Photostory #484: The Magic World of a Christmas Fairyland
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archive
When fresh soft snows draw their downy mantle of ermine majesty over all the land and a myriad colored lights match the stars above twinkle for twinkle, then is the time that the fantasy of Montreal's Lafontaine Park weaves its special spell of wonderment for young and old alike. For here, where all the most lovable and benevolent of characters from fairyland come to life for the Christmas season, is formed a magic looking glass that can vie with Alice's for those who wish to step across its threshold. Here is Humpty Dumpty sitting on his wall with much more safety than in the book. Goldilocks' house with three real live bears, Hansel and Gretel with the candy-cane cottage, Snow White and her seven dwarfs, Noah's Ark with a long-necked giraffe acting as lookout, brash Bugs Bunny and little Tom Thumb, and dozens of others including even Alice in Wonderland herself. Add an assortment of animals, large and small, in wonderland settings, magic pools with flashing fish, toadstool streetlights, castles, minarets, birds, towers and temples, plus the overall enchantment of yuletide, and this particular part of Canada becomes the Garden of Wonders indeed. Open this year for its fifth fairyland season, every afternoon and evening, from December 20 to January 6, Lafontaine Park, which even in summer is such a big attraction with elephants and giant tortoises, sea lions and llamas, takes on an additional magical dimension during the wonderful time called Christmas.