Gigantic pillow fight at Toronto city hall draws hundreds

Posted on Apr 4, 2016

Feathers were flying in Nathan Philips square, marking international Pillow Fight Day on April 2.

International Pillow Fight Day in Nathan Phillips square.
International Pillow Fight Day in Nathan Phillips square.

Participants young and old slugged it out with foam and feathers in the 7th annual event, which is part of the urban playground movement. Similar events took place in more than 100 cities around the world, attracting tens of thousands of people who came together to have fun throwing pillows.

The melee in front of city hall involved hundreds and lasted three hours.
The melee in front of city hall involved hundreds and lasted three hours.

Several hundred Torontonians, many of them dressed in pajamas or costumes, braved the cold and snow to smash strangers with pillows. One woman joined the fray wearing an off the shoulder wedding dress and swinging a matching beige pillow. A man dressed as Mario ran around tossing giant stuffed mushrooms into the melee.

One pillow wasn't enough for some.
One pillow wasn't enough for some.

The crowd was a mix of university students, families and young couples, and while many appeared to whack at those they knew, a sizeable group of strangers clobbered each other in the centre of the square. As per the rules of the event, participants respectfully refrained from striking at the large crowd of bystanders who were content to watch the mayhem and take photos.

Pillow fighters gave swapped friendly wallops.
Pillow fighters gave swapped friendly wallops.

The purpose of the free event is to get people away from the TV in their living room, and into the “urban living room,” in a conscious celebration of public spaces. Past events organized by the Toronto- based group Newmindspace include TTC subway parties, lightsaber battles and historical reenactments using marshmallows. The group’s first event, a city-wide Easter egg hunt, took place in 2005 and since then they have continued to stage fun, free, all-ages activities around the city.

The battle in front of city hall lasted more than three hours before the last pillow was thrown.

One young girl got bopped on her head by a family member.
One young girl got bopped on her head by a family member.

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