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Canada Day is fast approaching and will take place on 1st July, meaning Canadians from across the country will gather to celebrate everything that makes this country great.
It is the perfect time to visit as there will be lots of festivals, fireworks and other celebrations that you can enjoy. You should make sure you look out for those cheap flights to Canada as there will be plenty of options for you to fly to, from the likes of Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and other large cities over this period.
Before you start booking your flights you need to learn all about this day of celebration and here, we give you an insight into what Canada Day is and where the best places to celebrate the day are.
What is Canada Day?
Canada Day occurs on 1st July to commemorate the joining of Canada’s original three provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the Canada province, which is now known as Ontario and Quebec) as one nation in 1867.
The holiday was formerly known as Dominion Day to represent the Dominion of Canada in the British empire before it was renamed in 1982. Now Canadians from all over the world celebrate what has become known as Canada’s birthday.
Where should I celebrate Canada Day?
If you’re looking to go on holiday to Canada so you can join in with all the fun, then take a look at the best places you can celebrate the holiday.
The capital of the province of Quebec is a great place to head to for Canada Day celebrations and you won’t be the only one there as the cobbled streets of Vieux-Québec will be full of festival goers.
There is so much to do in the city such as cycling the Samuel-de-Champlain bike path and learning about the city’s rich history and French connection. The countless walks that are available will offer views at every turn.
Tour guide Samuel Dubois from A Free Tour of Quebec, who offer walking tours in the city, tells us why Quebec City should be a must-visit during the Canada Day celebrations.
“In Québec City, we usually have some activities to celebrate Canada Day. I would say go to the battlefields park museum of the plains of Abraham (to learn more about one of the most important battles in North America and one of Canada’s most prestigious city parks).
“Also visit the Fort Saint-Louis and the fortification to learn about the beginning of new France and the history of the fortification. Usually, both activities are free on Canada Day. Don’t miss the chance to get a piece of giant Canada cake at the terrace Dufferin offered by the Frontenac Castle! It is a sweet tasty tradition! Also, fireworks happen in the old town and a free concert takes place (the schedule is not announced yet).”
As one of the oldest cities in North America with its European feel and rich history, it is very much a home from home for many. With so much to learn about the history of this magnificent city, Samuel Dubois recommends you take this in by visiting some iconic sites.
“I would really suggest you visit The Museum of Civilisation and get into the ‘this is our story’ exhibition to learn about the history of the First Nations and their challenge now. If you have a car, I would also suggest visiting Wendake to learn even more about the Huron and Wendat history. It is not too far from Québec City centre and it is quite interesting! We must not put aside the history of the native nation.
“Don’t forget to get some maple syrup to take back home. Quebec is the largest producer of Maple Syrup in the world. The essence of the Canadian flag!”
Prince Edward Island
Happy Canada Day from Prince Edward Island 🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/KYc39lOOSG
— TourismPEI (@tourismpei) July 1, 2018
Prince Edward Island might be Canada’s smallest province, but its rolling landscapes, pristine beaches and rich history make it a great destination to celebrate Canada Day.
Charlottetown, the capital of the province, is the Birthplace of Confederation and the city is famed for putting on lots of extra-special events such as live musical performances, free treats and one of the country’s largest firework displays.
Albert Bond, a travel blogger who grew up in London and is one half of Backpacking With The Bonds, tells us why Prince Edward Island is a must-visit during the Canada Day celebrations.
“Without a doubt, we highly recommend Prince Edward Island, Canada. It’s not only one of the best places to visit in Canada but would be the perfect place to celebrate Canada Day. Prince Edward Island has some of the most stunning coastlines and tranquil landscapes in all of North America. From the picturesque lighthouses to the majestic countryside, Prince Edward Island is perfect for anyone who loves being out in nature. Given the island’s history with the founding of Canada, it only makes sense to celebrate Canada there. PEI, as it’s also known is best visited in spring, summer, and the fall. Based on our own experience we recommend the fall when the crowds are sparse and the air crisp and cool.”
SEE ALSO: The Four Corners of Atlantic Canada
— carlososorio (@carlososorio) July 1, 2018
After you’ve checked for cheap flights to Toronto around Canada Day and arranged your accommodation, then you can soak up the plethora of festivities that take place across this vibrant city.
If you love fireworks, then you will love Canada Day in Toronto as there are countless displays that take place in locations all over the city and we’ve listed some below:
•Ashbridges Bay Park
Other great things you could try on Canada Day include taking a day cruise from Toronto harbour. You can enjoy lunch and dinner or go on a special fireworks cruise.
At the Harbourfront Centre, there will be a four-day festival to celebrate Canada Day 2019 and this will feature music celebrating the country. Every artist performing at the festival will include one song that relates to the Canadian songbook.
Province: British Columbia
This coastal gem is one of the most popular destinations in Canada and it’s not your average holiday destination with the Pacific Ocean and the Coastal Mountain range just a stone’s throw away. This means that you could potentially go kayaking one day and skiing the next!
During the Canada Day celebrations, there are a whole host of parades, fireworks and other events you can enjoy.
