Ringing in the New Year needn’t be a pricey affair, especially if you live close to major cities across Canada. With a number of free festivities and events taking place across the country, here are our picks for the best bashes -- and hot hotel deals. Don’t forget that public transit is usually free all night in cities across the country, allowing revellers to get home safely.
Canada’s largest city, Toronto, hosts the CityTV New Year’s Bash, featuring Canadian television personalities Gord Martineau, Tracy Moore, Kevin Frankish and Dina Pugliese. The event takes place at Nathan Phillips Square. Canadian performers such as Shawn Desman and Divine Brown will entertain the masses.
One of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations, Niagara Falls pulls out all the stops for the last day of the year. Rick Campanelli and Cheryl Hickey, hosts of ET Canada, will preside over a star-studded event at Queen Victoria Park. Fireworks will explode at 9 p.m. and midnight. Top-billed performers include Great Big Sea, The Barenaked Ladies and hip-hop star Kardinal Offishall. Stay in Niagara Falls for 20% less at this hotel.
Head to Montreal’s Old Port and take in its charming cobblestone streets, narrow pathways and quaint shops. The New Year’s Eve Grand Bal features Quebecois folk music, dancing and entertainment in the main square. When the clock strikes midnight, dazzling fireworks will light up the sky. Head to Le Westin Old Montreal for 30% savings on current rates.
Canada’s self-proclaimed “festival city” presents an indoor/outdoor New Year’s Eve Downtown 2010 party. Take a horse and wagon ride, skate at Edmonton City Hall, watch a magic show or participate in arts and crafts. Live music ranging from reggae to country will be playing on two stages. Stay at the Ramada Edmonton for $99 a night.
Atlantic Canada won’t miss out on the fun, with the Halifax Grand Parade scheduled for Dec. 31. Join in and listen to East Coast musicians including award-winning Gordie Sampson, Jimmy Rankin and more. This year, the municipality will pay tribute to the 2011 Halifax Canada Winter Games. Stay in Halifax on New Year’s Eve for $99 per night.