‘Tis the season to pull out your favourite red bucket hat and put a Maple Leaf tattoo on your cheek because, why not? As Canadians, one of our proudest days is fast approaching – and there are so many ways to celebrate! No matter what city you’re in, there are tons of things happening. Read on for a round-up of family-friendly Canada Day events in your city.
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Kids In The Capital did the work for us by compiling a list of fun, family-friendly activities for Canada Day in Ottawa. Here’s a summary of the events located in the Greater Ottawa Area:
• Visit Major’s Hill Park for face painting, live musical and cultural performances with featured artists Elijah Woods and Jamie Fine, pop-up shops and more. This is also a great spot to watch the fireworks over the Ottawa River at the end of the day.
• The National Arts Centre is open from 10 am to 5 pm and is offering free activities like music and dance performances, as well as crafts for the kids!
• Right across from City Hall, find Confederation Park with food trucks, activities, and a weekend-long jazz festival with some of the world’s most recognized jazz artists. Check out TD Ottawa Jazz Festival’s website for the lineup and ticket info.
• Not far from downtown, the Ottawa Champions have a baseball game at 1:30 pm. What a great way to spend July 1st, cheering on a local baseball team!
• There are a ton of museums in Ottawa that have free admission on Canada Day – including the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian War Museum, the Canada Aviation and Science Museum, the Canadian Museum of History, the Bytown Museum, the Canada Science and Technology Museum, the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, and the Canadian Museum of Nature.
Here’s what’s happening in other Ottawa areas:
• Barrhaven: Canada Day in Barrhaven has live bands, a Kidz Zone Activity Area, Stage and Gym, shows, food and non-food vendors, speeches, music and fireworks.
• Orleans: Check out Canada Day on Petrie Island hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Orleans. The beach opens at 11 am with games, children’s activities, entertainment and more!
• Kanata: Canada Day at Walter Baker Park includes live entertainment, a large family fun zone, live bands and more. Fireworks start at 10 pm, check it out!
• Osgoode: The Osgoode Community Centre celebrations begin at 2 pm on July 1st, including a parade, entertainment, a petting zoo, kid’s activities, and fireworks at 10 pm.
• Riverside South: Claudette Cain Park celebrates Canada Day with family-friendly activities and fireworks to close the day.
• Stittsville: On the grounds of Stittsville’s Sacred Heart Highschool, their family-friendly Canada Day celebration has activities for the whole family including a petting zoo, free birthday cake and glow sticks, food by local favourites, and fireworks.
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There’s always so much happening in The Six, it can be hard to choose what to do. For a list of fireworks happening in parks around the city, see Toronto.com. Here’s a break-down of events (and where they are in the GTA), to help figure out your plans.
• Christie Pits:
o Head to Christie Pits Park for a free outdoor film to support a local not-for-profit organization dedicated to sharing quality outdoor cinema with Toronto communities. Check out their website for more information.
o See free Canadian film screenings at TIFF Bell Lightbox at the intersection of King and John Street, starting at 1 pm.
o The TD Toronto Jazz Festival is happening in Yorkville, with some of the biggest names in jazz performing at the 32nd annual festival. Better yet, it’s free!
o Yonge-Dundas Square will be celebrating from 6 am to 5 pm, with an array of fun activities and events for all ages. Hosted by The Community Folk Art Council of Toronto, a non-for-profit organization, the 11th Annual Multicultural Canada Day Celebration will include a parade and performances throughout the day.
• East York:
o Head to East York for a Canada Day Festival, complete with a parade at 10 am, live entertainment, a kid’s area, food, local artisans, and a Local Craft Beer Garden. Find details here.
o Enjoy a Canada Day BBQ at Finchwood Village Shopping Centre from noon to 6 am, with a free BBQ, local artists and dance groups, face painting and a bouncy castle. For more information, see here.
• Fort York:
o Celebrate in the heart of Mississauga at Celebration Square, with a ton of activities including live performances by award winning artists. Check out the details here.
• North York:
o Arts in the Parks brings free, family-friendly arts events and activities to Rustic Park on July 1st from 2 pm to 5 pm. Think theatre performances, dance classes, workshops, movies, festivals and more.
o The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 527 is hosting a Canada Day Celebration with entertainment and a BBQ for kids and adults for free. Join the fun from 1 pm to 6 pm at 948 Sheppard Avenue West in North York, and see their Facebook page for more info.
o Head to Downsview Park for free activities like inflatables and games for children, face painters and live entertainment. Don’t forget to stay for fireworks to end the night!
• Queen’s Park:
o From 10 am to 5 pm, festivities will take place on the grounds of Queen’s Park, with musical and dance performances, roaming performers, and children’s activities like face painting and crafts.
o Beginning at 10 am, stop by for a pancake breakfast at Thomson Memorial Park and stay for live entertainment, activities and more, including the Canada Day Parade, which starts at 4 pm. Check out the day’s schedule here.
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If you’re in London, Ontario, head to Harris Park for celebrations from 11 am to 11 pm. Enjoy food vendors, live entertainment, multicultural performances, free cupcakes (how can you go wrong?), interactive games and exhibits, beer gardens, a kid’s zone and 10PM fireworks. Check out the day’s schedule here.
Trying to figure out where the fireworks will be? Check out this website for all Canada Day fireworks happening in and around London. Enjoy – and don’t forget sunscreen, Canada Day tattoos, and your brightest red attire!
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We could list all the events happening in Calgary this weekend, but Calgary.ca does such a great job for us – check out this amazing list of Canada Day events in Calgary.
One event we’d like to call out – Canada Day at Fort Calgary. Looks like this event is one you can’t miss, on Fort Calgary’s 40+ acres of breathtaking riverfront grounds, enjoy activities like a family-friendly beer garden, a BBQ tent, free scones for the first 1,000 guests, live music, food trucks, kid’s crafts, and so much more. Check it out from 9 am to 4 pm, plus all outdoor activities are free!
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How should you celebrate Canada Day in the beautiful city of Edmonton? We can offer up a few ideas – see below!
• Legislative Assembly Visitor Centre: The main floor of the Edmonton Federal Building will be open to the public on Canada Day. With a schedule of events happening all day (in and outside), and a ton of food trucks to keep the hangry at bay while you celebrate, you can’t go wrong.
• Edmonton Valley Zoo is hosting a scavenger hunt, live music and will teach you about all the Canadian animal friends at the zoo. Find more details here.
• Feeling like a riverboat cruise and fireworks? Celebrate Canada’s birthday on the tranquil waters of the North Saskatchewan River for a sunset cruise. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?
• Head to Fort Edmonton Park for a range of events and fun activities (including a parade), see their website for more info.
• Have an ear for jazz music? TD Edmonton International Jazz Festival ends on Canada Day with a tribute to Rollanda Lee at 2 pm. See To Do Canada for details.
Enjoy your weekend, and happy celebrating!