With this being Canada’s 150th anniversary, you can expect that Canada Day events are going to be stepping it up a level, no matter where you are living. There are usually a host of free activities and events going on in cities across the country on each July 1st, but this year the offerings are much better and are being offered in far more cities. Apart from fireworks, there are a number of free concerts, activity days, discounted tickets to local attractions and even free food in some cases. We’ve taken some of the hassle and work out of it on your end by rounding up some of the more popular free Canada Day events being offered in some of the bigger locations across the country.
PEI, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador
- Starting on the east coast, with PEI, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador, there is of course the Tall Ships, which will be making pit stops across Canadian waters this summer, but a lot of these ships will be stopping in Maritime ports over the Canada Day weekend. Check out your local city here to see when and where the ships will be stopping in.
- PEI has an event offering in almost all of the major cities this weekend. Whether you’re heading to Cavendish Beach for some Canada Day yoga or Charlottetown, there’s something going on all over the island, better known as the birthplace of Confederation
- In Nova Scotia, if you’re in the capital city of Halifax you’ll be able to catch free concerts, grab a bite to eat with the free pancake breakfast, plus catch the Nova Scotia Tattoo Canada Day Parade. In other parts of the province, there are fireworks, parades, folk festivals, bbq’s and much more going on
- New Brunswick has a proud history as being one of the founding four provinces, and with that in mind they have put together a year-long list of activities and events to celebrate the 150 years of Canada. More specifically this weekend though, you can check out the Youth Orchestra, a 150 display in Fredericton and much more!
- Newfoundland and Labrador has free events being offered province wide, but if you happen to find yourself in St. John’s over Canada Day weekend, be sure to check out the Wake Up Event at Signal Hill followed by a free breakfast and concert series, that will be headlining The Sheepdogs
Ontario and Quebec
- Toronto and the GTA alone have enough free events and activities going on this weekend to fill up one entire post, but if there’s one thing you’ll want to check out this weekend if you’re within driving distance on the 401, it’s the free concerts by Canadian gems like the Barenaked Ladies, Ron Sexsmith, Shad and newcomer dvsn.
- Of course the nation’s capital, Ottawa, will have a full weekend lineup of free fun for the entire family, particularly on the look out will be the notable Canadian Citizen Ceremony and the special presentation of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Governor General of Canada and the Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, who will be celebrating their first Canada Day in Ottawa as part of their Royal Tour of Canada this summer
- Other events to be on the lookout throughout Ontario include Muskoka’s Canada Day boat cruise, Sesquifest in London and much, much more!
- Quebec has great free events in both Montreal and Quebec City this weekend, but for those of you living in other parts of this historically rich province be sure to check out all the free events in your region here to help celebrate the country’s birthday
Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta
- Manitoba is offering residents of Winnipeg the chance to recreate a human Canadian flag at Main and Portage (don’t forget to wear a red t-shirt!), or if you’re more of a history nerd, then you can spend Canada Day at the Royal Canadian Mint
- If you find yourself in Regina over Canada Day weekend in Saskatchewan, then you could catch a free concert of Marianas Trench (plus fireworks, of course) Regina Beach, Denare Beach and Ituna will also be hosting free and fun beach activities all day long!
- Olympic Plaza in Calgary is going to be celebrating Canada Day in style, while those of you looking for a less traditional and more musically inclined way to ring in 150 might want to head over to the free Tegan and Sara concert happening at Riverfront Avenue. Fort McMurray will of course be hosting a big party over two days, while other parts of the province may begin kicking off the party on Saturday!
- Vancouver will be hosting a free concert by Sam Roberts, or, for those of you preferring to chill out than rock out, you can also partake in some free yoga at Mountaintop Plaza
- Victoria will have the Arkells to rival Vancouver’s Sam Roberts show, and will also be offering free square dancing at Gorge Park
- There are plenty more free events and concerts happening around B.C., including a headlining show by Tom Cochrane in Surrey, which you can learn more about here or here
Yukon, Nunavut and NWT
- Iqaluit is hosting a landmark Canada Day celebration, beginning with a Fun Run and ending with a concert featuring the Trade-Offs, while the Yukon will be bringing in their Canadian pride with a concert from July Talk in Whitehorse
- There’s going to be face painting, a bouncy castle and a water slide for the kids at this Canada Day party in Yellowknife, and for the adults there will be concerts and a CIBC Reaffirmation Ceremony
Happy Canada Day partying!