The Northern Light Dining Experience


NOTE: Due to provincial health restrictions on indoor dining, the Northern Light Dining Experience was cancelled in 2020. We do plan to relaunch this experience in 2021, subject to Covid-19 restrictions. Sign up below for notifications and udpates.

This winter, make special memories with a unique dining experience that is full of the season’s beauty. Dine deliciously – and safely – with the people you love in a one-of-a-kind indoor setting, then step outside to enjoy Luminaria, the Garden’s annual celebration of light.

The Northern Light Dining Experience includes a three-course gourmet fondue served in one of our unique, private, charmingly decorated indoor spaces. You and your group of up to six (from the same household) will have exclusive access to your dining space for the evening. Before or after your meal, you can enjoy snowy illuminated pathways of Luminaria, sip some apple cider by a bonfire, and revel in the beauty of winter.

Your fondue – that quintessential winter delight – will be served in three delicious savoury and sweet courses, created with ingredients sourced from local and Canadian food and beverage artisans. All enjoyed in the lush, plant-filled setting of one of our indoor showhouses, or in the gracious Ozawa Pavilion and Ikoi no  ba teahouses. All just steps away from the stars, candles and lights of Luminaria.

If you have a special occasion to celebrate, let us know and we can help you customize your visit with personalized hand-painted cards.

Reserve Your Northern Light Dining Experience

The Northern Light Dining Experience includes access to your unique indoor dining location from 4:30 to 10 pm, a delicious three-course fondue meal in a unique, private indoor dining location, and admission to the Luminaria event until 10 pm. $125 per person + tax

Wow! We have had an incredible response to the new Northern Light Dining Experience and our available spaces sold out in just a few hours. We’re thrilled with the response and are working on adding additional capacity.

Sign up if you want to be notified when more spaces open up.

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FAQs – good to read before you order

What’s on the menu?
We have a carefully curated assortment of savoury and sweet goodies – Swiss style cheese fondue, broth fondue and chocolate fondue – all served with an assortment of delicious dippers (meats, breads, fruit, vegetables and sweets).

What about allergies?
Our facilities and products contain nuts, wheat and dairy products. Please contact us if you have any concerns.

Do you offer vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free or pork-free options?
For vegetarians, we can add more vegetables as a substitute for meat. We can substitute bread for a gluten-free option, and can also adjust for a pork-free diet. At this time, we are not able to offer other substitutions, though in future seasons we will refine the menu further.

Are there child-friendly portions?
For children, we can provide smaller portions of menu items at a lower price. To learn more about the child-friendly option please email or call.

How many people can be in a group for the Northern Light Dining Experience?
The maximum number of guests in each dining space is six. Groups must be made up of people from the same household, or in the case of individuals who live alone, they may dine with two members of an established cohort.

What safety measures are in place to minimize the spread of COVID-19? What about masks?
Each of our indoor dining spaces is used by only one group per evening (from the same household), and is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between uses. The Luminaria event is outdoors, and capacities are limited. Serving staff wear masks. It is University policy that masks be worn inside buildings enroute to your private dining space, but once at your dining space, masks are not required. We are recommending that when you enjoy the outdoor Luminaria experience, you wear a mask. It improves safety for everyone, plus it keeps your face warm!

How long can we stay?
You can plan to arrive anytime after 4:30 pm. You will have exclusive access to your dining space between 4:30 and 10 pm, and can enjoy the outdoor Luminaria before or after your meal, or between courses, until 10 pm. We do recommend you arrive before 6:30 pm to get the most out of your evening.

Where will we be dining? Can we choose our spot?
Exclusive dining locations are in the Ozawa Pavilion Teahouse and the next door Ikoi no ba, both overlooking the Kurimoto Japanese Garden. Dining spaces are also located in the plant-filled Temperate and Tropical Showhouses. We will assign the locations based on group size and availability.

Can I bring my own drinks or food?
Outside alcohol and food is not permitted. Mineral water, coffee, tea and hot chocolate will be provided. Wine, beer, cider and non alcoholic beverages are available for purchase. Alcohol consumption is restricted to your dining location.

How should I prepare? Is there anything we should bring?
Plan to dress appropriately for outdoor weather, with warm comfortable footwear, so you can enjoy the Luminaria event. Because of the unique nature of our dining locations, some areas are kept at somewhat cooler temperatures. While space heaters will be in place,  we recommend dressing in layers and bringing blankets and slippers to stay cozy while you dine.

What is the cancellation policy?
There are no refunds for the Northern Light Dining Experience, with some exceptions:

  • If you or any member of your party has symptoms of Covid (eg. sore throat, fever, cough), are in quarantine or isolating, please do  not come to the Garden. Contact us to arrange for a refund before 12 pm on the day of your dinner to receive a full refund. Cancellations received after 12 pm will be reviewed on a case by case  basis.
  • If,  before 12 pm on the day of your dining reservations, there is a severe weather warning issued by Environment Canada, the Garden may cancel the experience. We will notify you by phone and reschedule to another date.
  • If the temperature drops below a certain temperature threshold the Garden may cancel the experience. We will notify you by phone and reschedule to another date.

I want to celebrate a special occasion. Can you help?
We sure can! We can help you customize your Northern Light Dining Experience with special touches like personalized cards and plants to take home from our greenhouses. If you want to surprise a special someone, we can help. Call us to make arrangements.

Any rules I should know about?
You can help to keep the Garden a beautiful, special place by staying out of plant beds in the showhouses, and not picking any plant material. Please stick to the pathways when you’re outside at the Luminaria event – there is fragile plant life under the snow. Important to remember: pets and smoking (of any kind) are not permitted at the Garden. Please check our Visitor Guidelines before you come.

I would like to be a Northern Light Dining Experience supplier partner. How do I get involved?
You can contact us at

For more information, contact