It turns out that the mysterious new glow is actually neither mysterious nor new, as this phenomenon has been spotted several times over the years.
BMO Field’s grow lights pictured shortly after the stadium was expanded in 2016. Photo by Jack Landau.
The explanation? This yellowish light cast into the sky is the result of ultra-bright grow lights used at BMO Field to promote grass growth and keep the stadium’s hybrid playing surface in peak condition through Toronto’s harsh winters.
BMO Field’s grow lights pictured after dark in 2022. Photo by Jack Landau.
BMO Field’s occasional nighttime glow has only increased in intensity in the years since these reports first began to flood in. The stadium was already painting the night sky yellow before even more lights were added a few years ago, adding to the otherworldly effect.
A weird glow in the sky, Toronto west side. At first I thought it was a fire. It’s been happening all week and I just read it’s the BMO soccer field. Apparently every February they use grow lights at night to grow the turf. pic.twitter.com/p4GaMvLpZ3
The stadium introduced additional grow lights to help maintain its natural grass surface in 2019, and now utilizes nine large mobile lighting rigs and an additional six smaller rigs that can cover 65 per cent of the field in artificial light and heat.
BMO field’s got its grow lights on tn, lighting up the west end sky with an orange glow! You can barely tell it’s midnight in this photo with how bright they are! #Torontopic.twitter.com/ORIZc6XA38