A look at Terra Lumina, the Toronto Zoo’s trippy, multisensory nighttime walk

A look at Terra Lumina, the Toronto Zoo’s trippy, multisensory nighttime walk

A performer at opening night of Terra Lumina

What would the world look like if we solved climate change? Terra Lumina, a new multimedia experience at the Toronto Zoo, transports visitors 80 years into a future, a time when balance is restored on the planet. Along a 1.5-kilometre outdoor path—layers, long johns and toe warmers are highly encouraged—visitors walk past eight zones with projections and pyrotechnic light shows featuring holographic icebergs and animals. The exhibit, which runs until April 13, was created by the Montreal-based production studio Moment Factory over the course of nine months. Here’s a look.

The journey takes about 45 minutes to complete:


Visitors begin at the Arch Passage, walking through two staggered semi-circles with plenty of fog effects:


There are several holographic animations in Terra Lumina. Here, wolves appear to leap out of a nearby cliff and howl together as a pack:  


An installation called Polar Power incorporates an empty polar bear enclosure (no real animals are part of the experience). In one holographic animation, icebergs regenerate out of the ocean:


The soundtrack features music from Eya-Hey Nakoda, a group from the Stoney Nakoda First Nation near Calgary. Moment Factory collaborated with several First Nations artists and consultants to help with the storytelling:


Bold illuminated phrases appear in the darkness:


In the Luminous Forest, light beams stream out from the trees, pulsating with the cadence of the music. Each soundtrack was created specific to each experience:


A glowing cocoon tucked into the forest draws visitors to listen to a short recorded tale about the importance of cherishing each of the Earth’s species:


A holographic buffalo appears through the trees at Words of Wisdom, delivering another short, inspirational narration among twinkling stars:


At the Circle of Life, visitors beat drums surrounding a garden of lights. Each beat makes the lights near the drum glow brighter:


Just before the final installation, a tunnel of lights glow and pulse in sync with electronic beats:


Seeds of Change is the last installation, offering a few contemplative phrases that light up the steps of an amphitheatre:

2000 Meadowvale Road, torontozoo.com/terralumina.