Walking in a Window Wonderland

December 14, 2010

The animated Christmas windows on Whyte Avenue are pretty swell. There are 9 altogether, stretching from 100th to 109th Street.

This one, with a monkey band playing for a dancing snowman, is in the window of Tin Box, a gift store at 105th Street. That’s my friend Jessica at the end pretending to be animatronic. Her frozen breath gives you some indication of how bitterly cold it was that night. Jessica thinks that every store on Whyte Avenue needs one of these displays and I agree. Back when I was a lad (in the 60s), one of the touchstones of Christmas was going downtown with my sister to see the animated displays in the windows of the Bay (Hudson’s Bay Company) store. In my memory they were large (much larger than the contemporary storefronts), very detailed and complex, told a story, and were totally magical.

Below is a “making of” video. The three monkies are vintage figures from a department store from back in the day. I think that all the windows feature restored vintage mechanical figures, placed in newly created settings.

This is probably my favorite of the windows, at least in terms of intricate detail you can lose yourself in – Santa’s Workshop in the window of the Wee Book Inn (north side of 103rd Street):

The candy factory in the window of Coney Island Candy (103 Street, near the Princess) is fun too:

Check ’em all out. Here’s the website with info and fascinating making-of videos of all the windows.

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One Response to “Walking in a Window Wonderland”


  1. Beautiful! Thanks for showing the creative process too – the amount of effort is amazing and the technical workings behind them is fascinating.


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