11 Places You Should Spend Canada Day at Least Once

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Bucket List Worthy  

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Canadians have been celebrating the unique history, culture and birth of Canada on July 1st since 1868, and the festivities are growing bigger and better every year. So dress up in your best red and white, and head to one of these top Canada Day festivities in celebration of everything that makes the Great White North so amazing. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, hop on a cheap flight deal to check out something new for Canada Day!

#1. The Capital City, Ottawa

Photo credit: Joel Bedford
Photo credit: Joel Bedford

The streets of downtown Ottawa are closed to traffic for the country’s biggest Canada Day celebration. The festivities begin at 9 a.m. with a flag-raising ceremony on Parliament Hill and continue throughout the capital until the massive fireworks display caps off the celebration after dark.

#2. Canada Place, Vancouver

Photo credit: GoToVan
Photo credit: GoToVan

Canada Place hosts the second largest Canada Day celebration in the country with 13 hours of family-friendly live performances, activities, exhibits, food and one of the country’s most famed fireworks displays.

#3. The Canada Day Extravaganza, Toronto

Photo credit: Steven Talunay
Photo credit: Steven Talunay

Harbourfront Centre hosts the biggest Canada Day bash in Toronto from June 27 to July 1. This four-day-long festival features world-renowned musical performances, the 2014 SoundClash Music Award finals, the creation of a human Canadian flag and the famous Canada Eve fireworks show on June 30.

#4. Whoa Canada!, Moncton

Photo credit: Stephen Downes
Photo credit: Stephen Downes

The city of Moncton hosts New Brunswick’s largest Canada Day festivity with live performances by Platinum Blonde, Wilfred LeBouthillier and a wide variety of musical artists. The day kicks off with a Canada Day bike ride and continues through a number of concerts and family-friendly  activities until an elaborate fireworks display finishes the day at 10 p.m.

#5. Canada Day at the Forks, Winnipeg

Photo credit: AJ Batac
Photo credit: AJ Batac

Musicians fill three stages at The Forks, keeping Winnipeg locals and visitors dancing from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Canada Day. In addition to tons of free music, the day is filled with family-friendly activities from an obstacle course to drawing games, a free photo booth, a tribal village and tons more.

#6. Charlottetown’s Big Red Music Festival, Charlottetown

Photo credit: Martin Cathrae
Photo credit: Martin Cathrae

The annual Big Red Music Festival will be taking over Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island to kick off Canada Day celebrations at the tail end of June. The two-day-long music festival will take place June 28-29 and will feature some of North America’s favorite artists including Adam Baldwin, Marianas Trench and the Sam Roberts Band.

#7. See Canada’s Strongest Man, Regina

Photo credit: Western Canada's Strongest Man
Photo credit: Western Canada’s Strongest Man

Western Canada’s  Strongman Competition steals the show in Regina on Canada Day, but the crowning of Canada’s strongest man isn’t all the city has to offer. Dragon boat rides, tons of live music, food and craft vendors, dog shows, face painting, a grand fireworks display and tons of other exciting holiday events and activities are available for visitors to enjoy at Wascana Centre park.

#8. Canada Day at the Falls, Niagara Falls

Photo credit: John Piercy
Photo credit: John Piercy

Celebrate Canada at one of the country’s most beautiful cities — Niagara Falls. The day kicks off with a 5-kilometer run and walk in downtown Niagara Falls and continues with a parade, a car show, live music, a motorcycle show, BMX demonstrations and tons of family-friendly activities for kids and adults.

#9. The Old Port, Montreal

Photo credit: abdallahh
Photo credit: abdallahh

From the famous Canada Day cake to the inflatable village, cannon salute, live concerts and a 9-minute-long fireworks show, you can’t go wrong with spending your Canada Day in the Old Port of Montreal. The festivities begin at 11 a.m. and the action doesn’t stop until the final firework has flown.

#10. Dartmouth Crossing, Halifax-Dartmouth

Photo credit: EyeofJ
Photo credit: EyeofJ

If the free Sam Roberts Band concert isn’t enough of a reason to head to Dartmouth for Canada Day, the tattoo parade, beer garden, obstacle courses, Canada Day birthday cake and countless other events and activities will blow you away. And don’t forget about the world-famous Halifax Harbour fireworks show, which you can see directly from your place in the crowd at the concert.

#11. Canada’s Wonderland, Vaughn

Photo credit: laben8
Photo credit: laben8

With over 6,000 fireworks explosions — including some designed specifically for Canada’s Wonderland — the country’s largest amusement park is the best place for thrill-seekers to spend Canada’s birthday. Spend your day riding roller coasters or testing out the park’s new Wonder Mountain’s Guardian ride then finish it all with a fireworks display that rivals all others.

About the Author: Courtney McCaffrey

Courtney McCaffrey is a travel writer and editor based in Wilmington, N.C. In addition to writing, she lives for travel - seeing new places, experiencing new cultures and surfing new waves.

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