Canada Day is more than just a holiday; it’s a prime opportunity for Canadians to kick back, relax, enjoy a long, lounge-filled weekend, and drink in the fledgling summer, both figuratively and literally. It’s also a day for the best pyrotechnics of the whole year — with skies alight from Vancouver to Nova Scotia.
Celebrate Canada’s 149th birthday this year at these crème de la crème celebrations that boast the baddest and the brightest fireworks displays.
Kind of a no-brainer, the country’s capital has some legit pyrotechnic stylings, as well as an all-day festival rife with maple leaves, Molsons, and other such Canadiana. Drivers, beware, though, as many of the central city streets will be closed. Find out where you can buy provisions and which streets will be out of commission, and get ready to take in over 2,000 aerial shells, 110 of which are the largest allowed in Canada.
Not surprisingly, Toronto has some of the sickest shows in the country. Check out Harbourfront Centre for an electrifying Canada Day festival where revelers can bump to multilingual hip hop crew Nomadic Massive, or wrangle the kiddies for a Sharon & Bram show. Or eat your heart out at Toronto Ribfest, a feast for the senses for BBQ and live music lovers alike, or go artsy and check out the largest Andy Warhol exhibit to come to Canada. Oh, and there are fireworks literally everywhere.
Banff & Lake Louise, AB
Set against the stunningly craggy Canadian Rockies, the fireworks displays of Banff and Lake Louise simply can’t be beat. After pancake breakfasts smothered in fresh maple syrup and parades peppered with Mounties, relax under the stars while watching the snow-capped mountains illuminate with vibrant neons.
Vancouverites are particularly fond of celebrating the holiday in style, from Canada Day at Canada Place (one of the largest celebrations in the country) to the Burrard Inlet “two-barge simultaneous pyrotechnic extravaganza” at 10:30 pm, there’s no shortage of things to kick your Canadian pride into high gear. Before the extravaganza, hit up Granville Island or take a patriotic virtual tour from east to west with FlyOver Canada.
Montreal’s fête du Canada is rich, flavorful, and full of amour de la patrie. Celebrating the 175th anniversary of Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s birthday, the 175th anniversary of the election of Robert Baldwin and Louis-Hyppolite La Fontaine, the 150th birthday of the first Fenian invasion, and the 100th anniversary of the women’s suffrage, the Old Port is alive from 11 am–10:30 pm with a full day of ceremonies, cannon salutes, cakes, and, of course, fireworks.