Canadian Tire Lights Up Toronto’s Union Station With Christmas Spirit Tree

Canadian Tire - Christmas Spirit TreeBefore the days of WalMart, Home Depot and other big box stores most of us watched our parents buy strands of Christmas lights from Canadian Tire to gracefully outline the silhouettes of our houses. Times have changed, but Canadian Tire is still there to supply us with illuminated Christmas spirit; and in 2011 the iconic Canadian brand is helping to light up the Grand Hall of Toronto’s Union Station thanks to the power of mobile and social media.

The Canadian Tire Christmas Spirit Tree is a state-of-the-art 30 foot tall installation consisting of 3000 LED lights powered by the positive messages of Christmas spirit being exchanged on Facebook, Twitter and posts to The white lights represent social networks like Facebook and Twitter, red lights represent posts on blogs and forums, green lights represent news articles and blue lights represent the messages posted at the website.

But apparently it’s even cooler than that. Our favorite (we use it at Delvinia) social media monitoring platform, Sysomos, is used to track a number of holiday keywords including “reindeer” and “elf”. The light bulbs then react to the data, shining brighter or dimmer according to the sentiment of the messages.

The Canadian Tire Christmas Spirit Tree is on display in-person at Toronto’s Union Station and on a live video stream at from December 12-26 from 6am to midnight. There are floor mat ads and column advertising in the lower GO concourse directing commuters upstairs to the Grand Hall to view the tree in person.

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  1. Glad you liked it. If you have any questions about how it works, let me know. Did you see you could text the tree to make it light up? There’s a bunch of easter eggs too.

    • You seem to have covered all the bases in getting content to the tree – text, posts at the site, and keyword monitoring

      • Thanks Randy. There’s also different thresholds for the amount of Christmas spirit we’re finding. There’s 5 levels, right now we’re riding between level 1 and level 2, so you’ll see the intensity of the lighting change based on the amount of mentions we’re capturing. 

        We’re basing that on ratios from last years numbers… level 3 should happen on the 20th. Level 4 some time between the 20th and 23rd. And level 5 should be Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.We hope. 🙂

      • Oh and one other thing. All the data connectivity on site is going over Rogers LTE rocketsticks. We couldn’t get internet onsite, so we had to do cellular. It’s blazing fast, and that’s why you’re only seeing a 2 – 3 second delay on the HD livestream.

  2. how did joe get here first? thanks for the post Randy – we’re all excited about the reception the tree is getting across canada!

  3. mery christmas everyone. 2 all a good night

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