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What’s the story with the tiger made of Christmas lights at Christie and Bloor?

What’s the story with the tiger made of Christmas lights at Christie and Bloor?
Have a roaring winter (Photo by Damien D.)

A massive illuminated tiger doesn’t scream “deck the halls” quite like an inflatable Frosty or a nativity scene, but sometimes it’s nice to take a break from the usual holiday suspects. Although the tiger has nothing to do with the birth of Christ, the Korea Town Business Improvement Area lights him up every winter to symbolize, according to Korean mythology, well-being and prosperity. The organization commissioned Baekho, the 17-by-8.5-foot jungle cat, to mark the advent of a neighbourhood rejuvenation project back in 2005. Since then, the BIA has done much to upgrade the area, though none of its other initiatives—sidewalk beautification, improved garbage collection—exude the in-your-faceness of Baekho. He’s made out of more than 1,300 pounds of aluminum and 22,000 orange and white LED bulbs. Should he spark ambitions (à la Clark Griswold) of one-upping your neighbours’ light-up lawn trinketry, be warned: Baekho came with a $50,000 price tag and costs $7,000 annually to maintain and store.

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