Tree has over 200,000 lights; event attended by thousands of people
Canadian tennis star Bianca Andreescu lit up the iconic 33-metre-tall Eaton Centre Christmas tree on Thursday at its fourth annual lighting event.
The first-ever U.S. Open Canadian single’s champion led thousands of holiday revellers in a countdown to light the tallest Christmas tree in Toronto. This year’s celebration also featured live music from an electric violinist, Dr. Draw, and DJ 4KORNERS.
“Bianca is a great Canadian champ,” said Sheila Jennings, general manager of the Eaton Centre. “She exhibits our core values and we think that it was a great match to have her here hosting what is the beginning of the holiday season.”
The tree features over 200,000 lights, 1,730 branches and weighs 14,500 kilos. A team of 10 to 12 people spent two weeks putting up the tree, which will stay up until New Year’s Day.
Jennings said this gathering represents an important night for the city because it connects people from all walks of life.
“Bringing communities together is at (our company’s) core,” Jennings said. “We believe having amazing spaces where Canadians can come and enjoy, discover and explore is just so important to this gathering.”
Ruth Knowles of Nottingham, England, brought her family to the Christmas tree unveiling while visiting Toronto for the first time.
“It’s really huge and impressive lit up,” Knowles said of the tree. “I’m looking forward to the festivities and it now feels like Christmas … it’s really festive with all the snow this week.”
Toronto local Randy Currie brought the joy and cheer of Christmas to his girlfriend. He bought matching Christmas hats and mugs for them to wear and took her to the tree lighting for her first time.
“It’s super tall and I love it,” said Currie. “I’ve lived here my whole life and never came before…. My girlfriend loves Christmas so much, so we came down here to watch the lights.”
Cadillac Fairview, which owns the mall, is lighting up the nation with five tree lighting events in partnership with Starbucks Canada, including one at CF Markville on Nov. 15, marking the shopping centre’s second annual tree lighting.