The Bentway Animal Parade

Join a community parade that honours the resilient urban animals who persist along highways and streets, with special guest Little Amal. Local residents are invited to create their own animal mask or welcome flag celebrating Little Amal’s visit to The Bentway. Presented with Luminato Festival Toronto, with creations by Red Pepper Spectacle Arts.

For anyone visiting The Bentway, they may be surprised to learn that this urban corridor is home to many animals who roam its length. On any given day, you might see a lone red fox crossing or a chattering group of starlings, or catch a glimpse of a groundhog before it dashes underground. These are just a few of the many creatures who co-exist with the concrete. 

Join us for The Bentway Animal Parade, a community procession that honours the resilient urban animals who live in relation to our highway and downtown core. 

There will be a very special guest at this parade who will be meeting these animals for the first time. Please join us in welcoming Little Amal, a 12-foot-tall puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee, who has travelled to 90 cities across Europe and New York City in search of her mother. In June she will walk across the Greater Toronto Area for 5 days, looking for a home. She will be welcomed by musicians, dancers, children and elders, civic leaders, community organizers, newcomers, and fellow refugees, in a magical festival of art and hope, presented by Luminato Festival Toronto in association with many other cultural partners across the city.

Join Little Amal as she explores the Gardiner Expressway and the many animals that call this urban playground home. Featuring delightful puppets and performances by Red Pepper Spectacle Arts, this hour-long parade will introduce Little Amal to the local animal community, including birds, foxes, beavers, and more.

You can even learn to make a puppet to join the parade, where you’ll get to create your own animal mask or welcome flag to celebrate meeting Little Amal!

WALK WITH AMAL TORONTO is produced by The Walk Productions and Luminato Festival Toronto, in association with Handspring Puppet Company.

What to expect:

  • Performance will last approximately 1 hour, and will travel throughout the entire Bentway site.
  • This is a roving event, where the audience will follow Little Amal and the puppet performance.
  • All gender and accessible washrooms available from 10am – 8:30pm.
  • Wheelchair accessible.
  • This performance takes place outdoors, and we encourage you to dress appropriately.


co-presenters & other partners