Ottawa, Canada’s Capital, is the place to be July 1 for the country’s biggest annual birthday celebration. It’s a giant patriotic party on the lawns of Parliament Hill, Major’s Hill Park, Jacques Cartier Park and on the closed streets of downtown.
The crowds start to gather on Parliament Hill early, for a 9 a.m. flag raising ceremony, followed by the Changing of the Guard ceremony at 9:30 a.m. and the carillon concert featuring the Peace Tower bells, at 10 a.m. Be there at noon for a thrilling performance by the Snowbirds Demonstration team, and a noon hour show filled with cultural entertainment. For families, Jacques Cartier Park will host a variety of activities especially for children ages 3 to 12 including games, physical activities, performances and inflatable slides. For revelers of all ages there will be free activities at most of the area’s national museums and institutions.
Excitement continues throughout the day at major sites and attractions downtown and across the Capital. The evening show on Parliament Hill features a stellar lineup of Canadian performers. And as always, the evening will be topped off by a giant fireworks show you simply don’t want to miss!
- Canada Day celebrates the anniversary of Confederation, when Canada became a country separate from the British Empire.
- Parliament Hill is the focal point for Canada Day celebrations, with a giant stage featuring Canadian performers throughout the day, the noontime playing of Oh Canada and a flyby by Canada’s Snowbirds aerobatics team and other military aircraft.
- The celebrations spill over from Parliament Hill to venues on both sides of the Ottawa River, including Major’s Hill Park and Jacques Cartier Park in downtown Gatineau, with fun and activities for people of all ages.
- The day is capped-off with a massive fireworks finale visible from any vantage point downtown. Make sure to get a good spot by 10 p.m., as that’s when the fireworks light up the sky!