The weather was enough to scare Canadians from trick or treating on Oct. 31, with many cities across the country opting to move festivities to Friday, Nov. 1, to avoid getting pummelled by rain.
And even though frights are the reason for the season, some cheeky Halloween displays on lawns near Toronto this year have drawn criticism for possibly going beyond their scope from playful to overly violent or inappropriate.
Milton home sparks controversy
The city of Milton, Ont., received a complaint from a female resident about a man’s Halloween display which she says “normalizes violence against women,” according to Global News.
The decorator, Mitch Garber, says he has put on his grandiose display every year since 2013 to raise funds for charity, the Kidney Foundation. He hopes to reach the $50,000 mark this year.
“I just said, you know, could I actually have a conversation with you about some of the, well, the dismembered female torsos that are out on the lawn?”https://t.co/Uykj9654b2— Global News Toronto (@globalnewsto) October 31, 2019
The complaint triggered a visit from city bylaw officers to Garber’s house. While no specific bylaws exist to address the exact complaints the female resident had — bloodied women’s torsos, skeletons hanging from trees —the family did get a warning that some of their display stretches onto the street, which is city property.
The Garbers will be allowed to go through with their display and clean it up on Nov. 1.
Decoration with direction
In Toronto’s Danforth neighbourhood, a cheeky display captured by Toronto Star photographer Steve Russell is urging parents to vaccinate their kids.
One of the most clever Halloween yard displays I've seen in Toronto is also a great public service announcement, pumpkins and carrots make up measles virus with a "Vaccinate your Kids" headstone underneath in the City's East End. #halloween2019 pic.twitter.com/A7lkCCCdPE— Steve Russell (@SteveRussell) October 31, 2019
The photographer himself called it “the most clever” display he’s seen and a “great public service announcement.”
There have been at least five confirmed cases of measles in Toronto in 2019, but the disease continues to spread in many regions across the country and world.
Russell’s display was shared online hundreds of time shortly after it was published and, unsurprisingly, the comments range from the adoring to the repulsed.
Seniors provide a scare
And in Newfoundland, seniors at a retirement home were having a hell of a time with the holiday.
Residents of Alderwood Estates began dressing up for Halloween last year as a way to celebrate the holiday with their grandchildren. When more than 400 people showed up, they knew they had to do it again this year, according to the CBC.
The theme? “Club Med to Club Dead.”
"The real story here for me is the vitality and sense of humour that the residents have attacked this project with,” the recreation director of the home said.