One of the things I always look forward to the most in the fall — besides cozy scarves and excuses for hot coco al fresco — is the Chinese Lanterns festival at the Botanical Gardens. Indeed, the Montreal Gardens of Light have become a yearly tradition that gets me just as excited every time.

Not only because of how magnificent it is, but also because it’s slightly different every time. I have been going to the Chinese Lanterns, as the locals call it, for as long as I can remember (see 2011 edition blog post), and not once was I not excited to go. It’s easy to understand why with this:

Montreal Gardens of Light - A Few Photos

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Every winter, Montreal-based artists pick a theme and design the lanterns, pick the right colors, dimensions and characters. The sketches are sent to Chinese artisans in Shanghai during the spring, where they are assembled following very ancient and traditional methods. The lanterns are then sent to Montreal by boat, where a humongous team of electricians, landscape artists, painters, carpenters and welders spend a whole month designing the gardens. And then… showtime!

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Montreal Gardens of Light - Good To Know


  • The Gardens are open every day until 9PM, but I strongly suggest visiting after 8PM for those who don’t have kids. By then, the strollers are gone, and the Gardens are much easier to walk around in.
  • Also, there’s no point in going in the daytime. The Lanterns really are most glorious at night, when the colors and characters almost come to life.
  • The Botanical Gardens are easy to get to via public transit, either via the 97 bus on Mont-Royal or via the Pie-IX metro station on the green line (yes, the Montreal metro is color-coded).
  • Until November 3rd.

Have you ever visited the Montreal Gardens of Light? What was your favorite thing about it?


15 Responses so far.

  1. Looks like a lot of fun! What fabulous pictures. Love it!

  2. Charlie says:

    Great photos! I went to see this last week. It’s great, so pretty and such a serene atmosphere!

  3. Hogga says:

    this is so cool, i never knew this existed!

  4. I can’t believe that I have heard of this until now! I am so curious to learn more about the works and the origin of the festival!

  5. This Chinese Lanterns festival looks quite special! The colours are brilliant. And the lantern designs so whimsical. No wonder you enjoy visiting the Botanical Gardens during this festival!

  6. Chris says:

    C’est incroyable! Les photos sont très beau.

  7. J’ai découvert cet évènement cette année (puisque j’habite ici que depuis 2 mois :D ) mais vraiment c’est un spectacle qui vaut le coup ! J’ai adoré !

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