Canada Day in Ontario is typically celebrated with parades, displays of the flag, the singing of the national anthem and, of course, fireworks. The Canada Day long weekend has no shortage of fun activities for everyone. Whether you’re looking to celebrate with friends or spend quality time with the family, we’ve got you covered! Don’t miss out on the fun Canada Day activities that take place across the province during the long weekend. Here are some fun ways you can feel the Canadian spirit in Ontario this weekend.
1. Watch Canada Day fireworks
Fireworks are a big part of Canada Day celebrations. On July 1st, night skies across the country will light up with hundreds of dazzling sparklers. Many Canada Day events feature fireworks viewing parties at night.
Here are a few places to enjoy fireworks in Ontario:
- Spencer Smith Park in Burlington
- Downsview Park in Toronto
- Marina Park in Thunder Bay
- Bird’s Mill Mews & Bracebridge Bay in Bracebridge
- Kempenfelt Bay in Barrie
- Palmer Park in The Township of Scugog
- Ashbridge’s Bay Park in Toronto
Canada’s Wonderland Canada Day Fireworks (July 1st @ 10:00pm)
Visit the park and help celebrate Canada’s birthday. The event will be showcasing live music, authentic Canadian food, street performers, and more! Canada’s Wonderland has the biggest Canada Day celebration in the Greater Toronto Area, so don’t miss it. Grab a drink and join the festivities in Frontier Canada, enjoying some toe-tapping live music and bands. Indulge in delicious Canadian foods, including Alberta Beef Sliders, Montreal Smoked Meat Flatbread, Atlantic Canadian “Halifax Donair”, as well as poutine! Spend your day enjoying 200 attractions, including 17 roller coasters, and then settle in for an explosive fireworks display.
Canada Day Fireworks Boat Cruise & Party (July 1st @ 6:30 PM & 10:00 PM)
Take your Canada Day festivities on board with this epic cruise. You’ll get to enjoy three hours of sailing, skyline and fireworks views, as well as DJs and a dance floor. There will also be a premium bar, a professional photographer, two decks, and a terrace to catch the amazing sunset.
2. Enjoy a picnic in the park
When spending time with friends and family during the Canada Day long weekend, there’s no disputing one of the most important items to plan for is what to eat. However, where you eat is as important as what you eat. One of our favourite Canadian pastimes is to enjoy a picnic and soak up the summer sun. Here are some terrific spots to picnic in Ontario:
- Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa
- High Park in Toronto
- Centennial Park in Etobicoke
- Canatara Beach in Sarnia
- Bayfront Park in Hamilton
- Bell Park in Sudbury
- Norman Park in Kenora
3. Taste classic Canadian cuisine
Enjoy some classic Canadian food and drink that are also recognized around the world:
- Maple syrup: There’s nothing more Canadian than maple syrup! It’s a deliciously sweet treat atop pancakes or waffles, but there are so many other ways to enjoy maple syrup. Try maple butter from Balderson Village Cheese Store, or the delightful fusion of sweet and savoury of the Maple Bacon Donut from Maverick’s Donut Company.
- BeaverTails: A Canadian staple, the BeaverTail is a deep-fried flat pastry that truly celebrates being Canadian.
- Poutine: Poutine is the beloved savoury dish of fries topped with gravy and cheese. A wide variety of poutine types are available during the Canada Day long weekend. One you won’t want to miss is the classic poutine from St. Albert Cheese that includes its irresistible cheese curds.
- Craft beer: Ontario has a thriving craft beer culture, and there’s nothing more rewarding than to sit back, relax and enjoy the brews from trendsetters. Don’t miss Brothers Brewing Co, Side Launch Brewing Company or what’s on tap on the brewery tour with Brew Donkey. Harmon’s in Toronto crafts innovative, non-alcoholic craft beer that is absolutely amazing.
If you are looking for some great events to tempt your tastebuds, check out some of these culinary destinations:
Smorgasburg Toronto (July 1st @ 11:00am – 6:00pm)
TO’s giant food flea market is back! Running every Saturday frim June 29-September 9 at Captain John’s Pier on Toronto’s Harbourfront, 7 Queens Quay East, at the foot of Yonge Street. Every week, experience 50 vendors who represent Toronto’s culinary diversity and burgeoning food and arts scene. Admission to the market is FREE, open to all ages, and everyone from everywhere is welcome!
