the metro and tickets less than $20, this is an awesome date idea."

Illumi by Cavalia

When: Until January 5, 2020

Where: 2805 Boulevard du Souvenir, Laval

Free shuttle from Montmorency orange line station

Cost: $26.50 for regular tickets


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