Canada Day – you may have heard about it, but what actually is it?
Well, Canada Day is a day that celebrates the nation’s official ‘birth’. On July 1st 1867, the provinces were joined by the Constitution Act to create one country. If you’re lucky enough to be in Canada on July 1st or the days before/after it, you’ll no doubt be joining in the celebrations!
It’s no surprise that, as Canada’s capital, Ottawa throws the biggest Canada Day party. And this year is no different, as they celebrate Canada Day with a weekend-long celebration! Here’s what you can expect in the capital city over the weekend:
Official Canada Day events are being held at three sites:
The centrepiece of Ottawa’s downtown landscape, the political and cultural heart of the city, and the main site for Canada Day festivities.
Major’s Hill Park
Conveniently located just a few minutes’ walk from Parliament Hill, between the Fairmont Château Laurier and the National Gallery of Canada, this beautiful green space features family-friendly programming and performances.
Canadian Museum of History (FREE entry)
Enjoy indoor and outdoor live entertainment at Canada’s most visited museum, conveniently located in Gatineau, Quebec, just across the Ottawa River from other official Canada Day sites.
Around 10:00pm on July 1st, Canada Day celebrations will culminate with a spectacular pyromusical fireworks display… and of course, to keep on theme, the accompanying soundtrack is 100% Canadian! Though you may think it is, Parliament Hill is not necessarily the best place to see the fireworks, as the Parliament Buildings can block part of your view; perhaps consider heading to Major’s Hill Park to watch. The park overlooks the Ottawa River so the fireworks will have an even prettier setting!
Plus, admission is free to the following museums on Canada Day:
- National Gallery of Canada Discover the magnificent work of Laurent Amiot: Canadian Master Silversmith, wander through the Canadian and Indigenous Galleries, and enjoy fun activities throughout the day.
- Canadian Museum of Nature Just minutes from Parliament Hill, the Museum features world class galleries: See iconic mammals, Canada’s original collection of dinosaur fossils; an enormous blue whale skeleton; and a new Arctic Gallery.
- Canadian War Museum Inside you’ll find incredible exhibitions that reveal Canada’s involvement in conflicts from the beginning of time until now. Tanks, artillery, combat gear, art and so many more artifacts and collections, bring an added level of realism to the country’s war history.
Wherever you are in the world celebrating Canada Day, stay safe and enjoy the sunshine!
If this blog has inspired you to visit Canada, check out our Canada holidays here.
by Ella Dunham