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Canada Day Activities to Celebrate Being Canadian

Read on for the best Canada Day activities across this great land that celebrate all things Canadian.

To doe-eyed onlookers, being Canadian means being polite, overly apologetic, loving pancakes and maple syrup, playing hockey, smoking pot, and living in igloos. Although that’s not true for all Canadians, there is one thing that unites us: pride (and maybe poutine).

Don’t wait until June 30 to look for what to do on Canada Day 2019! As we celebrate 152 years of Confederacy, many Canadians will party down in celebration from coast to coast. It’s a big day in Canada so be sure to join the party, whether you hold a Canadian passport or not.

Canada Day Activities Across the Nation

From forming a human Canadian flag in Victoria to being one of the first to wish Canada a ‘Happy Birthday’ at sunrise in St. John’s, Newfoundland, read our top 10 Canada Day activities. Start planning your long weekend celebrations for the country’s biggest birthday party on July 1, 2019.

Plan your Canada Day 2019

canadian flag and the CN tower from below
Canada Day Activities to Celebrate Being Canadian

1. Party hard in the nation’s capital

There’s no better place to celebrate all things Canadian than in the capital region. Ottawa knows how to throw down, especially on July 1. Break out your red and white clothing, face paints, maple leaf tattoos, and Canadian flags and head downtown for the country’s biggest Canada Day street party.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a celebration without fireworks and there’s something extra special about seeing the Parliament Buildings sparkle and shine with colour as your Canadian heart swells with pride.

2. Take in a concert (or 5) at Canada Place

Touted as the second biggest Canada Day celebrations in Canada is Vancouver’s all-day party at Canada Place. Spend Canada’s birthday getting your groove on while several bands perform throughout the day. Be sure to stick around for this year’s headliner band: Delhi 2 Dublin.

Like all major cities across Canada, there’s an elaborate fireworks display over Coal Harbour. Watch from anywhere along the waterfront, including the city-facing side of Stanley Park.

3. Eat a piece of Canada Day cake on Granville Island

While you’re in the Vancouver area, zip over to the ever-delicious Granville Island (clear opposite end of downtown Vancouver) for their annual party. One of the best things about Granville Island is the food, so it’s fitting that the powers that be serve a giant cake to proud Canadians between 2:45 p.m. – 3 p.m. on July 1. After you fill your face with patriotism, head to Lee’s Donuts in the Public Market for more sugary goodness.

People dining on a patio on Granville Island in Vancouver on a summer afternoon
Canada Day Activities to Celebrate Being Canadian

4. Become a living Canadian flag

Okay, so you can’t get much more patriotic than being part of the flag, can you? Hosted by Winnipeg in recent years, this Canada Day celebration is going on in Victoria’s Inner Harbour this year, and it’s a fun way for participants to be part of the living flag on the lawns of the Legislature Buildings.

Take part in one of the country’s most unique Canada Day activities by showing up in an all red or all white t-shirt, or pick one up around noon. Stay tuned with City of Victoria for times and t-shirt pick-up places.

5. Two words: free pancakes

Back in the day, it wasn’t uncommon to score a free pancake breakfast on Canada Day. Today, you’ll find many smaller communities offering free pancakes on Canada Day, but it’s probably best to expect to pay a nominal fee, just in case.

If you’re near Calgary or visiting for the Calgary Stampede just days after Canada Day, The Rocky Museum in Rocky Mountain House (214km from Calgary) puts on an annual pancake breakfast for $6 per plate. And better still? Kids 6 and under, eat free!

6. Walk and run in Regina for Canada Day

Regina takes their Canada Day activities pretty seriously; they even have a dedicated website for their Dominion Day events. One way to spend Canada Day in Regina is with a fun walk/run (entry fee required) in party central, Wascana Park. This is a great way to mix festive celebrations with fitness. Participants receive a t-shirt, medal upon completion and some post-run nutrients from organizers, Run Regina.

If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, watch on as 12 super fit men compete for the title of Western Canada’s Strongest Man or get a team of 4 together to build a boat with only a few materials. That sounds pretty Canadian.

7. Be amused at Canada’s Wonderland

Spend the July long weekend feeling like a kid again at Toronto’s fantastic theme park, Canada’s Wonderland. The park kicks off their Celebration Canada activities on June 29, 2019, and the party keeps going until July 14, 2019.

Even if you don’t ride all 16 roller coasters and other rides at Wonderland, the fun Canada Day activities, food, and fireworks show held at Celebration Plaza on July 1st will keep you entertained all day.

collage of Canadian flag with maple leafs
Canada Day Activities to Celebrate Being Canadian

8. Celebrate confederation in Charlottetown, PEI

Head to the birthplace of Confederation, Charlottetown, PEI for a good old-fashioned party. The island city hosts a broad range of free Canada Day activities at Victoria Park in the capital city of Charlottetown that the whole family with love. Think live music, picnics, food, and fun in a sea of red and white. They even do their own version of the living Canadian flag so be sure to wear your true colours.

If you’re travelling with kids, there’s a Kids of Steele triathlon put on by Triathlon Prince Edward Island. At the end of the big day, stick around for the biggest fireworks east of Ottawa!

9. Watch fireworks from Citadel Hill in Halifax

Haligonians have retreated to the hilltop of Citadel Hill to watch Canada Day fireworks for decades. Take a blanket, a donair, and plonk yourself on the green hillside for spectacular views across downtown Halifax, the Town Clock, and the celebratory pyrotechnics over the famous Halifax Harbour.

At the Halifax Waterfront and across the water at the twin city of Dartmouth, you’ll find a plethora of free Canada Day activities, food trucks, and live entertainment to keep everyone happy.

fireworks at an outdoor concert
Canada Day Activities to Celebrate Being Canadian

10. Be the first to wish Canada a ‘Happy Birthday’

Be amongst the first people to say ‘Happy Birthday’ to Canada with a sunrise to sunset party in St John’s, Newfoundland. Let’s face it, Newfoundlanders know a good party so when the opportunity arises, they’re on it. And there’s no better reason than the birth of our great nation. Newfoundland did not become part of Canada until 1949, but they’re the first province to celebrate being Canadian with all kinds of fun stuff for everyone.

Did These Canada Day Activities Get You Feeling All Fuzzy Inside?

If you’ve never been to Ottawa for July 1st, what’s stopping you? Or are you dreaming of being part of that massive Canadian flag in Victoria? Now that you know what to do on Canada Day, there’s no better time to live your dreams than right now. Find Canada Day cheap flights to take you to the best Canada Day activities with Skyscanner’s search engines and our handy app for your smartphone. And, Happy Canada Day, eh?