Canada Place in downtown Vancouver is one of the best places to enjoy Canada Day, but it is also one of the busiest as well. The event features a waterfront party with crowds able to listen to free music on two stages as well as lots of attractions for children to enjoy too. On a big screen, you will be able to enjoy the very best from Canadian film and you can also get a taste of Vancouver by trying delicious treats from the iconic food trucks.
The iconic parade is just a 10-minute walk from Canada Place and the evening fireworks are also a short distance away at the neighbouring Coal Harbour. A great tip is to get a good spot along the seawall at Coal Harbour or around the Convention Centre to get some stunning views of the massive firework display.
Lina Fitzner, a storyteller with Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours who specialise in historic walking trips, tells us about some of the places she recommends you should visit on Canada Day.
“There are so many incredible ways to celebrate our country’s anniversary in Vancouver that it is hard to choose just one! My personal top choice for Canada Day celebrations would be to head to Steveston Village in Richmond, to check out the Salmon Festival! Seeing as I work for a historical Walking Tour Company in Vancouver, Steveston Village is a favourite for me, an incredible historic site just a short drive away from Downtown Vancouver. Visitors can visit the Historic Gulf of Georgia Cannery, The Britannia Shipping Yards, The Interurban Tram and the fresh fisherman’s market on the Pier!
“The Salmon Festival is perfect for adults and kids alike; enjoy a pancake breakfast, Parade, Japanese Cultural Fair, Craft Fair, concerts and a world famous Salmon BBQ! Canada Day in Steveston attracts up to 70,000 visitors! Situated right on the water with beautiful BC scenery, this is a must see and do!
“It’s no secret that Vancouver is a gorgeous city! Untouched natural habitats outside city limits, mountains, the ocean and a fast-paced metropolis. Whatever your interests, there is something for everyone! People from all over the Lower Mainland celebrate Canada in their own special way, watch the fireworks at Coal Harbour, hike up a local mountain, enjoy a picnic at the beach or head out to a local glacier-fed lake and spend the day there with friends, there’s really no limit to the possibilities in Vancouver!”
There’s no better place to celebrate Canada Day than in the capital of the country and once again there will be plenty of events that the whole family can enjoy.
There will be live entertainment, firework shows and family activities during a fun-packed few days and here we’ve listed some of the sites throughout Ottawa that host events.
– Parliament Hill – Celebrating Canada Day on Parliament Hill is a special experience. You will be able to enjoy lots of shows, ceremonial events and there will be lots of activities to enjoy.
– Major’s Hill Park – Just a few minute’s walk from Parliament Hill, this large green space plays host to an array of performances. In the past, there’s been a Live Painting Tournament, a Tim Hortons Village and Giant Tiger Zone.
– Canadian Museum of History – Renowned for world-class exhibitions and stunning architecture, it is little surprise that it is Canada’s most visited museum. On Canada Day there will also be the added bonus of indoor and outdoor entertainment.
One of the highlights of the day in Ottawa are the fireworks on Parliament Hill as the 15-minute show is something you will never forget. The fireworks will ignite the Ottawa sky at 10pm in front of thousands of spectators as Canadian music is played.
Province: Nova Scotia
— Cheryl🍁 🐔🍷Sista_Resista ✨🍁✨🇨🇦 #Canada (@mini_bubbly) June 28, 2018
Regarded as the third largest event in the country, Halifax’s Canada Day celebrations are full of activities which are great for the whole family.
An iconic event that kicks off the day is a free pancake breakfast at Halifax Grand Parade and after you’ve fuelled up you can then enjoy the celebrations at the Halifax Citadel. The events will kick off with the firing of the iconic noon gun followed by the traditional 21-gun salute.
You should then look to enjoy the local cuisine as Halifax boasts a Kitchen Party at the Seaport Farmers’ Market. In previous years there have been well-known chefs putting on demonstrations as well as carriage rides and petting zoos.
There is music throughout the day at Pier 21 and here you can buy souvenirs and crafts and explore the Canadian Museum of Immigration to learn more about how Canada was formed.
The Halifax Harbour is the place to end the day with a bang as a spectacular firework show takes place over this picturesque part of the city.
Tips for visiting on Canada Day
Canada Day is a very popular time to visit and it is therefore important to plan ahead when booking flights, accommodation and plotting out where you want to be and what you want to see.
Albert Bond from Backpacking With The Bonds, agrees, “Seeing as it is a popular time to travel in Canada we’d recommend you’d plan ahead like you would for any major event.”
If you really want to see the fireworks display, then you should look to get your spot early so you can ensure you’ve got a great view!
Extend your stay & enjoy other events
Another great tip is to research other events which might be taking place just before or after Canada Day as you could increase your stay to fit that in as well.
Samuel Dubois from the Free Tour of Quebec recommends heading to the Summer Festival in Quebec City, which starts only a few days after Canada Day on 4th July.
“If you are thinking about being in Canada in July for Canada Day, I would recommend you to stay in Québec for the Summer Festival. It is one of the biggest music festivals in North America and one of the cheapest starting on the 4th of July! This year the line-up is quite impressive. There are all kinds of music from Mariah Carey to Blink 182 to Buddy Guy!”
If you are looking for holidays to Canada around Canada Day, then check out our flights and packages.