Canada will be celebrating its 149th birthday this year, which is cause for some serious summer celebration. Toronto will be home to a number of parties and events on July 1 to wish the country a happy birthday and if you’re still on the lookout for something to do on the holiday you have plenty of options. With that in mind here are 11 places to celebrate Canada Day in Toronto.
1. Canada Day at Harbourfront Centre
There’s always a big Canada Day celebration at Harbourfront and this year will be no exception. Head down to the waterfront to take in an array of eclectic musical performances all afternoon and into the evening, including Nomadic Massive, Sharon and Bram, Abdominal & The Obliques and Beyond Sound Empijah. Then stay for fireworks starting at 10:40 p.m. Celebrations continue all weekend with even more live performances July 2-3 including the Cowboy Junkies on July 2.
2. Molson Canadian Olympic Team Beach Party
Get into the Olympic spirit and celebrate Canada Day with a trip to the Molson Canadian Olympic Team Beach Party happening at Woodbine Beach at Boardwalk Place. The festivities to celebrate Rio 2016 Team Canada athletes start at 4 p.m. and include performances by Sloan and Scott Helman. Rio-bound athletes in attendance will be signing autographs and you can also expect sport demonstrations and a Molson beer garden.
3. Canada Day at Canada’s Wonderland
Make your way to Canada’s Wonderland on Canada Day and follow up a day of rides with a firework-filled evening. The fireworks display at Canada’s Wonderland is known as one of the best in the Toronto area and it’s different every year. The action starts when the park closes at 10 p.m. and will include over 6,000 colorful explosions set to an original soundtrack.
4. Canada Day at Mel Lastman Square
Mel Lastman Square is another spot to wish Canada a happy 149th birthday and the party starts at 5 p.m. with fireworks starting at 10:15. Live music performances come courtesy of Turbo Street Funk, The Soul Motivators and Emmanuel Jal. Entertainment also includes a hoop performance and a circus performance troupe and there will be face painting for the kids happening from 5 to 8 p.m.
5. Waterfront Artisan Market
Spend Canada Day shopping until you drop at the Waterfront Artisan Market happening over several weekends, one of which happens to fall over Canada Day. Shop July 1 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at HTO Park where you can browse and buy from dozens of vendors selling everything from jewelry to handcrafted food items. Cool off with a frozen treat from Augie’s Ice Pops or Boreal Gelato, perk up with a cold brew coffee from Station Cold Brew, shop jewellery from BB Tresors, Emidesh and Social Gem and check out pottery courtesy of Dundee Pottery and Stained Glass – just to name a few of the many vendors who will be on hand.
6. Redpath Waterfront Festival
If you’re planning on being at the Waterfront Artisan Market you can also take part in the Redpath Waterfront Festival happening July 1 to 3. The annual summer event is your chance to spend some quality time down by the water and enjoy live music, entertainment, and food by the lake. This year the festival will also include an array of tall ships docked at HTO Park, an event which only happens every three years. The five ships can be toured each day of the festival. The Navy will also be represented with two coastal defense naval ships, which can also be toured.
Stick around in the evening for fireworks at Harbourfront.
7. Canada Day at Queen’s Park
Canada Day at Queen’s Park runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the day is jam-packed with events for the whole family. There will be live performances by the casts of Fame The Musical and Alice in Wonderland, as well as music throughout the day on two stages. When you’re not listening to music you can try your hand at some crafts, check out the midway rides and inflatables, get your face painted, take a workshop to hone your dancing, singing or acting skills and fuel up courtesy of food vendors including El Trompo Movil, Lemon Heaven and Mastersoft Diary among others.
8. Toronto Ribfest
Centennial Park in Etobicoke is the place to be Canada Day if you like ribs. Head down for Ribfest, happening all weekend from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. In addition to chowing down on award-winning BBQ, there will be two stages with nonstop live music, a magic show and face painting for kids, Toronto’s largest mobile midway and fireworks at 10 p.m. The fireworks display is part of Centennial Park’s Canada Day celebration
9. Q107 Canada Day Celebration
The annual Q107 Canada Day Picnic is another great way to celebrate Canada Day and the festivities are happening at Woodbine Park, beginning at noon. This year’s celebration is a showcase of tributes to classic rock and roll bands courtesy of cover bands doing their best to honor groups like The Tragically Hip, Fleetwood Mac and Aerosmith, to name a few. There will also be midway rides, food for purchase and beer to enjoy in the Mill Street Beer Garden.
10. Canada Day at the AGO
Get your culture fix on July 1 with a trip to the AGO. The Art Gallery of Ontario is open on Canada Day to mark the opening of the Canadian exhibition of The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris. The gallery will be offering all sorts of family-friendly programming throughout the day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. like crafts, workshops, button making, and family tours. You can also grab Canada Day brunch at on-site restaurant FRANK from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., or you can snack on Canadian classic poutine from the caféAGO Canada Day Poutine Pop Up.
11. Canada Day at Pioneer Village
Step back into the past for Canada Day with a visit to Black Creek Pioneer Village between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Games, live music, tours, wagon rides, farm visits and beers from the Black Creek Historic Brewery are all options.