Canada Day Strawberry Festival (July 1st @ 9:00am – 4:00pm)
Celebrate Canada’s Birthday on July 1st at Downey’s Canada Day Strawberry Festival. Lots of fun, entertainment, great food and strawberries are to be expected! Ready-picked strawberries will be available in the farm store, along with delicious strawberry donuts, pies, pastries, tarts and more. Be sure to stop in to grab your favourites, and enjoy the delectable taste of farm fresh strawberries!
Toronto RibFest (June 30th – July 3rd @ 12:00pm)
Toronto’s largest Ribfest 2023 presented by Ontario Festival Group will take place at Centennial Park located in Etobicoke, Ontario. It’s a convenient area for residents and visitors from all over! This FREE event features 10 of North America’s Best Rib Teams ready to serve you, your friends and family. You can expect award-winning, mouth-watering BBQ smoked ribs, tender pulled pork, juicy smoked brisket, BBQ chicken, smoked sausage and those huge beef “dino” ribs. There will be a variety of festival foods, like The Bloomin’ Onion, Tiny Tom’s mini-donuts, roasted corn, poutines, funnel cakes and of course, to wash it all down, nice cold beer in the Beer Garden. While you chow down, enjoy live music all weekend long featuring tributes to Bob Marley, The Tragically Hip and ACDC, plus a variety of local bands.
4. Kid-tailored Canada Day events
Celebrations at Nathan Phillips Square (July 1st @ 12:00pm – 6:00pm)
Back for the first time since 2017, celebrations will take over the City Hall grounds on July 1st. The day event will feature “high-energy performances from Alpha Rhythm Roots, The Hitmen Drumline, family-friendly programming with Muse Arts and Picasso Painters, “The Giant Storybook” activity from the Department of Imaginary Affairs, and more,” says the city.
Canada Day at Downsview Park (July 1st @ 4:00pm – 10:30pm)
Canada Day at Downsview Park is making a comeback this year, and it’s completely free to attend. All are invited to come out and enjoy a day full of fun and games at Downsview on July 1st. The event will have live entertainment, games for kids, inflatables, vendors, and excitement for visitors of all ages. It wouldn’t be complete without fireworks and food trucks, and Canada Day at Downsview Park will have both.
Tim Horton’s Canada Day Celebrations (July 1st @ 11:00 – 10:30 pm)
Held this year in Newmarket, Ontario, the Tim Horton’s Daytime Concert & Festival will take place at the Riverwalk Commons (200 Doug Duncan Drive). Tim Hortons’ Annual Canada Day Festival will feature:
- Live concerts at Riverwalk Commons
- Food vendors, including a licensed area managed by the North Newmarket Lions Club
- Rides on the Tim Hortons Express Train
- Roaming busker entertainment
- Busker circle shows
- Face painting
Be sure to check out the festivities happening next door on Newmarket’s Main Street. In the evening, why not stay and listen to the music? Then, sit back and enjoy the fireworks display.
Vaughan Celebrates Canada Day (July 1st @ 11:00am – 8:00pm)
Celebrate Canada Day in Vaughan! The annual Vaughan Celebrates Canada Day Event is being held at Boyd Conservation Park. It will feature stage entertainment headlined by Sam Roberts Band, activities, a food zone, a business zone/marketplace with vendor booths and so much more.
Vaughan’s Canada Day features activities for all-ages to enjoy, including:
- Airbrush tattoos
- Axe-throwing (ages 18+) and inflatable axe throwing (all ages)
- LEGO & EverBlock Building Station
- Monkey Movers gymnastics obstacle course
- Ping pong & foosball tables
- Stilt walkers and favourite characters
- Vaughan Camp Activities Zone
- We Got Game! Video gaming stations
We hope you get the chance to explore one of the many Canada Day long weekend events for yourself. And remember, while travelling throughout Ontario, be mindful of the speed limits posted and do not drink and drive. Nothing can be worse than commencing or capping off a great getaway with a speeding ticket, DUI charge, or worse. Additionally, remember to keep our firework safety tips in mind if enjoying festivities at home. To learn more about how traffic tickets can affect your car insurance, please click here.