I am Canadian (born and raised). And, at the risk of generalizing, I’ve noticed at least two things about being Canadian: 1) We’re fiercely proud of our country (even with its long, cold winter because without it, we wouldn’t have such amazing ice to play hockey on, or such incredible slopes to ski on); and, 2) We like a good party.
Canada Day* is such a happy marriage of these two things. So, from fireworks to festivals, here’s a handy guide to some of the top celebrations of our nation’s 144th birthday:
- Parliament Hill in Ottawa: Probably the most well-known Canada Day party, thousands of people head to the Hill at noon to celebrate with the Governor General, the Prime Minister and a ton of Canadian talent, such as Sam Roberts (Quebec), Great Big Sea (Newfoundland and Labrador) and Corb Lund (Alberta). A flyby of CF-18s and Snowbirds is also on the agenda.
- Surrey, B.C.: Vancouver’s well-known suburb hosts Canada’s largest celebration in western Canada and comes alive with free festivities that include live music, amusement park rides and jaw-dropping fireworks.
- Montreal: Make your way to Montreal’s downtown core and take in Canada Day from one of the world’s largest jazz festivals. Every year, the Montreal Jazz Fest features 3,000 artists and more than 650 concerts (including 450 free outdoor performances). Finish the night off with fireworks over the Old Port.
- Halifax: Don your red, white and red and head to downtown Halifax for Canada Day celebrations. Watch the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo Parade, then gather your friends and family and watch the biggest free summer concert at the Commons. Fireworks at the Halifax Harbor are at 10 p.m.
- Edmonton: From parades and fireworks to music and food across the city, the capital of Alberta is bustling with activities on and near July 1.
- Winnipeg: Flee to the Forks, the ‘Peg’s downtown hot spot and take in a variety of entertainment events. Finish the night off with fireworks and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.
After a great party, you’ll need a place to crash. So, check out these deals that will save you lots of cash.
*For those of you who still don’t really know why you’re celebrating, July 1 marks the anniversary of the formation of the union of the British North America provinces into a federation under the name we all know as Canada.