Forest Hill’s Annual Heddington Avenue Halloween Display is Set, by Josh Sherman
It started with a single painting that Barbara Gordon made back in 1998 for her then two-year-old son. “I thought, why not put it out for Halloween,” says Gordon. So she did. “It brought lots of kids to the front door, and so then I did it again the next year, and then the next year,” she adds. From those humble beginnings, Gordon’s impromptu art exhibit has turned into a large-scale annual charitable Halloween trick-or-treat event on Heddington Avenue in Forest Hill. “Like so many things in life, this has sort of developed without my making any decisions about it,” she muses. Each year, Gordon displays paintings she’s done of pop culture icons ranging from Spider Man and Batman to Thriller-era Michael Jackson, getting a helping hand from neighbours who show her works on their lawns, too. The free event now draws hundreds of kids and parents every Halloween from places as far away as Mississauga, Scarborough and Markham. When she realized how popular the evening was becoming, Gordon decided to start raising money at it for a good cause. Since 2013 she’s raised $1,800 for SickKids Foundation, with $500 in donations pouring in this year before the October 31st event. As an added activity this Halloween, Happy Faces Party will be on hand offering face painting from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. For $15, kids can get a 10-minute basic face painting and for $25 a more detailed 15-minute session. All proceeds go to the SickKids foundation. Afterwards, the trick-or-treating begins. In the past it’s wound down around 8:30 p.m., but there’s no formal end time set for the Annual Heddington Halloween Display. “I don’t close the door,” says Gordon.