Spooners Lane Light Tunnel
When Central Huron Community Improvement Co-ordinator Angela Smith first envisioned a light tunnel for Spooners Lane in the downtown core of Clinton, she did not realize how interactive the attraction could be.
She first saw the concept in the Distillery District in Toronto and began the long process of bringing something similar to Clinton as a way of helping the community heal from a pair of disastrous fires that resulted in two vacant lots where heritage storefronts once stood. The first fire made way for a lovely park and greenspace to replace the vacancy on the west side of the main street. The second fire a few years later was a little more difficult when it came to recovery. The building lost was the south wall to the historic Spooners Lane beside the beautiful restored town hall.
The first mention in records was a bid in 1885 to save the lane that allowed access to stables behind the main street so that shoppers could easily tie up their horse and carriage while they shopped and did their business in town. To rebuild on history, the lane had been revitalized in the 1980s with benches, planters and security lights.
The light tunnel project took three years to complete from conception to installation, and with some of the timeframe being delayed due to the pandemic, the tunnel framework was finally set up late last year with help from students from Central Huron Secondary School. The lights are now run by technology that wasn’t even available when Smith first proposed the project.
Thanks to the latest technology, the light tunnel is now a computer-controlled, completely programmable attraction that is even interactive with changing colours and patterns. Smith is excited about the new technology and it has completely changed the vision she had from a static display to something much more dynamic and interesting for the visitors.
Each post of the structure has a QR code that you can scan with your phone and control the lights, choosing from a library of preprogrammed colours and patterns. The default program will change based on the season, holiday or in support of local groups and events. In early March, the tunnel was lit blue and yellow in support of the people of Ukraine.
The tunnel is fast becoming a popular photo destination with its first marriage proposal happening within days of the tunnel’s completion and many calls about wedding photos.
Stop in at the tunnel to see what’s new, at 23 Albert Street, Clinton just north of the lights.