How to Celebrate Canada Day

A Guide to Celebrating Canada Day

The 1st July is Canada Day, a day which marks the 1867 Constitution when three separate colonies (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Province of Canada) were joined into one country and Canada was born. The day is often referred to as ‘Canada’s Birthday’ and there is always a grand display of patriotism throughout the nation. So if you have moved or are moving to Canada, you may be thinking how do you celebrate Canada Day? As it’s a national holiday, you may well have the day off to enjoy and take part in the many events and celebrations place across the country.

City Guides


The capital city offers the main events, a large concert at Parliament House including ceremonial activities such as the changing of the guard. Canada’s Air Force demonstration teams such as the Snowbirds will also usually put on a spectacular display.  A music concert takes place in the evening followed by a firework show.


Montreal usually has a full day programme including official ceremonies and lots of family activities such as bouncy castles, face painting and arts and craft workshops.


There are so many family friendly ceremonies and activities going on, you won’t know how to choose. From street fairs to markets and lots of music and dancing, Calgary does a great job of celebrating the event.


Edmonton puts on a light show accompanied to music at the High Level Bridge followed by a firework display over the river.


The Maple Lodge Family Fun-Fest is not to be missed, a free concert with some great acts followed by fireworks at the end of the night.

Quebec City

The city offers many free events including exercise sessions such as yoga and aerobics, a flag-raising ceremony and a family festival.


Toronto usually has many events planned, the most popular ones being fireworks. Head to Ashbridges Bay for one of the best displays and viewpoints.


Make sure to check out the jazz festival stages at Granville Island and the live entertainment in Downtown Canada.

Family Friendly Events

Even if you don’t live in one of the major cities, there will more than likely be local events for you to enjoy such as firework displays. It’s always a great excuse to have a celebratory meal also either at home or at one of the food festivals.

If you are moving with your family, Canada Day is a great day for children with lots of face painting, music acts and street artists to entertain them.  It can also be a low cost day out as many of the public events are free to attend and just being in one of the main cities at this time to enjoy the atmosphere is an experience in itself.  Celebrations and activities usually last the whole day and go on well into the evening so be prepared for a long day if you want to experience it all!

Don’t forget to dress for the occasion! Maple leaf flags are a must and make sure to wear red and white in some form to truly get into the spirit of the occasion. Some Canadians will go all out and spray their hair red or wear temporary Canadian flag tattoos or stickers. Many expats comment on the sense of national pride and community they experience on this day so joining in is a great way to make Canada start to feel like home.

There are many events planned for Canada 150 in 2017 when Canada will celebrate 150 years of the Confederation. If you are lucky enough to be in Canada at this time, make sure to do you research and find out about all of the events that are planned to make sure that you can make the most of it.

For further information, check out the Canadian Government website regarding Canada Day: Canada Day from Coast to Coast.

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